I need some advice/encouragement/something. Am I really burning out at age 21?
Big, melodramatic details follow.
posted by ThomThomThomThom to education (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm lost. I can't seem to find motivation to get up in the morning or make sense of things. I know I'm probably being a touch melodramatic (well, y'know, because I guess I am. Maybe it's that whole 'being in my early 20s thing.), but I feel like I'm lacking direction.
I go to a pretty good university (one of the top 10 in the country, oh what a feather in my cap) where I study languages. I was originally going to make a special major combining several, but long story short, I kind of got screwed over by the administration and now I'm a German major who happens to take some other stuff on the side. It's starting to lose its charm to say the least (tonight I kind of realized that I don't want to be doing hardly _any_ of the stuff I'm currently studying. I've been in language classrooms since 7th grade. I feel like it's been something of a placeholder until I find something that I actually want to do -- I've just been doing it because I'm pretty ok at it.)
My long term-girlfriend is going abroad. (I really wanted to go abroad, too, but that's not panning out because of that whole administration thing -- in short, I overextended myself my first couple of years but didn't fill out enough area requirements.) I feel kind of abandoned with her going (though, in my head I realize this isn't the case -- I would do the same thing if I were her, seize the opportunity while I have the chance. At least, that's what I tell myself) and am having a pretty hard time getting settled back here at school now that she's not around. We've sort of broken up and are going to "see how things go" when she gets back in town in August. In the meantime, I find myself complaining about school all the time, especially when we're on the phone. I just waste time on the internet and avoid my schoolwork because, as I said, I can't seem to find the same interest I used to have in it. I'm probably just depressed, right? I've felt like this before (and the GF has always managed to help me through it), and depression seems to run in the family. I don't want to see a counselor (that's a warning sign, right?) because I feel like I'd be giving up on myself (a trait that, imho, is one of the things that's screwing me over right now -- I don't want to drop any of the languages because I'd feel as though I'm giving up, despite the fact that I hate the classes. (Don't get me wrong, though, I still totally dig communicating with people from other countries.)) Secretly, I know that I would love nothing more than to drop a bunch (most) of the classes I'm currently taking, sit, and do nothing. This goes doubly for Arabic, especially because I know I'd hate any kind of job that would land me in the future. Of course, I'd feel massively guilty about having wasted so much time so that's not really an option. Not to mention how disappointed the parents would be. Giving up and all. (The father's a _really_ educated prof, the mother used to be some kind of molecular biologist/botonist... basically the whole family's got a master's or phd.)
I have some hobbies (Juggling in particular, if you're really all that interested), but I sort of threw my shoulder out and can't do it as well/seriously as I'd like to. I've been going to physical therapy and have been getting better. In a perfect world, I think I'd perform for a living. I guess the whole school thing is supposed to be a backup, but I feel as though it's getting in the way of the things I'd _really_ like to do with my life sometimes.
I need to find an internship soon (don't even get me started on that), but I can't seem to figure out what I'm interested in. I feel that this is a common problem and that I'm just getting all wrapped up in myself and forgetting the big picture or something. I just don't want to waste inordinate amounts of time on something I don't care about. In being this discriminating, though, I'm probably effectively wasting my time even more, since I won't be able to find whatever it is I'm actually looking for.
Maybe I'm just looking for reassurance that everything's going to be ok? Maybe acadamia just isn't my cup of tea? Dropping out of school is hardly an option (y'know, that whole "degree for the future" thing), plus I'm on a really big scholorship, so it would be a HUGE waste not to go ahead and finish it all off (just a year and a half of classes I hate to go!) That also rules transferring out as an option.
I guess my question is, how do I figure out what I want to do?
If any of you have similar experiences or advice, I would really appreciate hearing them. Really.
Sorry if this is a little incoherent, I'm having a pretty rough day.