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Topic: What am I going to do with myself?

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    15 July 2019

    Two days ago my university results came out and unsurprisingly, there weren't too many good things that came out of them. I'm in first year studying Law and this is only the first semester, so I understand if they might not be the most outstanding. I barely passed three out of my four subjects, failing one by the slightest of margins. As a result, I have to sit a supplementary exam in a week's time and hearing the news simultaneously made my heart sink and feelings of anxiety reaching an all time high. I have been told many times by my parents about members of our extended family who had to sit them when they were in university, but this didn't do much for me at all. Out of the four subjects that I had to do, this was by far the most challenging and I made quite an effort to study for the real exam as I am for this supp exam. I made a proposition to both of my parents; if I fail this exam, I will have no choice but to defer from my course effective immediately as I do not see myself going anywhere by repeating another semester worth of the same content I hated in the first place. I have hated the university life ever since I stepped foot on the campus, but I can tell deep down that my parents (more-so my Mum) would prefer for me to stay there, even if they're not admitting it outright. I just don't know what I am going to do with myself if I do end up going down this path (which seems increasingly likely at this point in time). I could potentially find some work via Centrelink, but that's about it. I do not have anyone I can consider a friend to hang out with (which is probably for the better imo), I do not have any noteworthy hobbies, and the absolute hole of a city that I live in (Adelaide) has nothing fulfilling to do; everyone is born to die here. As you can tell, I care about my future way too much compared to the average person and fear that I will end up as yet another unproductive member of society, destroying his body with alcohol, and increasingly ready to throw in the towel on his life altogether.

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    124 posts
    15 July 2019 in reply to two-dee

    Hi two-dee,

    welcome to beyond blue.

    the best "advice" I could give you here is to talk to a counsellor in student services regarding your options. With that said...

    there is a big difference between high school and Uni when it comes to grades. And the way that I look at now is that the 1st term/semester is a learning one regarding lecturer expectations etc. The other thing is that you did pass 3 of the 4 subjects. And there can also be some subjects that just difficult.

    But I also get this feeling that you do not really like Uni, and perhaps doing it to because it seems the right thing to do.

    Now suppose that you did pass all the subjects would you be happy doing the course?

    And if you were not doing law, what type of work do you like to do? It could be a trade? Or personal trainer? Work with kids? Perhaps a gap year to work out what you want to do?

    Some qualifications can be received by doing a certificate.My son backed out of Uni in the 1st semester, because he just did not like it either and is doing a fitness certificate 3 and 4. And he can get work using those.

    In the ideal environment, where you could be what you want to be, can you tell me about that person?


  3. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    15 July 2019 in reply to smallwolf

    Hello smallwolf, thank you so much for your reply.

    I had been seeing a student counsellor prior to the real exam period. While I did manage to get some valuable info about my situation, I honestly think it didn't really help me all that much. The whole experience just felt a little vapid in my opinion and my Dad (who's a social worker) told me some slightly better advice on how to deal with these situations.

    My thoughts on uni are exactly how I have felt since primary school, that it really is the be all and end all into actually getting somewhere in life. I actually got asked that same question from my Mum one of the last times that I felt like this. I didn't know how to respond, as I have always felt pretty good whenever I get anything above average (obvious signs of perfectionism). Even then, I don't think that would be enough to get some enjoyment out of this degree or University in general.

    I'm probably going to go for whatever low-level job Centrelink can offer me as I have done nothing worthwhile since finishing high school. I respect your suggestions, but they don't really line up with what my interests are. I guess while working, I could juggle around a few ideas and see what works best. Academically, my interests have always been in humanities and the arts. In terms of the former, every subject that I have done thus far falls into this category (2 for law, 1 for history and 1 for politics). But the way in which they were taught felt so dry and a far cry from the more engaging work that I had in primary and secondary school. It also doesn't help that there's no real demand for this sort of work as the world becomes increasingly more digital and bedazzled by the latest in science and technology (two areas I absolutely despise). With the latter, I love music but I know very well that it does not lead to any prospective employment opportunities; especially in the age of the internet.

    My mind is increasingly turning foggy about where I want to be in the future. I think above all else, I just want to be happy, have a love for life, and a passion for what I do. But I have accepted that all of those things are extremely hard to come by; especially in the 18 years I have lived on this planet.

  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    92 posts
    15 July 2019 in reply to two-dee

    Hi two-dee

    Have you ever looked into a bachelor's degree in music education? Not sure if this angle interests you - inspiring and interacting with young minds whilst doing what you love. My daughter's secondary school music teacher actually took leave last year so as to travel around Australia with the band he was in (the best of both worlds). By the way, being one of the most easy going yet hard working inspirational teachers at the school, he is also one of the most adored teachers.

    I think if Law is not your thing, don't waste too much time staying in this obvious ongoing state of mental conflict. Sounds like it's taking you further and further away from who you want to be, which reminds me... I once read a sage piece of advice - Don't ask 'What do I want to do?', instead ask 'Who do I want to be?' Perhaps this is advice that should be handed out by all secondary school career advisors. By asking a kid 'Do you want to be a creator?' they can take it even further by asking 'Do you prefer to create more-so through the mind or through the hands. The 1st list may involve interests such as Design engineer, Website creator and so on. The 2nd list may involve more trade based learning and work, such as Carpenter, Welder etc. Or 'Do you want to be a leader and, if so, in what area? Leading through teaching, leading through politics, leading through mental well-being (leading people to a greater state of health)?' Identifying who we are can help us then identify what we want to do in the way of career. Being a mum to 2 teenagers, I will often remind my kids of who they are so no matter what they choose to do in life (in the way of future career), they can chop and change paths whilst ultimately remaining true to their most authentic self. There is a natural joy in that.

    So, the question... 'Do you know who you want to be?' I believe, sometimes, when we look all the way back to our earlier years, we can find a hint as to who we really are, through that imaginative young soul with perhaps grandiose dreams and goals. Be it the adventurer, the musician, the writer, the seeker of justice or the hero, perhaps one of the greatest conflicts of the mind involves the question 'Do I re-turn to that aspect of myself or do I continue to turn away?'

    Take care

    1 person found this helpful
  5. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    16 July 2019 in reply to therising

    Hello therising,

    Firstly I just wanted to say thank you for your reply, I am feeling a little better compared to the last two days.

    I had originally considered a standard teaching degree with a Bachelor of Arts back in year 12; putting it about 3rd or 4th on my application. However, with the two major strikes that teachers had been going on in my state (mainly to do with pay among other things), it doesn't really appear as a stable, well-paying job. It's one of the main things that I look for when I go for a degree but even then, I lack the general interest to continue further with it.

    Your advice certainly helps and poses a lot of questions. Considering how introverted I am, leadership really isn't my area of expertise and I don't think it ever will be. Based on what you said, creating seems more along what I'm interested in but even then, I'm still not entirely sure what I'm going to do with myself. I'll wait until the exam is over and get my result back before I do anything (dw, I'll fill you guys in on what went down). All I can really say is that I feel my nearly 19 year old mindset isn't quite ready for the challenges of university just yet. If I defer for two years and return when I'm about 21, I may potentially see it differently and really enjoy it; maybe even stick with Law.

  6. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    14 August 2019 in reply to two-dee

    Hello all,

    After patiently waiting, today I finally received the results for my supplementary exam and all I can say is wow, I did not see this coming at all.

    Somehow I actually did worse on this supp exam than the real one despite the countless hours that I poured into studying for it. There were no interruptions, very minimal use of technology, and I rarely took any breaks during the week's worth of study time that I was provided; yet here we are to talk about how badly I fared. I don't have an exact score, the exam coordinator essentially told me that I did worse that I thought. Additionally, the new semester subjects in both my Law and Arts degrees got really uninteresting after the first week; about on par with what I had to put up with in the first semester in terms of enjoyability. My brain switches off as soon as I step into the lecture theatre and I refuse to take any notes because of how boring the subjects are.

    With these two factors in mind, I believe I have no choice but to put my studies on indefinite hiatus and find something else to do. I've been thinking about getting a job since I don't really have to think too hard about things while also getting a consistent cash flow coming my way; and as much as we'd all like for it to happen, unfortunately one doesn't get paid to go to university. While my Dad has remained supportive all the way through, even offering to accompany me to Centrelink for finding work, I feel as if my Mum constantly gives me a cold shoulder. I don't know why as she was supportive the first time when I was trying to find a job but now all of a sudden, she decides it's a good time to backflip on her original position. I can tell by her tone of voice that she'd prefer for me to stay at uni and find another degree to do whenever stuff like this gets brought up. Unfortunately she'll either have to accept that I'm no longer interested in studying, or continue to live in her deranged fantasy land.

    I apologise for not making this post sooner, and I hope someone out there has the time to read this before I end up making some reckless decisions.

  7. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    92 posts
    15 August 2019 in reply to two-dee

    Hi two-dee

    Sounds like your dad is very supportive and practical, whereas your mum has a hard time dealing with disappointment in regard to the uni aspect of your life.

    Disappointment is definitely an interesting topic. Typically, we're taught to see it as a negative in life but in fact is can be a highly constructive positive when addressed in conscious ways. In reality there is no pain experienced with disappointment; the pain or upset is a result of an inability to accept disappointment. Some disappointments can actually bring relief. Let me explain:

    • Let's say you're appointed the role of 'someone who will be slapped across the face every morning upon waking'. Yes, this example's a strange one. For weeks you get that slap until one day you're told it will no longer happen. You're dis-appointed from that role. In this case, there is incredible relief and joy through such a disappointment

    We play plenty of roles in life, ones we are given and ones we give our self. The true challenge when is comes to disappointment relates to identifying the roles which serve a constructive purpose in our life. Dis-appointing the role of 'uni student' and replacing it with 'income earner' could prove to be highly constructive in the short or long term. It would interesting to find out what the role of 'uni student' represents for your mum. She's obviously defined it in her own way for her own reasons and is having trouble letting go of that definition. You're dad, on the other hand, perhaps has simply appointed you the role of 'my child who will be happy and productive', a general definition that can fit into many courses of action in your life.

    Dis-appointment is a bit of a 'housekeeping' aspect of life. So that we don't keep a lot of roles that serve little purpose or are in fact destructive, we need to assess which roles are worth keeping and taking care of and which ones aren't. The ones we positively and strongly identify with are typically the ones that define our most authentic self.

    Have a think about the roles in your life that you want to dis-appoint your self from, especially unrealistic ones that others have given to you.

    Take care and all the best on the job hunt

  8. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    17 August 2019 in reply to therising

    Hello therising, thank you so much for your reply.

    I'm going to be honest and say your advice was initially comforting, but it all went out the window yesterday. Dad and I did end up going to Centrelink, but both of us concluded that I wouldn't be eligible for the Youth Allowance since he earns too much. They also weren't too much help in locating job networks (we had to do that ourselves) but even then, Maxima and some of the other networks that we went to weren't too much help either; telling us to check their websites for more information.

    He did bring up some good advice on why Mum has been acting the way that she has (and continues to do so). It's probably the fact that she has to tell friends and family about how I am doing since it's inevitable that I'll be brought up in conversation. The sheer thought of having to tell everyone the bad news is probably why she feels some kind of resentment towards me. But as I'm sitting down searching for work, I figured why waste my time trying to talk to someone who I know will use anything against me. So that's why I've been doing my best to stay away from or not say anything to Mum at all times.

    University Open Days are tomorrow, and after the fiasco that has been the past few days I really do not feel like revisiting the place that I've grown to despise. But both Mum and Dad insist that I go and find something that I can potentially take an interest in because, in their words; "you might find something that you never even thought of pursuing."

    I jokingly said to Dad that if I don't find a job by the end of this year, I'll be committing crimes by next year. But I fear that'll probably end up being the case since youth unemployment rates have skyrocketed in this state, and no employer in Adelaide wants to hire a university dropout with no prior experience in employment. 

  9. two-dee
    two-dee avatar
    19 posts
    3 September 2019
    Hello all,

    Thought I'd give a little update as to where I've been. I think I'll first start with the job hunt. I reckon I've been going at it for a few weeks now and admittedly, it does get tedious having to hop onto the job sites every day to see what new opportunities are available but I remain optimistic that I'll find something soon (although it slips whenever I get a rejection email from the employer or no response at all). University on the other hand is something I don't have a whole lot of optimism for. I did promise to go and visit a course coordinator to see if they can boil down my interests into a potential new degree but even then, I don't know how it's going to play out and whether any of their advice would be worth taking on board. Additionally, I've done a few of those personality tests to see where your intelligence lies (not about how smart you are but rather what study areas you may be interested in). I remember doing them in Year 10 as a way to determine potential career(s) and now I thought it would be a good time to try them out again since my mindset now is different compared to what it was 3 years ago. It could be that I feel unmotivated/depressed but I tried checking out the websites from all three universities in my state to see what degrees they had on offer, but none of them really piqued my interest.

    My current distain towards uni has been taking a toll on my relationships as I would much prefer to cut myself off from everyone than keep the relationships going. In saying this, I have slightly more tolerance for family than I do friends/acquaintances so this is mainly directed towards the latter. It's not like I'd refuse to go to family functions or whatever, it's just the fact that I'd have to tell everyone about what's been going on with me (although most would probably know about it already). With friends/acquaintances (especially the new ones I made during my time in Law), I don't feel like I have the courage or nerve to talk to them again; they're probably too busy with uni anyway. I did get invited to go and hang out with some of them this weekend, but I'm most likely going to have something family-related on for both days so that plan's off.

    At this point I really don't know if I can continue on like this. It seems like every day grows more monotonous and drives me closer to insanity. So what do you guys suggest? How do I remain optimistic and positive in desperate times of need?