this is a vent about college and life

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    I am very sad right now. I am sad because i realize as a grown up that people have to grow up and not care about each other as i thought. There are hypocrites, greed exists, it’s hard to maintain friendships, people grow apart. Everyone has to suffer. As a student, i see the janitors clean up around 2 a.m. in the morning and have to pay to park their cars. I see professors getting threatened by budget cuts. I see students treating each other by shouting hateful comments to people either of color or sexual orientation. I’m upset because religion is what causes people to argue and kill each other. I’m upset because people are getting unemployed when theyare some of the best teachers in the world.I see homeless people around. I myself have to retake a certain class and am fearful to tell my parents about this. I feel like i am taking my education for granted because i should be focusing on my classes. But instead, I’m focusing on all these thoughts I have. I’m upset because i feel alone, I’m upset because i’m afraid. but im more upset than anything because i chose not to go for my dreams and instead let all these negative thoughts punish me. I want a reason to live.



    Buddha taught that if we stare too long at the nature of samsara (habitual patterns that harm) we go mad. Basically, what you’re noticing is what happens when we get upset that people are imperfect. For instance, religion is an attempt to understand and guide our connection to nature. You say it is the source of this and that, but I disagree. What is see is the issues that come up in religion are symptoms, not causes… reflections of imperfect humans struggling for warmth and light and food. Here, there, everywhere people fall into patterns of suffering. Greed, hatred, delusion pop up again and again for people.

    However, these are only shadows to compassion’s light. As we take a stand, get up and dedicate ourselves to helping settle these issues that harm the people in our society, we become the change we see in the world. Sure, you are only one person, and so am I… but as our light shines on those around us, the world is a little brighter, a little closer to overcoming its challenges. Who knows, you might be the Tesla or Edison of social problems. Said differently, don’t underestimate the potency of the human heart to bring inspiration and change to the world. Don’t like the world, eh? Grab a brush and help us paint a new one!

    With warmth,


    That’s interesting, where did you read about what Buddha said on this subject? I’d like to read some more texts like that.


    He refers to it in other places, but the often referred to sutta is the acintita sutta.

    Also, consider Chogyam Trungpa’s “The Myth of Freedom” if interested, if I remember correctly, he delves into the cause/effect of staring at karma in that book.

    Happy hunting!




    Mimi I am in a similar position as you. I am 19 a college student and I have recently realized how fucked up and depressing the world we live in is. Everything they told me as a kid growing up does not make sense anymore, nothing in life seems fair. Work hard and it will be alright only takes you so far. I feel like I am stuck in a corner/dead end one way road with nowhere to go all alone.Finding a reason to live seems like an obstacle everyday. I just wonder if there is any light at the end of the tunnel? I wonder if it will ever get any better everyday I can’t escape these thoughts no matter how hard I try to focus.


    Mimi —

    I understand you feel disillusioned. You are seeing and experiencing a new side of life and it’s not what you thought it would be. College was a very difficult time for me — I know many people who loved it, best time of their lives. I hated it. And I saw a lot of sadness around me.

    Now, 10 years later, I have many more experiences to draw upon and I see the world different. And as you continue to live your life, if you accept experiences for what they are (not good, not bad, just experiences), your viewpoint will expand.

    Yes, people grow up. And our relationships change. Sometimes our hearts get broken, and sometimes we find people who stick by us through it all. Some people are only meant to be in our lives a short time, to teach us something about ourselves, and once that lesson is done, they float off — to teach someone else another lesson. Some people stay in our lives for many years, and a few for a lifetime. But they all matter. And they are all blessings.

    Right now, you see janitors working at 2am and feel sad that they must do this every day. But I work with many people who would be elated to be working a steady job at 2am, proud that they can bring home a paycheck. It’s honest work. And I appreciate that they take the time to make my school or place of employment clean. And I’m always friendly to them, and say good morning, or good night. I let them know, in small ways, that I see them and I value them. You can do the same.

    You hear hateful comments from your peers. And yes, these hurt. But as I’ve gotten older, I also see them as young people who are barely adults in this world who are scared and confused and insecure. And they grasping at straws to make themselves feel safe. And sadly, one of fastest ways to do that is to make other people feel excluded so that they feel included. But to the people who are being called the names, you can let them know that you have their back. That you support them and who they are. You can calmly and lovingly disagree with the name calling. And once older, you will see that your peers are just scared kids. And they are lost in this world. And I have compassion and love for that misguidedness.

    I know you are upset that you have to retake a class. But it is also an opportunity to excel at it. I had to retake a math class in high school. Not only did I ace it (the second time around), I ended up being very grateful that I retook the class. If I had continued on to the next level without understanding it, I would have slowly but surely failed at higher levels. With such a strong foundation in that math class that I retook, I sailed through all upper classes. I ended up with a degree in math and physics. You never know if that is in your future as well. Or it could be that failing your class is an opportunity to realize that you are passing up your dreams, and you are on the wrong path. Perhaps it’s time for you to get back on your intended path if this isn’t it.

    Not all is lost. Not all is sad. Your experience in life is still narrow though. With time, it will expand, but you might need to help it along. Spending time at places like TinyBuddha is a good place to start.


    hi..I am 54 years old and a LPN..for years I have been trying to get myself together and return to school to get my RN…I have gone from school to school..then I finally get into a school..I felt that the teacher of the class had something against older nursing students…She told me so..’ you older students are always looking to get into school but do not want to do anything for it”…wow…I failed her class..but took it over again..studying hard..but then my apt went under major construction due to failing building code..for 8 weeks..my family had no kitchen or a bathroom…we had to eat a lot of microwaveable foods and take out…we had to use the bathroom upstairs with everyone else in the building and the construction guys…plaster dust all over the place..our bedrooms tore up..my kids sleeping conditions were terrible..me i slept in a office chair for 6 weeks…my studying slowly went down the tubes..my grades went down..now I am out of the program.. I was and still am so stressed out..I have been crying..shouting yelling..screaming at my kids..even fighting my daughter..I know that my kids were and still Stressed out about the situation…now that the construction is finished..our apt/home is a wreck..its going to take a while to get back to where anything is back to some sort of normal..A lot of things were broken…we as a family are broken..I thought I was made of stronger stuff than this…I feel that I am all over the place…

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