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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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DisneyGirl Offline
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I feel so lost... college just doesnt seem to be for me - July 10th 2019, 02:28 PM

I am currently going into my second year of college at a community college. Last year the first semester was okay, the second semester everything went down hill. I am just not interested in what I am studying, at all. I ended up dropping a few of my classes. I can't focus and it's like I cannot make myself care enough to study? I have always felt like that towards school. My parents never ever pushed education even throughout elementary through high school. If we failed classes it they really could not care less and so I just went with the flow throughout school. I am not blaming my parents for me still lacking a passion for school, I am 19 years old and am an adult. I have been paying for my school so far with my cashiering job. It is hard, incredibly hard to watch my bank account be drained and not even know the purpose. I had thought nursing would be a great career. I love helping people anytime that I can. The more I got into I realized I do not do well with medical things. In fact health things give me really bad anxiety, I am always getting so scared about getting sick and I am a hypochondriac. The sad thing is that my boyfriend's family are so so so for college and I guess in the back of my head I felt like I needed to impress them and nursing would look good. And I have been lying to myself this entire time, in the back of my mind I knew this wasn't for me. I cannot think of a single career that sounds interesting to me. I have been trying since I was in 8th grade to figure it out. I feel like I would rather jump straight into the work force and find myself in there somehow. Since I was 16 I always loved going to work and dreaded school. I just am so frustrated. I know that my boyfriend and his parents would DEEPLY frown upon me dropping out of college. I know it makes me seem like a quitter, who knows maybe I am. I just can't shake this feeling. I feel so hopeless and lost and scared.
   
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Re: I feel so lost... college just doesnt seem to be for me - July 10th 2019, 09:05 PM

It's natural to go into something and then find it's not what you thought it was. It's also understandable that if you aren't very interested in what you are studying, that you may struggle with the motivation to do the work well. Many people go with the flow throughout school and I understand that without parents asking, encouraging and supporting you throughout school, you may feel less motivated to carry on your education. More so if you feel you haven't found a career path that you can follow.

You mention that you like helping others, though you have realised that nursing can trigger your own anxieties and just isn't a good fit for you. Is just mainly the health anxiety that is putting you off or are there other reasons? If it's the health anxiety, would you consider having counselling to help you deal with the hypochondria? It is treatable and you will learn to control your fears. Also, are there are other jobs in the health and social care sector that you might be interested in instead of nursing? You might want to talk to your teachers or careers advisor to let them know and see if they can help you find something more suitable.

It's very understandable that since your boyfriend's family are supportive of college, that you would feel the need to impress them. It's also difficult when you later on realise that you feel you have been lying to yourself. But if you don't feel college is for you, then that's okay. While your boyfriend's family may have their own opinions, they shouldn't treat you differently. You also wouldn't be a quitter if you did decide to drop out of college. Some times college isn't for everyone, and there's nothing wrong with that. Even though you don't know what you want to do in terms of career, it doesn't mean that you should put yourself through college just for the sake of it. You could also go back to college later on in life, if you change your mind.

It's okay if you want to work for a while and take your time to figure out what interests you and where you want to go in life. You might want to list pros and cons and try putting yourself in theoretical situations e.g. how would you feel if you continued the nursing? if you got help for your anxiety? if you dropped out of college completely? and see how you feel and what you would do in those circumstances.


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Re: I feel so lost... college just doesnt seem to be for me - July 12th 2019, 02:36 PM

University was a hell of a slog for me. I took Computer Science, which I loved and was passionate about and good at in high school; but I struggled in a lot of my classes, and contemplated dropping out. At times, I really wasn't sure I wanted a job in my field because University had sucked so much of the fun out of it.

I ended up switching to part time classes, working retail at the same time. This gave more time for travel, which was better for my mental health, and it also gave me more time to focus on each assignment, study for each test etc. I also found that 3rd/4th year classes were way more interesting than the first two years as you start being able to choose the areas which interest you, rather than just studying the mandatory things which everyone had to take. So it took me eight years, but the study got more fun over time and eventually I finished.

I love my job now, and I'm good at it. The fact that I struggled meant nothing, because now I have the knowledge and the training that I needed and I know what I am doing.

Whether nursing is the right career for you is ultimately the most difficult question, and the one which nobody can answer but you. There's nothing wrong with changing career direction. You could always take a year to try out a variety of different classes, and see what captures your interest. There are a lot of ways to help people without being in medicine specifically. There are counselors and student advisors who can help suggest some options to you as well.

In terms of balancing school with your own mental health though, there are ways which you can manage that so you can get through and in the end, and I believe it will be worth it to stick it out. I worked retail for 10 years to get through University, and those years sucked. I have mad respect for people who do that kind of work their entire lives, it takes a tremendous amount of fortitude and has a serious toll on your mental health. I feels so grateful now that I had the opportunity to finish university and to now have a considerably higher paying career where I can afford a higher quality of life. It was 100% worth it.

All jobs feel like a job, even ones you love. We all get stressed sometimes, we all struggle, which is why there is no right answer. But I believe you are smart enough to get through the training and make a better life for yourself, if you just pick a field and stick with it. Take care of your self and take it slowly if you have to. Hang in there, it will get easier! <3

Oh but lastly, don't worry about what other people think. They'll get over it, whatever you decide :-)
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