Hi Enigmaboy and welcome to Beyond Blue
It's good to see you've found your way here. You ask - where were you at when you were at my age? I'd been working for 3 years. Back in those days, woman weren't expected to have a career, just to find a hubby, have kids and keep a household.
Well, that didn't happen. I ended up being a working person, marrying in my mid 20s to a wonderful person who I still share my life with. No children.Going to university as a mature aged student in my mid 30s.
I came away from uni with a $30K debt. When I first started uni there was no HECS debt it only started part way through. Like yourself, not sure if I would have started with the thought of owing that much money before starting. But I did okay.
I never set out to work in the field I did. It just happened. At the age of 19 I got a job in the commonwealth government and learnt all there was to know about the field I was in as the years passed. I changed directions at 33 and resigned and went on to work in another field for several years. After finishing my degree I returned to my former work - as that's were I could get higher paid jobs.
Life is full of twists and turns. You'll find everyone who writes here will have a different story to tell. Some will have fulfilled their treasured goals, others who will not have for whatever reason.
Throughout my life I have lived with anxiety, depression and PTSD. For most it, these conditions were undiagnosed. Things may have been different for me had I known about them earlier. However, life has been exceptionally good to me.
I'm sure there will be others who will pop in to share their life experiences with you. Feel free to join discussions that suit your situation.