I feel out of place when I'm where I have to be. Help me feel less worse and get a grip on reality.
posted by anonymous to education (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I went to two name brand universities for my bachelor's and master's degrees. No matter how hard I tried, and despite a plus 3.5 GPA, I couldn't land one of those management consulting jobs they have for liberal arts college students that some of my friends landed. After puttering around for ten years post-BA/MA and a lot of soul-searching and analysis of my interests and work habits, I've decided to try to gain admission into pharmacy school. My science credits aren't good anymore (it's been more than 5 years since I graduated), so I have to retake them, according to my state's pharmacy school. I don't have any debt (no loans or credit card debt or anything), but I've been so poorly paid during the past ten years that all I can afford is the local community college for prerequisites. Which isn't a problem for the admissions committee, but suddenly poses a some kind of emotional/psychological problem for me that I hadn't anticipated.
I was raised working class but went to school with people whose parents were really well off and sent to to prestigious schools, camps, trips, etc. It was fairly pretentious, where everyone loved you if you went to Ivy League schools or the top liberal arts colleges. The parents financed the kids' dithering around NYC after graduation and eventually, degrees in something practical when their artistic desires didn't pan out. One friend who did a Master's in Russian Literature at NYU after college decided to go to the Goucher College premed postbac program after a few years of working, courtesy of her parents. Another friend married a guy who paid off her graduate school debt in one fell swoop and she quit her extremely well paid analyst job to have kids. They have a beautiful house and take amazing vacations.
I know I'm working class, but I never really felt working class. I had a friend refer to me as "low income" (which I'm not -- I don't make that much but I'm single, childfree, I can afford rent, and I'm not in debt and I'm able to save, and I don't qualify for welfare).
I'm jealous, and I'm ashamed of being jealous. I should be proud of myself and have higher self-esteem. If I could just accept who I am instead of daydreaming about what I wish I had, and pretending I'm too good for something when I know I'm not, then I could stop feeling like a loser. I know that when I was little, I was really influenced by television and books and by my friends and their families, rather than my own family (my parents had to work alot and were tired when they got home, so there was very little contact or ability to absorb philosophy, and I'm sorry I ever had them pay my tuition to fancy colleges with their hard earned money, which is why I wouldn't ask them for money or help ever).
I also don't want to be the person who complains about how much I have to work and how easy other people have it, and make myself feel better that way. Additionally, I'm living in a place I hate (DC/MD area -- I'd started running out of money towards the end of grad school and took the first job that came my way and changed jobs based on really small rises in pay and perceived stability).
I want to move, but it takes forever to get residency anywhere else and I feel like if I did, I'd be alone and end up homeless or dead or even worse off than I am now. I don't know anyone in the places I'd like to live and I'm generally afraid of strangers now, so I can't make new friends. I have a longtime boyfriend here too (who supports my plans, but thinks all I need to hear is positive statements to feel better), and friends (who are typically too busy to see me but it's not easy making friends with normal people -- everybody already has their friends). I'd love to move to Hawaii or NM, but everybody would love to do that, so I try to be realistic about that and tell myself I have to stay where I can save the most money (here, in ugly, depressing, pretentious yet crappy, low rent, horrible MD) and have some semblance of a personal life (boyfriend and friends), rather than being totally alone and depressed somewhere else.
How do I get a grip on who I am, stop wishing for what can't be, and build real self esteem that isn't based on what schools I'm going to or what career I'm going into (my fancy friends wrinkle their noses at my mention of pharmacy school and suggest I try to go to medical school and attend some expensive postbac program at Georgetown for $1K a credit. I realize that they're just uninformed, but it's irritating and at the same time, makes me feel bad), where I live, or what anyone else might think? I know I'm doing the very best that I can and I should be proud that I'm paying for my own schooling and making all the right decisions for myself, but I just feel so small and alone and scared. At the least, I just want to feel better about leaving my job and going to community college.