Home→Forums→Tough Times→University – I feel like I've wasted 3 years of my life.
- This topic has 11 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by Dorian.
May 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm #35806
I’m not usually one to ask for advice on the internet. In fact, this is the first time that I’ve done it but I feel like I could really use some right now. Basically, I’ve recently finished my final year of university and am just now starting to hear back about results. I was aiming for a 2:1(if you’re not familiar with the British scoring system a 2:1 is one below the highest possible grade) but by the seems of things I will end up with only a 2:2, which for all intents and purposes is ‘average’. I am kind of in two minds at the moment, on one hand I am happy that I’ve finished 3 years of university and have my degree but on the other hand I feel like the degree is worthless. A 2:1 is needed to take most masters degree courses and without a masters I feel like my degree wont take me any further in my chosen field(psychology/criminology) and that I will be passed over for graduate jobs by people with higher grade qualifications.
I’m 25 now, I’m back home living with parents until I find my own job/place out here, I’m in a town where I know no one, have only average job prospects and haven’t really got anything I am passionate about. I’ve been living with depression and anxiety since I was 16 and at the moment I am angry with myself for letting it affect my life still, as I feel that my state of mind is part of the reason that I didn’t get the grades I wanted. I’m at a point where I feel I’m old enough for my life to be over with, and I haven’t done anything and the fact that I am no longer motivated to try is frustrating. I was just hoping you could give me your thoughts on the situation and/or any advice.
– Liam.May 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm #35808
hey,i can completely understand the scenario…and let me warn you,i am no wise owl,rather,i am just 18,younger than you,obviously,but i can definitely empathise with you,and maybe,in the midst of it all,help you somehow.
i have lived with anxiety for as long as i gained my senses.the worst part-i was always in denial.that i am OKAY and this is how it is supposed to be…now the reasons for the anxiety were many,living in a dysfunctional family,a very difficult mother,a sibling who is intellectually challenged.i don’t remember one moment as a kid,when i was at peace.
call it conditioning,but definitely,i was wired to be stressed out at the smallest of pretext.but my talent was-i could hide it from the world.i could put up a fake grin and pretend that i am strong,as the anxiety builded up inside…
my jaw dropped when you said “at the moment I am angry with myself for letting it affect my life still, as I feel that my state of mind is part of the reason that I didn’t get the grades I wanted.”….it was like the *a-ha* moment where you cleared the mist in my own mind,because i finally recognised what was eating me up too.i feel the same way…and then it hit me,because more often than not,the answers are always within you,but you are able to extract them more articulately when you are trying to help others.like i am,now.
the first thing we should stat with is to STOP BLAMING ANXIETY for anything and everything wrong that has happened.that would be feeding your anxiety with what it wants,your defeated spirits,and then soon enough,you will find yourself blaming anxiety for everything wrong in life.so,we first start by fully accepting our anxiety,and assuring ourselves that we will work with it,and not without it.the more we resist the anxiety,the wilder it is going to be.
the second thing,your *average grades* and how it might affect your job prospects.first ,you really have to be very clear whether you could somehow gain the degree you feel is going to strengthen your prospects.if it is impossible in the current scenario,leave the idea for once and for all.big deal.move on.now,what do we do with the degree that we have,i am thinking,go out there in the world,AND FACE IT ,HEAD ON. i am not going to say naive things like it’s going to be okay…there are things beyond just a job.no.your career is important to you,that’s why you are stressed,AGREED.but what do you do about it??
when i am in a fix, i ask myself-WHAT’S IN MY BOAT.can you control that other people have a better degree ,and hence a better job prospect than you.no. can you control whether the employer is looking for just a degree or a person who is actually meant for the job.no.can you control the outcome of every interview that you are going to give.HELL NO.what is in your boat is-going out there and fighting for it,till you run out of breath.period.May 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm #35809AnonymousInactive
If you’re living with anxiety and depression, I’m worried that there’s probably not much anyone can tell you that will help because you believe your own thoughts while your mind is still playing tricks on you and therefore, your mind will probably undermine any advice with another barrage of self-doubt and negative self-talk.
I see it in your post, “I’ve wasted….I will be passed over….I haven’t done anything….I haven’t really got anything….”
It’s amazing how the mind overgeneralizes and tells you so many nasty things that are completely untrue. I could rant about this topic for hours, but I highly recommend meditation, mindfulness, and ACT therapy.
But let’s give it a shot nonetheless…
Practically speaking, no education is ever a waste. Now that you have a post-secondary degree, life will open doors for you that are not available to those with only a high school diploma. So, if you can set aside the negative self-talk for a moment, it’s time to come up with a strategy and Plans B through Z.
Even at the risk of not getting in, can you still apply to the Masters program?
If you don’t get in, is there any additional schooling you can take to boost your prospects for another application?
What kind of jobs might be available for someone with your field of interest?
What state is your resume in and are you ready to apply for job postings that may come up in your field or something related?
What kind of temporary jobs would you be willing to take on in the mean time, just to keep yourself busy, have some income, and get some breathing room to come up with alternative options?
Where might you be able to connect with other like minded people in your field who, if you made the time and effort to really connect with them, could broaden your thinking in terms of possibilities that you haven’t considered yet?
Hope this helps.May 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm #35810
@ peter-i really admire the pragmatism of it all…i mean,once you look outside the bubble of anxiety and self doubt,life doesn’t seem as debilitating after all…
May 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm #35812
- This reply was modified 10 years ago by tinydisciple.
First of all, thanks for the reply. Just being able to open up and talk things through helps a lot more than I thought I did.
Ah, to be 18 again 😀 Honestly though, you seem to have a good head on your shoulders, more so than I when I was your age.
It seems as if we had a similar mental state in our younger days; my father was never around, my family was extremely distant emotionally and I was bullied pretty severely and so, like you, I have never been at piece, I was always angry with someone, at something and the fact that I didn’t see myself as being o.k alll of the time really got to me. In terms of this, if there is one piece of advice that I can give is that sometimes it’s okay not to be okay, that only through darkness can we see light.I’m glad that my post managed to clear something up for you, or at least help in some way. We can never move forward while chained to the past so I’m glad that you realized this now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot easier to say than to put in to practice, hell, I’m still trying to live it completely but it’s important, especially if you’ve had a troubled past.
Deep down, I completely agree with you about not blaming anxiety, but again, so much easier said than done. It becomes almost a crutch, something to fall back on as a reassurance that allows me to direct blame from myself and a convenient excuse for not doing the things that I want, or need, to do. I have a feeling that anxiety wont go away, at least not without me working on it. So, as you say, I need to live along side it and stop letting it be such a huge part of my life.
My grades wont come in to play for a while, at least not in terms of my main career that I wanted to undertake; my plan since day one of university was to be to get my degree, get a graduate job until I’m 30, to allow myself to enjoy the rest of the 30s(travelling, spending time with friends/family and getting some great job experience) and then when I’m 30’s take my masters. So I have time to work out a plan for what I am doing in the future but when you work for something, when you life essentially has one purpose for three years and you don’t come out with the best possible outcome then man, it hurts. I think you make a great point though; I need to quit feeling sorry for myself and start doing things, I’ve spend the last few months thinking that finishing education is a clean slate for my life and what you said reminded me of that. I’m kind of showing my nerdy side here but to quote the Terminator movie “The future is no set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves”
It’s weird to me, I’ve always believe in non-attachment and the fluidity of life but when it actually come down to living it with a serious situation, it’s really hard for me. There a lot of things jobs I’ve always wanted to do: joining the police, web design, being butcher, a mechanic, an electrician, a writer, to name a few. So the shock of the situation may have made me forget that there are always other paths I can take, as I said I wasn’t planning to do my Master’s until I’m 30, so the silver lining here might be that I get to experiment with some of the things that I’ve always wanted to try. I’m sure there are other options and other pathways in to the type of career I want, and some Master’s programs that will accept me but not getting the grades I want really knocked my confidence with it all.
I really want to get in to meditation, so I’m going to work on that and for the near future, just enjoy life and try to find myself
Thank you both, I’ve got a long road ahead of me(as do we all) but talking this through has helped me remember my path. Thanks again for taking the time to reply, it really does mean a lot to me 🙂
– LiamMay 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm #35814JacquelineParticipant
Dear Laim, Your post really struck a cord with me. Although you may not see today how you will use your education for a particular career path, spending time in school helps us learn to see the world in new perspectives and university study is important for gaining vital skills that you will use for the rest of your life in unexpected ways. I was in university for 14 years. I pursed an undergraduate degree, masters, and doctorate. There is virtually no work in my field of expertise. The same is true for many academics I know in various disciplines. We are all left back where we started. Some living in the communities where they grew up others barely earning enough to get by in low wage work that they could have done after high school. All unable to get a job due to over-qualification. You are very young still. If you are certain that you would like develop your career along the lines of psychology, psychotherapy (such as psycho-dynamic psychotherapy) remains an option without a Masters degree. If you are not sure what will be the right course for finding a livelihood, there are many meditations that can aid in the discovery of your life path when at a cross-roads such as the one you describe. Brenda Stanger has a meditation called Into the Pause, that can help you sit back, breathe, and discover new options that you might not be able to see right now because of fear, anxiety, and distress. You will be fine, you will find the answer, and this time shall pass and new option will open for you. I hope that you find all that you are seeking and that peace, love, and light fill your heart again. Namaste.May 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm #35820
hey,i wrote down a reply to this,but the reply just doesn’t seem to be getting posted out here.some technical flaw i guess.you have some other e-mail or sth. where i could send it .only if you don’t mind sharing it obviously.really wrote it with all my heart*puppy dog eyes*May 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm #35824
well,to start,i almost blushed at the big head on your shoulder thingie.thanks,it means a lot 🙂May 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm #35828
what i wanted to write is still not getting posted….ugh…this is what it says
ERROR: Duplicate reply detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!May 18, 2013 at 3:09 am #35834
Hi Jacqueline, thanks for the reply.
I think I’ve learned a lot of stuff in university that had nothing to do with psychology. I learned a lot about myself, about others and about life. Which I am extremely grateful. I think you’re right about the vital skills, apparently a lot of employers are interested in transferable skills, which I hear psychology has in abundance. I think in the end, I want to do something in forensic psychology or working with prisoner rehabilitation or probation, so I’m going to key an eye out for paths in to those. I’m going to spend the weekend researching meditation and then try and put some of it in to practice during the week.
Thanks a lot,
– LiamMay 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm #35864SimonParticipant
I feel like I’ve wasted years, too. I’ve been taking college courses since I was 17 and a junior in high school. Now I’m 23 and have yet to get a college degree. I just can’t pick a major. Like you–and many others on here–I struggle with depression and anxiety. Nothing excites me, nothing interests me, I really don’t have much of a passion for anything. I’ll pick something that I think seems cool and a month or two into it my motivation is GONE and I end up dropping my classes. I’m really not sure what to do.
Be glad you have a degree 🙂 I assume that will help in getting you some type of job, even though it may not be what you’re passionate about?
Good luck to you!May 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm #35866DorianParticipant
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been through a similar situation. You’re not alone. This too shall pass…