Pretty much wasted 2 years of my life. Any Advice?

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    I will be graduating from college in May and I just finished my second to last semester. I’ve had a lot of trouble this semester and my final grades do not look good at all. I really don’t even think I learned anything because I had to cheat to get by at certain points. I really wanted to learn the material, and the fact that I didn’t learn anything and that I had to cheat is very disappointing.

    I had a lot of friends when I started school, but most of them have graduated or I have ostracized myself from the other ones. A lot of days I don’t really talk to anyone. I don’t know how to have fun anymore and don’t know how to make myself happy. I think this all started happening when I adopted this sort of nihilistic point of view. I don’t really think anything matters anymore, and don’t experience too many emotions. I try to make myself cry every now and then to try and feel something, but it only lasts for a few seconds and then I go back to my feeling like nothing matters. I used to be a very opinionated person, but now I realize that nothing is for sure, so don’t really have any strong opinions.

    I usually spend most of my time on the library on the silent floor at a desk alone. I might get out some of my school work, but then just do stupid stuff on the computer for hours and hours. Then day turns to night and I got absolutely nothing meaningful done. This has been going on for about 2 or 3 years. I’ve wasted so much time. I have very little specific memories of this time because its all pretty much been the same. I feel like a disappointment. I’ve had many dreams and none of them have been turned into reality.

    Joshua Denney

    Did you embrace the nihilistic views due to some sort of unrest in your life? Did they help you get through a period of time that was difficult? Perhaps your nihilistic views have lost their purpose and no longer serve you?

    If you really wanted to learn the material in school, why didn’t you make more of an effort to do so? Is it because you didn’t want to learn it as much as you thought you did, or was it some other barrier you encountered that prevented you from doing so? It’s easy to look at it all as a failure, but I’m betting you learned or will learn from the experience overall, if you look for the lessons.

    It’s hard to process and figure out why we do certain things in life that don’t really benefit us, but one thing we can do as logical beings is change our habits and ‘outthink’ our tendencies.

    There are likely ‘gateway’ habits that lead to other bad habits that help waste time or get you nowhere. When you realize you have triggered a habit, try to figure out a better action that you can consistently do in place of the bad habit’s action to change your fate. If you can shift just a few of these key habits that lead to other negative habits, you can change a lot in a short amount of time, at least enough to feel like you’re making a difference in your life. Simple things like turning off notifications on your phone, not checking email 24/7, and doing something out of your comfort zone can make an immediate impact.

    I feel like I’ve wasted a ton of time in my own life, but I no longer destroy myself for doing so. I have learned that the past does not define who I can be today, embracing the present moment is important, and that small positive changes over time can add up.

    I don’t write on the forums too much, so please forgive me if I’ve assumed too much and overstepped. Your post resonated with me!


    I’ve been having similar problem. It’s been a year, I’m in college and I really do not have the motivation to finish my study. I’ve been wasting my time and my parents’ money. They already know about this last summer holiday when I came home, but it’s been some time since I close myself from them and they didn’t (or maybe couldn’t) give me some real advice on how to solve this problem.

    I have no motivation to do anything. I sleep too much and sit in front of the computer for hours doing random stuff. I cannot excite myself in doing things I used to love like reading books and crocheting. I shut people out, have very few friends and rarely see them. I do have a boyfriend and he’s been really supportive, but it’s not helping at all. And when we go out, I have fun, I enjoy our time together, but when I get back to my place, nothing. It feels like I’m bottling it all inside when I’m with people or when I’m alone, and at times it just comes out uncontrollably.

    Some time ago I had realisation about nihilistic point of view, how it’s actually kind of true, but in my life I’ve never really cared about beliefs or principal or anything so I guess that can’t be the problem. It can be about the subject that I’m studying, because I actually didn’t even know this major exists before I got in (this is a complicated situation and a long story to type). I don’t know what is the cause and I’d like to know since I hate exploding and crying uncontrollably at times when it all becomes too much.

    I’m sorry, Michael, that I’m not giving any answer to your question. But when I read your post, to be honest I feel a little relieved to know other people go through similar situation. I’m glad that you manage to finish your study and don’t have to go through what happened to me (it hurts so bad when your own father calls you “not normal” for being like this), and I wish you all the best in life.


    Dear Michael:

    Nihilism, meaning … nothing matters, life is meaningless, in my understanding, simplified.

    In your post, you expressed that it does matter to you that you “didn’t learn anything”, that you “had to cheat”, that you “don’t really talk to anyone”, that you “don’t know how to have fun”, that you “don’t experience too many emotions”, that you do “stupid stuff on the computer for hours and hours”, and that you “had dreams and none of them have been turned into reality.”

    It matters to you that you “pretty much wasted 2 years of (your) life” and this is why you started this thread, with this title.

    I think that the basis to your nothing-matters is your belief that “nothing is for sure”-

    There is a whole lot that is for sure. Yes, there are lots of opinions but there are also lots of facts: gravity, death, the drive to survive,  a child’s motivation to please a parent, these are only four of the many facts, the many sure things in life.

    As animals we share their drive to survive. In certain distressing times, the nothing-matters state of mind helps survive those times. Long term, for us humans, it doesn’t work because of our ability to think elaborately. With all that thinking ability we must have a meaning, so to… find a home for all that thinking, to house it.

    That meaning doesn’t have to be one passion to carry a person through a lifetime, and it doesn’t need one that would satisfy a social convention, such as becoming rich-and-famous. It needs to be a meaning that will occupy you, to house all that thinking that you do.

    My advice, therefore: find your meaning. If you would like, explore it some, right here.



    “Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


    “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” –  H Ford

    “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” — Abraham Lincoln

    To sit to long in the wound of regret will leave you no energy to rise to the occasion. There is a time for all things. Learn what you need to from regret and move forward.

    “I used to be a very opinionated person, but now I realize that nothing is for sure, so don’t really have any strong opinions” “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

    There is no need for strong opinions to stand and do what you feel and think is right for you in the moment. What more can you ask of yourselves or others? Uncertainty and not knowing, if we do not fear it, opens the door to wisdom and compassion, certainty the door to fanaticism. You are in a moment of transition, a tipping point, walk through the door that affirms your authentic self and you will see that nothing you have experienced will have been wasted.

    “When an ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man.”


    Nihilism – nothing has intrinsic meaning or value… including this thing we call nihilism.

    If you find yourself on path of nihilism, open the door and walk thorough, don’t fight it. On the other side of the door is Absurdism. Life in all its complex simplicities is absurd especially when we try to measure it (control it). Awakening to the absurd one might laugh or cry or both… and when the laughing and crying subsides, smile. The greatest absurdity is our measuring and labeling. The greatest absurdity is us. When we awaken to absurdity that is I we can choose to be happy.

    Say Yes to life as it is and choose to be happy. Free. Happiness no longer linked to this or that desire, this or that understanding of meaning or purpose.  Just happy because you can.

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