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silentmuffin Offline
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I really feel like I have "failure" stamped on my forehead. - November 29th 2010, 05:44 AM

I have been trying for 6 months to get a job now... any job, not even ones related to the degree I got in May. Out of 30 applications, I've had two calls for interviews. Both ended in the interviewer telling me he'll call in a week to let me know if I got the job, and then the next week passes by without a word. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I know I don't have any experience really but I can't even get a retail job at this point and I feel like I went to college for nothing and that everyone around me is laughing at how far I've fallen.

I graduated high school second in my class and everyone's been waiting to see what a huge success I become. But I managed to throw away all my opportunities and now I feel like I can never get back up. I chose a college close to home because I'm too afraid to leave. I didn't have a paying job through most of college because I didn't need the money and I guess was just too lazy to bother (although I did have two majors and did an honors curriculum as well). I started an internship but ended up leaving two months later as soon as I had the minimum hours fulfilled because I was terrified everyday and didn't know what I was doing, plus I felt really unwanted and unwelcome by the employees. I didn't apply to any grad schools because I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do and I knew my parents couldn't afford to pay for it. So now I'm a recent graduate with no work experience, no leadership experience, no references, and no idea where to even begin with my life.

And I am losing friends left and right. I haven't been good at holding onto friends or making new ones since I was really young. I don't know why, I guess I'm just not good with people and I always feel like I'm bothering everyone - the perpetual third wheel while everyone else in the world already has a best friend. I didn't make any real friends in college and the ones I had in high school have moved on. I'm embarrassed to even reconnect with anyone because I have nothing to show for myself and I know no one will want anything to do with me. They see I'm not doing anything and I'm a pretty worthless friend.

I know my boyfriend is frustrated that I don't have a job and basically do nothing, my family is disappointed in me, and I still don't have any passion for anything, any desire to do anything, or any idea how to change this. I'm still pretty broken over my grandmother's death over a year ago. She was my best friend and I feel so guilty because my inability to talk to people kept me from showing her how much she really meant to me. I didn't even tell her I would miss her when she was gone, and I'm afraid she let herself die so quickly because she felt like I didn't care. And now I find myself paranoid that my other closest friend - my dog - is going to die if I move out or decide to go away for grad school or even get a job and leave him alone all day long.

Clearly it's getting pretty insane and I don't know how to even start fixing what's wrong with me. On top of that, the things I know I can fix, I just can't get myself to actually do. How do you get yourself to try to change? That's my biggest hurdle right now I think, and at this point I think I'm going to die before I get myself to even try to make some progress.

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Re: I really feel like I have "failure" stamped on my forehead. - November 30th 2010, 01:05 AM

Hey there,

It sounds like you are really struggling but you can make it through this. The first thing you have to do is realize you are not a failure. I know that is hard to do at this point but everyone faces their ups and downs in life and you are no different. You can pull through this a get to the other side. It might take time for that to happen but I assure you it can.

Do you think going to graduate school would help you? I know that a current friend of mine decided to go to graduate school in order to further his career and to help with the stress of not being able to find work. He was kind of in the same boat as you and didn't want his degree to mean nothing so he is putting it to good use. Yes, it isn't exactly what he wanted but he seems pretty happy with the decision. Maybe that is something you could consider?

Are you sure your parents and disappointed in you? You know, sometimes when a person is struggling they feel like people are disappointed or let down when in reality those people do not feel that way. Do you think you could try talking to your parents about the way you are feeling? I know it might be hard but it might help clear up some misconceptions you are having. You went to college, you got your degree, you have hit a rough patch but that doesn't mean your family is disappointed. As for your boyfriend, have you tried talking to him about the way you are feeling? It might help for you to communicate with the people in your life to get a better picture on how they are feeling.

I really hope this helped and if you need anything feel free to use teenhelps many resources.


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Janelle Offline
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Re: I really feel like I have "failure" stamped on my forehead. - November 30th 2010, 01:08 AM

I actually work in the world of career help and can tell you that it is really difficult to get a job these days, especially when you don't have a ton of experience. Have you tried looking for a service that can help you with your resume and finding a job? I know there are a lot of services available to those under 30 and I bet if you had an "inside edge" you would land a job.

By the sounds of it, it sounds like a lot of the people you are friends with really aren't acting like your friends. Are there any activities you enjoy or have thought about doing? Maybe you could look into some of those which would get you out of the house and might help you meet some new people.

You say your boyfriend is frustrated with you and your family is disappointed in you. How do you know this? Did they tell you specifically, or is this the demon of depression talking? I'm really sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Even though you weren't vocal about it, do you think she still knew? How old is your dog? When you have a job it might be possible for you to pop in and check on him on your lunch break or you could have someone come walk him, ect.

How do you get yourself to change? I think you have to start slow. A really good activity is to write down little things that bring you joy or happiness during the day. For example, maybe your dog came to cuddle with you or you had a nice meal.
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Re: I really feel like I have "failure" stamped on my forehead. - November 30th 2010, 08:04 AM

I, too, am searching for a job and have had no luck. From what I gather, it's really difficult to land one. However, don't relate your college education to your difficulty in getting a job. What I mean is, finding a job is difficult for everyone, so don't feel like a failure if you can't find a job even with a college degree.

Don't let people's perceptions of you hold you back. It's easier said than done, but live for yourself. Your life is not a stage drama for everyone else to watch and follow, but rather for yourself to enjoy. I am in a similar crisis situation and I also have difficulty divulging my current state to my friends (only to my closest ones). I've grown to withhold life successes and failures to myself, so that way nobody can be disappointed. I think this is good practice if you're not doing this already.

Having a blank slate is never a bad thing. Some people have determined goals throughout their college career, but once they realize that it's not right for the or that their goals are unattainable, a feeling of dread and wasted time come over them. In this case, having a blank slate is like being more open minded. Don't feel so bad about your past decisions. What's done is done. This can either be an exciting time to discover what you want/don't like, or a time to be discouraged.

You're still young. Life is not a railroad where you have to do X thing at Y time. Embrace this as a marvelous opportunity to find out who you really are.

I am like you with regards to friendships. They come and go and I don't hold onto them because I have low expectations, but paradoxically I have criteria for good, close friends which no one rarely ever satisfies. I don't expect anyone to fulfill that criteria, and that's why I don't hold onto new friends.
I know how you feel about being the perpetual third wheel. That kind of thinking is toxic to making new friends, and I feel it is a flaw that we both have. It certainly is a self-esteem issue, a perception that everyone is satisfied and doesn't need a new friend.

However, you have to banish the idea that you're a worthless friend. The idea that you have nothing to show for after all these years relative to your childhood friends is understandable. The problem lies with your view that in order to be a worthy friend, you have to have had success. And that's wrong. A friend is someone who'll enjoy your company regardless of where or who you are. I am listening to your story right now. Personally, I think you're a person of great worth because your issues and problems make yourself a beautiful person. Divulge your troubles to your friends, and you might find that they're willing to listen and help you out. Like my therapist said, it's a scary risk to take, but if you don't take it you'll be leaving yourself out of the circle.

How do you get yourself to change? Think about the future. Do you want to be the same person throughout yourself, dwelling on the same issues? A scary thought for me personally is being stagnant throughout my life, being the same person. Change is good, even if it's for the worse. Be excited about change. Right now, you might not be in a situation that you imagined, but at least you're a different person from four years ago. Take that attitude and apply it to yourself. It might motivate you to take risks both interpersonally and career-wise.

I hope that helped,
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