What do people who are actually failures do for a living?
December 11, 2015 2:05 PM   Subscribe

MAny people here are capable but think they are not, I have failed at everything and I don't know what to do at this point. Looking for guidance on getting a job, etc.

I'm about to fail out of my master's program in speech pathology. The details don't matter at this point, I've been through the remediation process and despite my best efforts I just can't seem to pass the swallowing studies portion of my learning outcomes. I'm not looking for advice on fighting this, or anything like that.

But I don't know what to do now. I am majorly in debt due to loans, and now I have no chance of getting a decent job to pay them off. I have about $5000 to live on now.

Additional Complications:
1. I have low vision and can't drive. I don't qualify for any services, yes I've checked.
2. I have Asperger's, and I have been fired from retail-type jobs before. Combined with my vision, it's really hard for me to do the typical minimal-wage jobs because they 1. require people skills I can't seem to get and 2. have unpredictable hours which is a problem as buses don't run much at night.
3. My school health insurance runs out in December, I don't qualify for Obamacare because I have no income, and I don't qualify for medicare in my state because I have too much in savings.
4. Moving home would be difficult because my mom sold our house and now everyone lives in small, 1 bedroom apartments, and it would only be a temporary solution.
5. I don't have any friends.

I was at one point unemployed for a year, and despite spending 6+ hours for that whole year every day looking for a job, I only had 2 interviews, none leading anywhere. I did work for 2 years thanks to nepotism, but that position was eliminated when I left for graduate school, and due to budgetary concerns, is unlikely to be an option anytime soon. I also tried really hard to find a roommate, but I can't act normal enough I guess. After meeting people, it was just a long string of rejections.

My bachelor's is in speech pathology as well. As I said, it didn't help me find any jobs. I don't know what to do. I feel the walls of life caving in on me, and I'm scared. I already have loans from undergrad, and I've already used up some of my 3 year deferment time (during that year I was unemployed).

This is my second time failing out of college, so I'm not feeling great, but I can't afford to talk to someone. This has been a really bad year, with moving here, having some injuries, losing my best friend to suicide, struggling to pass this class, and seeing all my classmates get to go on their internships while I've been on academic probation.

My question is, what do I do to just make some money to survive? I have no skills obviously. I suck at math. I have transportation difficulties, I don't have a support system, and despite seeming normal I can't seem to connect to people and I guess I weird them out, and I'm ugly and fat so I can't even prostitute myself. I don't want to be homeless. I'm devastated I don't get to do this thing that I loved, where I got to help people, and finally, for once, be someone worthy of living, but that is secondary to surviving at this point. So I need to know how to figure out how to earn some money.
posted by Aranquis to Work & Money (47 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds like you really wanted to work in speech pathology. What about it appeals to you? Knowing that might help in figuring out alternatives that would be equally fulfilling.

Some options you haven't mentioned: child care, warehouse work, freelance writing, landscaping, programming.
posted by metasarah at 2:14 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Please please please find a therapist: you've had an awful year and you need support! There must be a low-cost or no-cost option available where you live. I understand that everything feels like an emergency right now, but this is really the very first thing I would do. If you'd like to share your location, folks here might be able to help turn something up. (Babe, half the things you're saying about yourself are nowhere near true and I don't need to meet you to know that.)
posted by listen, lady at 2:15 PM on December 11, 2015 [20 favorites]

Are you able to do things on the computer? A lot of people who aren't suited to retail find decent jobs in entry-level office work. If you have decent Word, PowerPoint, and Excel skills, you could probably get an administrative assistant position or a data entry position in a company somewhere, which could set you on a new path.
posted by xingcat at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

My question is, what do I do to just make some money to survive?

Google every temp agency in your area and sign up with them. At least the top 3 google results. (And maybe a couple in whatever town your mom lives in, just in case.) Do whatever application process they have online, but don't just stop there. Follow up with a personal email and resume. (If they don't have an email address listed on their site, bcc things like "info@blah.com" and "contact@blah.com"--eventually something will stick.) Explain in your email what your strengths are, I'm sure you have plenty, and that you're eager and ready to work and would love to come in and meet with someone and talk more about how excited you are about your future in temping.

I literally just yesterday landed a sweet permanent gig through my temp agency (btw, memail me if you're in the Chicago area--I will give you their contact info and follow up with my rep to make sure they see your info). Temp agencies are how I've gotten my last two full time permanent jobs. And I've done all kinds of things temping--everything from hanging up christmas decorations in some wealthy elderly lady's condo to reception to data entry to sales support to moving boxes of wine around an empty hotel ballroom. They are bound to have jobs you're capable of and good at.

Good luck. Trust me when I tell you that all is not hopeless and you are NOT a failure. Shit is just shitty right now. Real shitty. But you can take steps to dig yourself out of the shit a little bit at a time and if you keep at it it'll get better.
posted by phunniemee at 2:21 PM on December 11, 2015 [33 favorites]

It's shortly before Christmas, find out if UPS near you is hiring driver's assistants. Get paid decent money to drop off hundreds of amazon purchases. Much less need for extended people interaction. Not necessary to drive.
posted by advicepig at 2:27 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also, what are cabfares where you would live vs work? The fares may compare favorably to the cost of running a car in some cases.
posted by tel3path at 2:33 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

2nding temping. Use temping experience/connections to find some sort of semi-permanent minimally-demanding office assistant kind of job to pay for your life essentials and reduce feelings of failure/panic. From there you can weigh your long term options.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if your vision issues would disqualify you, but private security guards make a decent amount and, depending on where you end up, you may not have to interact with people much--just be present or watch a monitor. Depending on the job, you don't have to have a license or certificate (you can get a "guard card" but not all jobs require one). This would be a stop-gap to give you a quiet, low-stress way to earn some cash.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: As I said, I cannot drive due to vision. Cabs/Uber are about 2x-3x as expensive for one way as both ways taking the bus. This has made temp work difficult. Haven't had much success with getting interviews or contacted for temp work or office jobs but I'll certainly try. Childcare jobs often require a driver's license (I worked as a teacher aide in special Ed and was only able to get around this by nepotism). Actually, lots of jobs you wouldn't think do. Currently in Toledo, Ohio, family in Columbus, OH. I am on a month to month lease so there's a plus.
posted by Aranquis at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2015

In my state (California), the new Medicaid expansion plans under the ACA do not have a resource limit - meaning that while you have to be low income to qualify, savings do not disqualify you. This is a new-ish change, and is different from other Medicaid plans (most or all of the other types of Medicaid do have resource limits). If you haven't applied for Medicaid and been denied, it may be worth applying.

I recommend trying to connect with a local social services agency to see if there are any programs you qualify for - there may not be any programs that provide cash aid, but there may be other programs - vocational services, low cost housing, other supports. If you'd like to memail me the city you live in (or post it here), I am happy to see if I can find anything - I work with a lot of agencies that provide a variety of services to low income individuals.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:47 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you enjoy helping people, might I suggest a CNA program. (Certified Nursing Assistant). These folks are in short supply and many hospitals offer training programs. It's about 12-weeks and then you can work.

Do you have diagnoses? If not, get them. You may now qualify for Obamacare, you've had a life change. Find a Navigator and have them walk you through the process.

You have enough to start over, you are capable. It sucks, and we've all been there, but you will overcome this set back.

Also, if you would be amazed about prostitutes. Conventional attractiveness is NOT necessary. At all. Hell, if it's a thought, phone sex is an option, but you've got to be good at it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:49 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I also tried really hard to find a roommate, but I can't act normal enough I guess. After meeting people, it was just a long string of rejections.

Have you tried specifically looking for a roomie with Asperger's or a similar condition? There must be other people like you who want a roommate but have been stymied by similar issues.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:49 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

I see you just posted your location. It looks to me like Ohio uses the same ACA Medicaid expansion rules as California, so you likely would be eligible regardless of any savings you have. Again, I'd recommend that you apply, as the worst they can do is tell you that you're not eligible, which leaves you in the exact same situation - but not worse.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:52 PM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]

- What has the Disabilities (or equivalent) office at your school said, about loopholes (like e.g., dropping this class now and taking it again next year, deferring financial obligations, etc.?)? At my school, a psychiatric diagnosis (like say depression, which in this case seems completely applicable) would facilitate a lot of other academic and financial supports.
- Talk to a social worker about what supports you can access. If the savings are a barrier, I would be thinking about ways to shuffle that around so that you'd be eligible. (What *I* would *maybe* do in your situation - if the savings were a disqualifier for needed support - which may be poorly advised and may not be what anyone else should do, is transfer it to an account in a trusted family member's name. I realize this is dodgy, but so is a country not providing for people who need help to survive, and a city not making public transport a priority for people who need it.)
- Once you know FOR SURE what you can and can't get, post again. If no other options, I might stay with family in Columbus until something got sorted out.
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:53 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Two good low-cost options for therapy:

Zepf Center
University of Toledo Psych Clinic
posted by listen, lady at 2:56 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm unemployed and have my health insurance through the federal marketplace, so I'm not sure what you mean about your income being too low for Obamacare. Call the exchange in your state and have them walk you through how to sign up. With the federal subsidies it shouldn't cost you much each month.
posted by MsMolly at 3:01 PM on December 11, 2015

I wish you did not have to face so much sorrow and hardship.

In case filing for Social Security Disability Income is an option now or in the future, you accomplished a lasting thing by seeing that job through for two years: because it's based upon Social Security taxes paid, you have to file for SSDI within ten years of the last time you worked.

(Or at least this was the case a few years ago when I was going through the process. I'm sure if you contact a social worker or some of the other resources people have mentioned they can fill you in and there's also lots of information available online.)
posted by Sockpuppet Liberation Front at 3:05 PM on December 11, 2015

I'd honestly just get a customer service job somewhere. Yes, they are a bit demoralizing (may not be the best in your current state of mind), but the hours tend to be set (I'm a Director of Support for an ecommerce company in the Seattle area). A lot of time you can even do them from home so transportation isn't an issue. I'd also practice interviewing before you go since it seems like you might lack some of the social tricks that help people land jobs. Good luck in your search for meaningful employment and better mental health!
posted by KingBoogly at 3:06 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd also recommend reaching out to social services where you are. Even if they don't have anything you qualify for, they will know what organizations exist in your community that could help.

As for what you can do, based on your question, you write REALLY well. Many people don't. Your grammar is excellent, your organization of thoughts is logical, and your language is clear. (Sorry, I'm a recovering English teacher.) This is a marketable skill. Hell, many of the people I correspond with for work don't write so well.

Do you have a blog? Consider starting one on issues in speech pathology or any other topic that you feel confident writing about. Then, were I you, I'd work on developing my blog to build up a body of work while temping and then start pitching stories/pieces to blogs in my field.

I'm so sorry that things look so bad right now. I know it's easy for a stranger on the internet to say, but hang in there. You can and will get through this.
posted by smirkette at 3:07 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I applied for obamacare (they said I needed to go through medicaid) and Medicaid (they say my resources are too great) and was denied. The disability office gave me the contact info for a place called the sight center but they couldn't help me. Let's assume the school thing is done. I'll look for some social agencies I can contact.
posted by Aranquis at 3:09 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tis the season for seasonal employment delivering packages. UPS is hiring delivery helpers (so you wouldn't need to drive).

You have an undergraduate degree, right? TNTP Teaching Fellows has positions in nearby Indianapolis (though as a graduate of Indianapolis Public Schools, I can tell you that you will need to be tough as nails for this job).

Finally, you said you aren't attractive enough for prostitution (which I don't think is possible) but you are female right? You could become a surrogate mother. Assuming you're okay with the whole birth thing.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 3:11 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I applied for obamacare (they said I needed to go through medicaid) and Medicaid (they say my resources are too great) and was denied.

I'm not sure what you mean by Obamacare, then, because being denied Medicaid just means you can buy insurance in the ACA marketplace. Do you mean you won't get a subsidy for Obamacare? Or: not having the money to buy insurance doesn't mean you're "disqualified" from Obamacare. It just means you can't afford it, and as soon as you can, you can buy it. BECAUSE SCHOOL IS OVER, your circumstances have changed and you should reapply.
posted by listen, lady at 3:19 PM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

The Center for Disability Rights in NY (no idea about this, just googled it) has an alternative to "spending down" to qualify for Medicaid. It involves setting up a trust:

Individuals who have too much monthly income or financial resources to qualify for Medicaid can put the extra money into a special bank account called a Supplemental Needs “Pooled” Trust. The money put into this account is not counted against the person when applying for Medicaid, and can be used for other supplemental needs above and beyond what is covered by Medicaid.

This is legal in Ohio (control F for "trust"). I'd go to a legal aid office and see what's involved in setting up this kind of trust. Looks like the Special Needs Alliance may also be able to point you to lawyers who can help.

(Rich people do this kind of shell game all the time.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:21 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't mean to be your Hey Listen bear, but it confuses me that you think you're a failure.

Only a third of Americans have attained an undergraduate degree. And you are in that one third. And the other two thirds are not failures.

Also the majority of people in our generation have less than $1000 saved up. So you're doing better by a factor of five. While being a neuro-atypical minority woman! Give yourself a break!

You are not a failure, okay? So please stop saying that about yourself. Okay drive safe I hope I didn't make you late.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 3:28 PM on December 11, 2015 [31 favorites]

Really sorry you've had such a rough year! I can't decide whether this is a terrible or good idea, but given that you're already thinking about moving, Chicago is Megabus-distance from Toledo, and that's going to have much better public transportation than Toledo or Columbus. The cost of living would certainly be higher, but it's not nearly to the crazypants level of other American cities with good transit, and I would bet that not needing or being expected to drive would make you feel a lot less trapped and hemmed in (both in terms of employment prospects and in terms of socializing). Considering that you already have a savings cushion, it might be worth a try. And if that prospect is too overwhelming right now, maybe it'd be worth revisiting after you've had a few months to recuperate. I agree that some counseling in the interim is a good idea.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]

You are not a failure, okay?

2nd. The fact is that there are people who encounter bad luck, but have a built-in safety net, in the form of networks and other kinds of capital. They benefit from second (and third, and fourth) chances. What is happening to you is a structural failure, not an Aranquis failure. You have too much to deal with to give a second to thinking of this in the latter terms.
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:40 PM on December 11, 2015 [24 favorites]

2nd. The fact is that there are people who encounter bad luck, but have a built-in safety net, in the form of networks and other kinds of capital. They benefit from second (and third, and fourth) chances. What is happening to you is a structural failure, not an Aranquis failure. You have too much to deal with to give a second to thinking of this in the latter terms.

3rd! The business and politics worlds are dotted with people who have had second, third, and fourth chances due to wealth and/or connections. They are lucky, not better. The way our society is set up, there are many people in your same boat. The American middle class is losing ground. I'm saying all this so you don't feel like you are uniquely a failure. You're not.

I think it's a good idea to get to a city (like Chicago, perhaps) that offers good public transportation. Once you get that sorted out, you'll be able to get your employment ducks in a row. I agree with phunniemee that temp agencies are your best bet. Lots of people get permanent jobs, or at least long-term temp gigs, that way.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:47 PM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

Look into Rev.com. They pay you to transcribe stuff from home. It isn't amazing pay, but it's something you could do from home.
posted by delight at 3:58 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

1. Go online, find Khan Academy, learn to code. There are a zillion jillion job opportunities for computer people now. A fair amount of them don't require you to interact with other people or expect that you'll be weird.

2. Start walking or running or doing something similar active. It'll make you feel better just getting out and getting moving.
posted by Slinga at 4:02 PM on December 11, 2015

3rding that if you are sure that school is not a thing anymore, you should use those savings to set yourself up in a city with solid mass transit. Minneapolis and Chicago come to mind as destinations that are both decently affordable and economically sound--there are jobs in those cities and buses/trains that will take you to those jobs. (In the Chicago area there is also a bus service, the Pace system, which is meant to fill some of the gaps left by the main transit system and serve people who live in the outlying suburbs; I don't know whether greater Minneapolis has a similar amenity.)

These cities are more expensive than Toledo, certainly, but a) not that much so, b) wages are higher to compensate and c) regardless, $5000 will go pretty far in either one.

Bonus: by spending down your savings you may find that you're eligible for many of the services that are currently eluding you. However, if you have decent office skills in addition to your obvious writing abilities I doubt you'd lack for temp work long.

You mention that moving home would be a temporary solution, but really all you'd need is a temporary solution to bridge the gap between tying up loose ends with your school and getting set up elsewhere. So if your mom is even remotely a helpful resource (as opposed to a further drain or obstacle), maybe that's worth considering.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

First, you're not a failure.

Second, many therapists have sliding-scale payments, so your lack of income can be taken into account. About ten years ago, I was making $7/hour, and when I sought services, they expected my payment to be $0 due to income (although I never actually went - wait list).

Third, data entry is what you want to look for. You don't have to deal with people at all. You might also look for big call center jobs. They're often located on bus routes, and if it's big enough, they won't actually care about your lack of people skills. Performance evaluation is all about stats - if your call times are low, your schedule adherence is high, and you don't give obviously wrong answers, no one will care if callers think you're creepy. One of my friends who's on the spectrum has made a pretty nice career out of call center work. It's also a gateway into higher-paying work after you've done it for a while. At the very least, it'll keep you off the street. In fact, one big call center I worked for had a deal with a nearby apartment complex to take some money off rent.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:58 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

1) Your most significant and permanent constraint is your low vision and resulting inability to drive. Thus, your first order of business should be to get resettled in a city with excellent 24/7 public transportation where never driving is at least semi-normal, like in New York and San Francisco. (Those are just examples -- I don't recommend that you move to either NYC or SF due to their cost of living and distance from your family.)

Characteristics you should look for in potential new home cities:
a) Excellent 24/7 public transit
b) Affordable cost of living
c) Good job market, especially in Aspergers-friendly fields like IT, programming, etc.
d) In a state with more comprehensively subsidized health insurance so that you don't end up in the too poor for Obamacare / too rich for Medicaid coverage gap again
e) Close enough to your family that you can get home in less than a day via train or bus

You could make this the topic of your next Ask post in 7 days if you need help figuring out which cities meet your criteria and narrowing down which neighborhoods within those cities you should apartment-hunt in.

2) Cut your losses in Toledo and use your savings to move ASAP as soon as you decide where to relocate. The suggestions above for therapy, temp agencies, finding an Aspie roommate, etc. are excellent but don't waste your time on starting anything new in Toledo. You're done with Toledo. That city is incapable of meeting your needs and the longer you stay there the more miserable you'll be.

3) Research Aspergers-friendly careers. There are probably already websites about this or you could make it the topic of a future Ask question. Focus on professions where you won't need to get another degree to enter the field. Again, IT might be a good option because you can qualify for many entry-level positions simply by passing certification exams that you can study for at home.

I know you feel really badly about yourself right now but please consider how much of it is due to circumstances outside your control beating you down over and over and over for the past year. Based on your previous posts and our conversations, I sincerely believe a fresh start in a new city that's a better fit would go a long way in helping you turn your life around.

Good luck and MeMail me if you ever need to chat. I have a new phone so you'll need to resend me your number if you want to call / want me to call.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:23 PM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

Temp agencies also do manufacturing and pick-and-pack warehouse jobs, many of which are filled (surprisingly) by disabled people who quite definitely have vision problems. At least ten percent of the people I paid in my long-ago temp payroll job at a warehouse basically stood or sat at tables and put fruit into boxes. They wore headphones so they definitely weren't talking to each other. Kelly in Columbus places people with the huge Limited warehouse by Easton, if you don't mind putting lingerie in boxes.

Many big-box stores hire greeters with poor mobility and vision, and perhaps half of all the movie ticket-rippers I've met were in wheelchairs and/or barely communicative. I suspect they've been placed by United Way or some other quasi-public social services agency. Goodwill also does work training and placement.

The key thing is you're going to have to put yourself "out there" and ask for help and apply for things. Your family needs to utilize their friends, etc. It's much easier to do this with a support system in place - even crappy and flaky support is better than being on your own.

Also unless something has changed since the last time I looked, Columbus has a much stronger job market than Toledo. It helps a lot that we have both 70 and 71 running straight through town.
posted by SMPA at 5:30 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh and don't work for CallTech/Teleperformance. MeMail if you want to know why.
posted by SMPA at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2015

Walgreens is proactively hiring people with disabilities -- they're aiming for at least 20% in their warehouses and have been hitting and exceeding the goal in a lot of places. (I'm not sure what the goal is in stores, but it's also unusually high for a for-profit corporation.) That is one specific place you could look at for warehouse or retail work while you sort out your next move. (And not "just" minor disabilities; they have successful warehouse employees who are minimally verbal and read only at a very basic level -- they are really serious about finding the right jobs for people with physical, mental, emotional, or other limitations.)

You need to go back and do the Obamacare/Medicaid thing again. In Ohio you are going to qualify for one or the other. I understand it's stressful and you've been told no, but you've been told incorrectly.

If you have not been to your advisor or dean of students, you need to do that. I would be very surprised if a SINGLE difficulty in the program, possibly related to your disabilities, during a year in which you're suffering situation depression, is enough to flunk you out. I understand you're in a shitty place right now and advocating for yourself is not at the top of your list, but you need to get in there and advocate for yourself and make your school understand how dire your situation is. You don't talk about disability accommodations or Student Disability Services, who should already be going to bat for you on this and should DEFINITELY be helping with your transition OUT of school if it is truly irrecoverable. Have you not provided your diagnosis to the school? Have you not sought accommodations? If not, you need to do those things. If so, you need to be on the phone to Student Disability Services like YESTERDAY demanding they go to bat for you. And, look, if you're so overwhelmed by the bureaucracy that you can't handle it right now, HAVE YOUR MOTHER CALL. You will not be the first nor the last graduate student who, faced with depression and seemingly insoluble problems, recruited a parent to help navigate the educational bureaucracy.

And yeah, slinging packages for UPS is not a terrible job, and this is ENTIRELY the time to get in with them. They're unionized in a lot of places, so the pay is better than a lot of low-skill jobs. And if you parlay a holiday package-slinging gig into a warehouse job, they tend to be out in industrial parks that have nearby cheap apartments, often within walking distance, which might be a medium-term solution while you sort out your next steps. (I actually have a lot of friends who did a seasonal gig at UPS and liked it so much, as low-skill jobs go, that they ended up spending five years slinging boxes while going to college or waiting for a spot to open at the firefighter academy or just smoking a lot of pot on weekends, rather than working retail or food service. If you can show up on time and move the boxes with a low error rate, they will keep you around and there's some advancement in the warehouse and so on, sometimes even into desk jobs, which then can send you into other Fortune 500 type companies.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:54 PM on December 11, 2015 [13 favorites]

As a quick fill-in, have you considered joining something like TaskRabbit? You do need a smartphone (last time I checked). It does involve some people skills but not the way you would in retail. It consists of doing odd jobs for people, like cleaning or helping them move stuff and other kinds of errands. There may be similar copycat services to look into. Not suggesting this as a permanent job, just something to give you quick money while you look for something better. You could also consider learning some programming languages, which are always valuable on a resume.

Also, N'thing temp agencies.
posted by picklenickle at 9:08 PM on December 11, 2015

How's your English? It seems great from your post, but I don't know the details of your grasp on grammar.

Next question, how would you feel about fleeing the country?

I ask, because when I was in a situation very much like yours (I am mentally ill, can't drive and have no license, my grades in undergrad kind of stink, couldn't really move home for long, etc. etc.)

No one could help me, so on a bit of a whim I moved to South Korea and taught English in a public school (with a completely unrelated bachelors and no experience even vaguely related to teaching or English or child interaction.) It was the best decision I ever made, I found myself a uh... well, I don't know if it's a career exactly, but it's a thing I can do to remain stable, at any rate. I don't feel terrified anymore, I have insurance and regular income and a job that I can do and that doesn't drive me insane.

Feel free to memail me if you want more info, I can help you to avoid pitfalls if you're interested.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 12:20 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

I sort of went with you after your update, but really, I agree with Eyebrows McGee and stoneweaver. Really, I think you should not give up on school just yet. You could get extra time - another year, even - to address some of the things that have been holding you back. There are options that don't involve dropping everything and giving up your dreams. If you're determined to leave this program for now, there's almost certainly a way to at least tie things up so that you could come back to it later (at this school or maybe another) without having to go through another ten walls of bureaucracy. It might be too late in a few years to pick up the threads and get documentation for the circumstances that are relevant, so it's important to act on this, if you're not really ready, in your heart, to give up on this.

(I think you're resigned because (it sounds like) people have been very unhelpful, and because you're (probably) depressed. But it sounds to me like you're not ready to give up on SLP. Some extra time and help could make such a difference.)

A doctor (GP - possibly available for free or cheaply on campus?) could assess you for depression, it wouldn't have to be a psychologist ($$). You say your insurance runs out this month. So go and get seen, by a doctor, now (on Monday). Or dip into your savings to do it (keep the receipt). That would get things moving so that you would have documentation to support you, and you'd get some more traction with the administration.

You can survive this in a lot of ways, and that would be ok, something else would happen, then, there are options - but don't give up just yet.
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:16 AM on December 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm guessing you can get to college by the bus, so I recommend calling/showing up at the career's office and seeing if they have a temp pool you can sign up with. My sister has worked for the past year doing various temp work at her old university, and it's really paid off -- now she has all kinds of skills she didn't have before. She's not particularly good with people, and there were things she did like payroll and admin that didn't require face-to-face interaction.
posted by toerinishuman at 3:50 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

You say you're "about to fail out" of your program -- which means you're still in it, for now, right? I know you also said in your last update:

The disability office gave me the contact info for a place called the sight center but they couldn't help me. Let's assume the school thing is done.

I would like to gently suggest that you try to bring institutional resources to bear on your problems before you lose access to them. If you didn't already follow up with Disability Services, do so and let them know that their recommendation didn't pan out, and why. Tell them that you need counselling to help you with this transition (even short-term counselling from the uni folks would be better than none). Lay out all of your challenges to them, including your difficulty with social skills and your transportation issues. (They can likely only assist you with disabilities you've disclosed to them -- so if you only shared with them your accommodation needs for your vision issues, they haven't been able to assist with the rest, including your those related to Asperger or to depression, even situational depression counts.) See what they have to say. They may well have more options for you.

Additionally, talking to others in student services (academic advisor, whatever other student services are available at your institution), to your program or department chair, and to Dean of Students may be helpful and may start to open up other options or available resources.

Lastly, I would get in touch with Career Services at your institution and tell them about your employment challenges. They may have guidance, job leads, etc that would be beneficial to you.

Best of luck to you.
posted by dryad at 8:10 AM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Have you checked the job listings at your university? Universities typically have a ton of full-time support jobs, and while the pay isn't always great, the benefits are usually pretty good. On some level, I don't love this idea, because it might not be good for your emotional health to stick around in a place where you feel like a failure. But it could buy you some time to figure out your next move, and having benefits would allow you to get some help dealing with all the crap that you've experienced recently. I checked my university's current listings, and they've got listings for a pharm tech trainee (and honestly, you could get certified as a pharm tech easily if you didn't want to deal with the trainee stuff), a library assistant, and a lot of research assistants. There's also an administrative assistant job that involves some writing, but I don't know how admin jobs would work for you. I have trouble with organization, so I would be terrible at that job, but if you're good at multitasking and staying organized, you might look and see if there are any admin jobs on campus.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:52 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you applied for many jobs in a year and got only 2 interviews, that suggests to me that you might want to get some help with your approach to resumes and cover letters. Your school's career center might offer good help, or they might suck. If they are still giving outdated advice to put an "Objectives" section at the top or advocating a "skills based" (non-chonological) resume, it might be worth checking out some online sources like Evil HR Lady or Manager/Career Tools.

Have you tried/considered being "out" about your Aspebergers? Neurotypical folks can usually adjust to your different interaction style if they know why you aren't acting how they expect. I don't know if this is good advice in all settings; maybe it's something worth asking at a support group . This employment guide for people in Ohio living with ASD might have some useful tips.

Finally, it pains me to hear how you describe your physical self, but sadly, you are right that employers may be biased against you if you are very overweight. Partly, this has to do with the stereotype that overweight = lazy. Being especially neat and tidy with your dress and grooming might help offset this type of bigotry.
posted by Frenchy67 at 1:12 PM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I went though a rough time right when I graduated from college. The job market was just starting to assume its current state of fucked-upedness and I, lacking experience and confidence, got stuck in an under-employment situation for about a year. During that time, I slept in my car, I ate microwaved potatoes for lunch. I stayed in a friend's spare bedroom and worked an hourly web design job to earn rent and food money. Every penny that I didn't absolutely need for basic necessities went into savings. I credit this period for making me the person I am today. I learned how to be a scrappy survivor in an economy that is increasingly eating its young. If I can do it, you can do it.

I don't know exactly how to help you. But here are a couple ideas.

First, I think you do need to talk to someone about your issues. Therapists will often work on a sliding scale if you need someone to talk to, which it sounds like you do. More specifically, I think you should also go to a career counselor. Community colleges sometimes have them available for free to people in the community.

Then I think finding a temporary job will be important for you so you can have some basic security. Learn to use your free community resources. Go to the library. Go to the community college. Being poor made me aware that there are a ton of resources like this in most towns. Churches also sometimes offer job placement services and community outreach.

I can give you some more survival stories if you memail me.
posted by deathpanels at 4:45 AM on December 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Through some miracle...I passed my class and get to continue on!
posted by Aranquis at 3:54 PM on December 20, 2015 [12 favorites]

See? You're not a failure. Congratulations!
posted by kevinbelt at 5:21 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Congratulations!!! Really glad to hear the update.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:53 PM on December 22, 2015

That is a wonderful update, Aranquis!! Congrats and all the best to you.
posted by dryad at 7:52 AM on December 23, 2015

« Older Make my iPhone use the google ecosystem, esp....   |   Managing a stigmatized illness- plot twist it's... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.