How do I change my life from an immature lax kid to a mature responsible man?
April 25, 2011 10:19 PM   Subscribe

I need help with my life especially what's going on with me nowadays. How to defeat my fear of failure? How should I start living a fresh life? How do I actually start?

How to defeat my fear of failure?

I listed my fears that really stops me from moving just thinking about it

Fear of failing
fear of getting deported
fear of failing parents

I've been a lax "kid" and now that I'm turning 22, I felt like I just entered the real world and everything just got smacked on my face. I couldn't handle the real world at the moment especially the things that's happening in my life so far. I felt like I was REALLY lucky and now I feel guilty of what I did of the past. Yes it is the past and I should forget it but my past just keeps haunting me with guilt and fear that I couldn't forget it. I'm an immature kid, still immature wanting to grow up to live the real world.

Fear of failing -> I needed an A in my class, If I couldn't get an A there wouldn't be any chance for me to get in the nursing program in my SCHOOL, but I could go to other colleges but the chances are really low. Problem is - I'm not sure if I'm going to get an A since my first test score was a C. I'm about to see a Nursing councilor this thursday and I'm just praying that he has something good to say.

Fear of getting deported -> Like I said, I needed to pass my classes to become an RN and then be petitioned by companies in order to stay (but yea,, I'm kinda failing on that part). What's worse? I'm an international student, I pay 3k a semester (Fall and Spring) so that means 6k a year. My mom's company have problems and she's probably going to lose her job on 2012. Basically I'm their only hope, but their hope is not doing well either, and without her job , my dad's gonna lose his status and lose his job as well -> without their job, I don't have tuition fee for my school -> Without being a nurse I feel like I failed them both. I really felt like they trusted their life to me and failing them means death to me so as of now I'm kind of in a suicide multiple choice question (A. Shoot myself, B. Pretend accident, C. None of the above). I've been told to marry someone and pay them 20k unluckily - i haven't found a single girl who'd accept it, the risk is high but I have no care for my life other than giving my family the status that they needed so I intend to do the risk, just sadly no one wants to do it - and I rather not make a classified ad - but I really HOPE that someday I would be given a chance to become a citizen/immigrant in the US without the illegal stuff, I came here legally, stayed here legally and I want to stay here legally - After that - I could die peacefully.

I've been told not to worry, BUT WOW of course I have to worry - if I don't then I think I'd fail some more. I need to be conscious about what's going on with me in order to fix my problem, but my chest just keeps getting heavy and there are moments that I feel like my time stops and I stop breathing - its like my heart stopped beating for a sec feeling. I couldn't take it - I don't want to turn to alcohol nor drugs, Video games have been keeping me for a while but there are times that they don't work anymore.

I'm really not good at following myself, but if anyone else out there have an advice, plan or whatever you got in mind please I need it. I couldn't help myself anymore - I'll take any chance . I haven't stopped thinking about suicide for months and I'm not strong as I used to before. If I don't find hope - I think - for the first time in my life - I quit.
posted by Johnkx to Human Relations (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You have to take every little task (turning in a homework assignment, doing the next problem, let alone the whole set, etc.) seriously, but you can't see every little thing as do-or-die, deportation or bliss.

It's a hard line to walk.
posted by elektrotechnicus at 10:36 PM on April 25, 2011

You aren't responsible for your parents jobs! You're setting yourself up for failure, hang in there and do your schoolwork. That should be your prime concern. You're 22, you're in nursing school, and that's not the easiest thing in the world. You aren't responsible for your parents, they are adults. If they're telling you that you are, or otherwise putting their status on your shoulders, try to construct some boundaries and tell them to back off because it's too much for a nursing student to have to account for.

And cut that suicide shit out, go see a school counselor if you have to.
posted by rhizome at 11:11 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

first and foremost: IF YOU EVER feel or think those suicidal thoughts after encountering this post, please call this number immediately: 1-800-273-8255
it is the national suicide prevention hotline. it is 100% free, confidential and 24/7. people are waiting on the other end of the line to give you hope and to talk things through you might not be able to talk about with anyone else.
please call if you ever have those thoughts again.

if you aren't currently having those thoughts, then:

have you checked into any financial aid your school could possibly offer you?

secondly, does your school offer any counseling? most colleges have free mental health services you can use. they might not be able to help with the logistical stuff, but they can help you feel better about your life situation. never be scared to ask for help.

thirdly, have your parents exclusively *told* you that if you get deported it will absolutely be the end of the world? i'm guessing probably not. whats more likely is that your parents care about and love you and would do a lot to help you accomplish *your* hopes and dreams. to me, if they are good parents, they will put your needs before theirs. you are still (and always be) their baby boy regardless of the situation. if their only goal is to stay in america, regardless of how *you* feel or what you hope to accomplish, to me that strikes me as not so good mom and dad, and not really worthy of destroying my own life for them (ie risk getting caught up in the horrible bureaucracy of america or worse, death). i'm almost 100% positive your parents would be far, far more upset if you were no longer on this earth than they would be if you were unable to complete your schooling. a high majority of the people in this world get by living fantastic lives with less than a high school degree or being illiterate.

if none of that helps, perhaps consider finishing up you schooling in your home country (not sure what it is/if such is possible..?). if it is possible, you can apply to nursing programs in america as an international student. even grad school as an international student. also i know you are DIE HARD SET on america, but if for some reason staying here is impossible, look at canada, australia, and new zealand. all are similar to america (perhaps even better in my very biased opinion as an american not so fond of her country).

best of luck to you. truly. :)
posted by fuzzysoft at 11:24 PM on April 25, 2011

Seems like you're dealing with anxiety and depression. Get some help, I'm sure your school has mental health services, go and talk with them.

It's extremely difficult to deal with your issues if you don't address the above. Also, don't beat yourself up by focusing on your failure, focus on what you have to do. Tackle your problem one issue at a time, and don't be afraid to ask your professors for help.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 12:32 AM on April 26, 2011

Best answer: Reading your post made me anxious and I just wanted to say I am so very sorry for all of the stress you are going through. As someone who has found life to be quite overwhelming and daunting, since that is what life does best, my best advice is to BREATHE. I used to have the same mindset as you and what got me through it was to write a list of 3 basic things I wanted to get accomplished that day. Notice I said THAT DAY. Not that week, month, or year. Write a list of 3 things you feel are most pressing that you would like to complete within the next 24 hours. The more devoted I became to these daily lists, the more I realized that 99% of the things I worried about were beyond my control and, therefore, useless to get riled up on.

For instance, your fear of failing. I need you to read your writing SLOWLY here. You went from describing the first grade you got (a "C") and then made the molehill into a mountain by stating you will be failing out of nursing school. Get from Point A to B, not Point A to H. Getting a "C" on your first test does not, in any way, set your nursing education to a "fail route." It does, however, give you a bit of a reality check on the course load and brevity of tests, so that should be taken as a positive and use that experience to be a better, more prepared student.

Your fear of being deported...well, to be honest, that is completely out of your hands and as someone who has witnessed a close friend worry about such matters, it is a cancerous stress that you voluntarily put on yourself. Deportation is a serious matter. It is a scary matter. It provides an earth-shattering and unstable trauma that not everyone is privileged enough to undergo. It is, however, completely out of your hands once you do what you are supposed to.

Therefore, it is ok to be concerned, but I need you to realize one thing: if you stress over something you cannot control, you will be distracted for school and may continue not do so well and thereby meet the low expectations you've already set for yourself. And, since you fear failing your parents (which, if they were good parents and raised you right, that fear should not be present), that would be the inevitable result according to your mindset. I guess what I am trying to say is that you can only control so much of your life and everything else will happen on its own. The ONLY thing you can control from the situation you described is your school. That's it. Your status, your parents...those are part of your life, but you can't control any of that any more than you can control the weather. So why bother sweating over it?
posted by penguingrl at 12:36 AM on April 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a year older than you, and I share your feeling that the real world can "smack you in the face" sometimes. You know what? That feeling is completely normal, and you're not alone. Just because you're not a "kid" anymore doesn't mean that you should know everything about adulthood. It's a time to learn and figure out what works relative to your new responsibilities.

I've also shared your anxieties about academics, and I urge you to find a trained counselor to talk to. This is the first step. Check out your school's resources, but don't be afraid to seek out professionals in your local community as well. Make this your priority. This is step one.

Meanwhile, work on a smaller, more manageable way of looking at your situation. Right now, you're looking at a "zoomed out" view of every possible problem and outcome. This would make anybody anxious! Zoom back in, and focus on what's in front of you: your class. Doing well in your class is your current project. Meet with the professor and TAs so that you can feel more confident about the material. These people are here to help you. For your personal studying, decide what material you'd like to cover each week, and then block out daily and hourly chunks for specific topics. Make note of questions or confusing parts, and then bring those topics to your professor's office hours or e-mail your TA about them. Focusing on your class is step two.

You're looking at the big picture right now, and I understand how that can be scary. But you know what? Life happens from one minute to the next. It's not likely to fast-forward into all of your worst fears. Time unfolds gradually, and you can control what you do right now to help make things better. That does NOT include suicide, my friend. It includes one little, positive step forward. And before you know it, those steps will add up to a lot of little steps, and you'll find yourself in a much more positive place. And a bunch of other 22 and 23 and 24-year-olds are walking right along with you, including me, and I'm just a MeMail away.
posted by delight at 2:01 AM on April 26, 2011

Successful people focus on things which are within their control.
With regard to your fear of deportation; I don't think that is within your control.
So just focus on improving your grades. Remember action precedes motivation, just place one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.
posted by lahersedor at 5:13 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's understandable that you're anxious, there is a lot on riding on your shoulders. As others mentioned, your school probably has health clinic resources to help you... Visit them soon because it may take a while to see a counsellor. Talking about worries with a skilled listener can often help make them more manageable, and less overwhelming.

Your school may also have an International Students centre where you could find a sympathetic ear. I'm not clear if you're paying international fees because you're actually from another country or have grown up in the community as an illegal immigrant, but there are definitely others in both situations, try to find them.

Regarding your grades, the best thing to do is buckle down and do the work. Focus on the problem in front of you - not the overwhelming totality. Staying on top of the readings and doing the assignments is the best way to improve your grades from C to A. Find a serious study group. Ask for help from your professors, your teaching assistants. Ask someone to review test answers with you when you got the wrong answer. One C doesn't mean you can't get better.

If your mom loses her job, and your family can't afford fees for awhile, that doesn't have to be the end of your studies. Investigate what your options are for part-time studies, or take a break and work. The important thing is that you communicate with your academic institution and that you don't abandon a semester in progress.

Finally, remember that your family doesn't want you to kill yourself, literally or figuratively. You are precious to them for more than the income you will provide.

Your best will be enough for them, no matter the outcome.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:22 AM on April 26, 2011

One more answer to the title question:
A lax kid turns into a responsible adult by taking responsibility: plan your days & weeks so that you have time to sleep, prepare meals, exercise and study and then follow your plan. Know that what you do matters, and it's okay to ask for help.

Good luck. You can do it
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 5:25 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks for all the answers, it took me 2 weeks to recover after this post and if I only have the the power to mark all of your answers the best I would. There was 3 good answers but I'll just mark the one that helped me the most. TY again
posted by Johnkx at 10:02 PM on June 5, 2011

Response by poster: actually I'll just mark all 3 :P
posted by Johnkx at 10:02 PM on June 5, 2011

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