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Thread: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

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    Question Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Hello,

    This is the first time I've posted on here, and I'm not sure who else to talk to... I feel like I'm in such a dark place.
    I've been to career counsellors, uni counsellors, and used up the free sessions at psychologists, but couldn't afford to continue.

    To keep things short, I'm a 4th year student at UNSW studying B arts/economics, with many fails and a horrible wam. I know not to place the blame on anyone else, ultimately it's my own doing. But I've struggled with severe and suicidal depression for many years especially after my mum died and I had to move out and support myself. I've been to counsellors but none of them seemed to be right for me, and perhaps it was a mistake to stop seeking help, but they were too costly to continue.

    I'm in my fourth year of this course with 6 fails, 5 of which were because I couldn't leave my bed. This semester, I pushed myself to attend all my classes but I just couldn't seem to absorb anything. This sem was supposed to be the semester I turned everything around and prove I could take care of myself. But with finals coming up I know I'm going to fail again. This time not because I stopped attending classes, but because I neglected my studies.

    I don't know what I want to do in life. I've asked the same questions since year 12, researched so much but couldn't find the answer. I like creative things like drawing, but that's completely different to what I'm studying and everyone tells me it's a bad career to pursue. They tell me to stick with economics because that will make me money.

    Now that I support myself I realise how weak and lost I am, that I am so behind compared to everyone around me, that I probably won't get employed even if I end up finishing this degree... Who would want to hire someone with all these fails and a mid 50s wam. I work retail aside from uni but I don't want to stay in the retail field forever either. I just feel so useless and pathetic, my mind knows exactly what I need to do to change, but it's just so difficult to do it. I feel so trapped.

    I've been considering dropping out to just work. But this part of me that's been culturally brainwashed is telling me I will forever be living off low wages and low skill if I do. Is there any good that will come out of continuing uni? Or is it better to just work full time? Thank you...

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    Cadet LightOfTheSeven's Avatar
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    I don't go to UNSW, but let me tell you: you aren't the only student with fails and a 50s WAM. Lots of people have been in your position. So don't be harsh on yourself, I understand it's rough and difficult (being suicidal, I've had experience in that too and it's no fun- I can't imagine what it's like to lose a parent) but I don't think dropping out is the answer (although there are drop outs who go on to TAFE and find their niche area). I also don't think, if you are miserable and suicidal to continue doing a course that causes so much pain. I think you want to be in university from the sounds of it (and there's nothing wrong with going to university because you feel 'you have to'), but just aren't satisfied with your course.

    I think UNSW offer a B. Fine Arts / B. Arts. That's four years. Or you can see about B. Fine Arts / B. Science. If you are really worried about career prospects, whilst it's competitive perhaps combining fine arts / commerce. In fact, I'd bet 'creative' types who can think commercially would be in demand. Or you could just drop to a single degree. Really, your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority. If that means starting a new course- or just finishing your current one ASAP that's also fine. Even if you can't pursue a Fine Arts degree- there are community classes you can take in drawing in the future.

    You've said you have retail experience. That's... really good! It show's that you can turn up, keep commitments, work with people, good with sales, etc.

    So
    -Fresh start. Talk to a career counsellor and a UNSW wellbeing counsellor. Draw up a plan with them.
    -Maybe talk to centerlink to see if you are elligable for anything. I do think you could benefit from therapy, but I understand it can be pricey.
    -Maybe see about moving to part-time study if university is too full on. There's no shame in that.

    I mean, you can stick with your economics / arts degree- you are four years along. That's alot of work and money put into it. You can also just finish it if you are eager to work- some departments just require you have a degree to work. It's your choice. I don't think dropping out is an answer because you've spent time and effort in university. Might as well finish it off, and work hard to improve your marks.

    And you are not 'behind'. I've had personal difficulties, in my first year at uni... and I finished High School in 2012. Lots of people have also. So be kind to yourself, you deserve nice things. If that means taking time off, and just focusing on work- do that.

    It's hard, I know but I wish you luck
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    Senior Member integral95's Avatar
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Really sorry to hear all this :'(
    “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”
    ― Brandon Mull

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    I complete the Squar3 Queenroot's Avatar
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    You're not the only one

    If you're not studying what you like then get out of it. You don't want to be more miserable than what you already are. Also look at different unis that may have courses than unsw doesn't. It's okay to take your time, a lot of people do and it all works out in the end.

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    Cadet LightOfTheSeven's Avatar
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Queenroot View Post
    You're not the only one

    If you're not studying what you like then get out of it. You don't want to be more miserable than what you already are. Also look at different unis that may have courses than unsw doesn't. It's okay to take your time, a lot of people do and it all works out in the end.
    This is a good idea. There are alot of universities in Sydney that could offer potentially better courses. Don't feel as if you are 'trapped' by UNSW.
    hoping to transfer into....
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Uni is hard. Like really hard. I'm barely passing and I haven't had even close to the troubles you've had. So don't think there's something abnormal with you for struggling.

    If you really think commerce/arts is best for you - keep at it.

    Depression sucks. Because it really warps your whole mindset. Trust me, when you get back your healthy mind, it'll blow your mind looking back and noticing just how much that depression was changing you/affecting you.

    So you really need to work on this. Having a healthy mind is key to everything. The world becomes so much nicer, and you really start to enjoy life. And of course then you have the ability to work on your study! You need to be the one to figure out how to get your mind healthy again. Also keeping your mind healthy means doing things that YOU like every now and then (like listening to music for an hour or so each day).

    I don't know about you, but I've recently discovered that setting schedules and planning my week and days makes it so much easier to force myself to do the things I need to do. Because I can see exactly what needs to be done, and I just force myself to do it (the more you do this, the easier the 'forcing' will get).

    Good luck, hope my little advice could help in some way.
    2015 HSC: English Adv, Mathematics, Business Studies, Biology, Multimedia.

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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    I have read these forums for a long time now but have just made this account to reply here.

    As someone above said, what you need to understand is that you are not the first person to be in this position and you will not be the last. This is not to detract from your personal struggles, I am not a psychologist and I do not have the means to tell you how to deal with significant losses in your life. All i can say on this part is that time does heal.

    Regarding your academic concerns though, I have seen people with worse transcripts than you. I know people who are constantly put on probation, constantly meeting with Uni staff to assess why they have multiple fails. Having fails on your transcript is not the be all and end all. Will it affect your future aspirations and make it harder in certain situations when trying to advance your career? Of course it will. But what can you do about it now? What you have going for you now and something that I have seen first hand is many workplaces are turning away from the importance of academic results. It will be hard for you to get past many screening processes however after that it's all on you in a level playing field. Assuming you've done four years of full time, you've failed 6/24 units with this sem to go. Why do you focus on the fails? Sure it's easy to look at, but you need to start focusing on how and why you passed the majority of your subjects. In fact, the motivation for you now is that if you can improve your grades up until graduation it may even be of a benefit to you. How many other people, with the difficulties you have faced, have risen back up and smashed that interview? People will be impressed by it. All it takes is for one application, one idea, one person to meet or talk to that will take you on a completely different path in life. Were you worried about your test results before uni? 5 years ago? 10 years ago? Do you think any of those changed your path significantly? This may be the case for you 5, 10 years in the future.

    But all of this is just some motivational crap right? What are you actually, physically going to do? What I would say is to finish your degree. Try your hardest and just finish it. Get another fail? Doesn't matter. Four years of effort, that paper you get at the end will be the same no matter what. Failing that, take a gap year if possible. Work, save and come back stronger. Like I said - time heals and in that time you give yourself opportunities to meet people and create some luck for yourself. Continue in retail, gain some new experience, work on yourself as a person.

    The quicker you learn to accept life for what it is is when you will have the base to improve. One day we will all be in the ground and you will feel as you were before you were born. But for now we all this opportunity to do something, to feel, to experience and to live.
    t_davis9 and Esse like this.

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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    I think all the above comments are really well thought out, and I will just add this OP, don't be too harsh on yourself, you are already making progress turning up to classes, perhaps think of other ways to help you learn more effectively, perhaps instead of the travelling time, you stay at home, listen to lectures and take notes at your own pace, perhaps that could be more beneficial. It seems like you have a lot on your plate right now, I could say maybe decrease your retail or other commitments if you want to focus on uni, but regardless of whatever advice you take, I want you to remember-never give up on yourself because you have a purpose in life that is more than just getting a good WAM, personality and passion is more important than WAM to help you succeed in life. Just because you haven't gotten where you want to be now doesn't mean you will never get there... you are still young. Take it easy, take it one step at a time, and learn to enjoy life and reward yourself for each step you are taking. Also writing things down can be helpful to clear your mind of negative thoughts. I wish you all the best and I hope you get the help you need soon

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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    I work at my uni's student centre and everyone above is correct in that there are soooo many students who fail multiple units, who get excluded from study, who struggle academically. All of the time they are embarrassed to ask us for help and apologise or try to explain away their marks, and I always need to reassure them that I've seen worse records.

    I can't add anything else on top of all the other thoughtful comments above, just give yourself some time to figure things out. If you don't know if a course transfer is the right move, maybe take leave for a semester and try a few different jobs, to get a taste of some different career paths? Or even just work and save more money so if/when you return to study you can work less and study more. Do whatever works for you.

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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Thank you each and every one of you for your advice and positivity, I didn't expect to receive any replies so I didn't check! It's amazing what a few kind-hearted comments from strangers can do to your mood and future outlook It really means a lot to me, to be reassured that I'm not going to rot away in my own perpetual cycle of failure... especially in these moments where I feel so alone. From the bottom of my heart thank you all, I will definitely go get help with my mental state as I know that is interfering with my wellbeing, and I'll try my best to get over these fails... in the meantime I'll just try to scavenge what little marks left I can get...

    I can honestly say this is the most optimistic I've felt in a very long time. It made me tear up a little... I've read all of your comments carefully, and have taken everything into consideration. Thank you to everyone again, this is the motivational push I needed to get my life back on track

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    I complete the Squar3 Queenroot's Avatar
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    Re: Feel really lost in life... is uni right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmy96 View Post
    Thank you each and every one of you for your advice and positivity, I didn't expect to receive any replies so I didn't check! It's amazing what a few kind-hearted comments from strangers can do to your mood and future outlook It really means a lot to me, to be reassured that I'm not going to rot away in my own perpetual cycle of failure... especially in these moments where I feel so alone. From the bottom of my heart thank you all, I will definitely go get help with my mental state as I know that is interfering with my wellbeing, and I'll try my best to get over these fails... in the meantime I'll just try to scavenge what little marks left I can get...

    I can honestly say this is the most optimistic I've felt in a very long time. It made me tear up a little... I've read all of your comments carefully, and have taken everything into consideration. Thank you to everyone again, this is the motivational push I needed to get my life back on track
    You haven't got anything to lose so do what u need to

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