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Unsure of my place in college

SrYearJittersSrYearJitters Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited March 2017 in College Life
I'm going to start out by giving a background. I made this account about 3 years ago when I was a Junior and nervous to apply to colleges. I was an A student, taking AP and honors classes. I thought that was my biggest problem, but then when I started college and got accepted so easily, I realized I hated it. I commute and I'm glad I do because it definitely helps me when I'm in my depressed moods. I never knew what I wanted to study and I thought it would eventually hit me. It hasn't. I'm a few days away from registering for my Junior year and I still have no major. I hate college. I do good in my required courses; I even maintain a 3.9 GPA. I've never been so depressed in my life than now, since I've entered college. I feel like my life is falling apart yet I don't know where to turn. Nothing offered in college seems fitting for me. I never really had a hobby or things I was interested in. I tried nursing, hated it. I explored the medical field for quite some time. MD, nursing, PA, speech pathology. I don't like the thought of doing any of those. I am not into any arts or music programs. I feel like nothing strikes me more than the other. I thought maybe psychology, but I don't know what I'd do with it. I'm not into anything business at all, and I don't want to be a teacher. It leaves me stumped. My advisor is the absolute best but unfortunately at the time I need her the most, she is out until after registration begins so I can't even talk to her about it even though she knows how I feel. My mom is very understanding but she doesn't have any advice to give me, she just wants to me to be happy. Unfortunately, I'm the furthest from that. I almost dropped out this semester, but I don't want to be looked at as a failure or to make it seem like I gave up easily. Its all I think about 24/7 and it eats me alive. Ideally I'd love to take time off or even not come back, but I feel like I can't do either of those. I hate college and want to be done ASAP, but I am honestly so confused and have no drive. No one truly understands. I don't know what I'm looking to get out of this post. Some reassurance, some advice from people who have gone through this... anything really. I know I can be book smart at most times, but I get stressed very easily and then I feel as though I'm never good enough for anything. But with those feelings aside, I still am failing to find anything.

Replies to: Unsure of my place in college

  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Registered User Posts: 6,365 Senior Member
    Agree with bopper about the counseling. You need to deal with the mental health issues. It could be your brain chemistry, it could be other factors. You need professional help.

    In terms of what you should do. I would apply for a leave of absence. Given your high academic achievement you should have no trouble going back if and when it makes sense. But since you can't select a major, you need to stop the clock and save your money. I think getting the wrong degree can be worse than getting no degree because even if you major in something unrelated to a future career just to learn for learning's sake, it's supposed to be a gift to yourself, and going through it with no joy even defeats that purpose.

    I would recommend taking some time off before you select a major. You need to focus on other aspects of your life like finding joy and find activities that excite you. I'm not saying that you need to find a career, but before you invest more money, I think that you need to get excited about something be it literature, politics, causes, people, kids, animals, plants, food, etc.

    I don't think you've done anything wrong, I just think that you need to address your fear of stress and figure out how to function. A good psychologist can help you with that.
  • JustGraduateJustGraduate Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    edited March 2017
    Remember, it's MUCH easier to take a break from school and get your health and mindset in order now than after you graduate. Totally agree with Bopper to get to the Counseling Center asap. They can help and you are far from the only student with these feelings. If it takes a while to figure everything out, so be it. It's very important that you comfortable with your path and your life. And your grades show that you're anything BUT a failure!

    Keep in touch as you decide your next step.
  • SrYearJittersSrYearJitters Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    edited March 2017
    Thanks everyone, it really means a lot to me. I went to my counseling center and I am going to continue going back. Not sure about my next semester yet - maybe I will take one or 2 classes for my gen eds. to keep in the routine of school while it being an easy course load. It'll keep me focused and also give me time to explore what's going on with me and also work on bettering myself while being a part time student for a semester. Again, I appreciate it.
  • randomkid98randomkid98 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    @SrYearJitters Sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I agree that instead of taking, let's say 4 classes, narrow it down to two. More free time and you can take some courses over the summer. I'm a senior in high school so I haven't gone through much college related stuff yet, but... here's a little story that may or may not help-

    my mom always wanted to be a vet. She knew it from the time she was a child. She wasn't accepted into a school with a vet school or anything related though (Now the school has a vet major). When at college though, her friend was unsure of what to major in. They bet each other that they wouldn't like becoming teachers. My mom's best friend soon decided that teaching wasn't her thing and changed majors. My mom who NEVER thought of herself as a teacher fell in love with it after a short while. As of this year my mom has been teaching high school math for 23 years and has no regrets.

    Long story short: I hope that you will find your passion, even if it is something you never thought of! Take a little break as needed and stay strong! It's rough right now but the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and rest a little bit. Lean on your family, as they are nearby!

    Just a thought- Maybe over the summer or a small duration of time, you can do a study abroad program with your college. You never know! Something wonderful might come out of it.

    Best of Luck! :)
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,575 Senior Member
    I agree that you sound depressed. Continue to go to counseling. I suggest you declare a major in something quite broadly focussed, such as English or History. Or better still, take a semester or a year off, continue counseling, get a partime job, maybe take a couple of trips, or do something purely for fun. Good luck.
  • Fishnlines29Fishnlines29 Registered User Posts: 1,551 Senior Member
    @SrYearJitters I agree too, sound depressed and it could be something fixed by seeing a psychiatrist who may or may not suggest medication - it could be a chemical imbalance in your brain - the same thing happened to my brother and he was able to get it taken care of and found his way and is now very successful/happy.
  • Mevans6Mevans6 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    I don't think college is the problem, I think you're just suffering from depression. Coming from someone who used to have pretty bad depression the advice I could give you is just to stick it through and eventually you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • mommyrocksmommyrocks Registered User Posts: 1,218 Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    You might be placing too much weight on college major as dictating the rest of your life, and that paralyzes your thinking about it. People wind up in all kinds of careers regardless of their college major. I know someone who majored in biology and who has a high level tech job at IBM. I know someone who owns a nail salon and has an engineering degree. Lawyers become chefs. Examples are endless. So it will be okay and perfectly natural for you to have multiple careers in your lifetime, that may or may not build on your major in college.

    From that perspective, the notion of just picking a major that you can finish as soon as possible is a strategy. Another strategy is just picking a major that his the best chance of a high-paying job. Having a college degree says a lot more about you than the actual major. It says you completed what you started and were committed to getting a degree. It says you are capable of going to classes all those years and doing well -- which you clearly are with that GPA. You are demonstrating numerous skills with that GPA alone, disregarding what subjects your classes were actually in.

    I wouldn't place so much emphasis on the major, but rather on finishing. Then you can get a job and go from there. If you later discover you have some strong interests and passions that your degree didn't quite prepare you for, then you can take some free online courses to gain more knowledge and skills in a particular area, or get a graduate degree or pursue other preparation, including on the job training or studying for certifications and licenses. Your degree -- in any subject -- won't limit you, but rather will open doors for you regardless of the major, just because you have it.

    You can also take some career aptitude tests along with interest tests and personality tests. Many of these are online, or you can take them at your career services center on campus. They will give you categories and lists of possible careers that fit you. You might wind up pursuing more than one of those during your lifetime, so it will not be definitive but can give you more clues for possible direction.

    Let me add that people get a college degree to get a job -- and statistically speaking, a higher-paying job than without a degree, because they will be more likely seen as someone who can be trained for management tracks or other positions that pay more than if they didn't have a degree. And people get a job to put a roof over their head and food on the table. My grandfather in the depression didn't worry about being defined by his job, and whether it reflected his interests or not. He just wanted to eat and feed his wife and seven kids. He did anything and everything he could. My father was the same way when working his way through college -- any job, no matter how menial, that could pay those tuition bills would do. Young people today get too caught up in thinking that college is supposed to somehow be "fun" and a major is supposed to somehow reflect their essence and define them, and a career is supposed to save the world and fulfill their mission in life. Forget all that. You are in college to get a degree, and you will work to eat. Happiness and fulfillment in life are not dependent on the details, but rather finding ways to enjoy the journey of life, which will always have its ups and downs. So get a degree, and do seek help with counseling so you can learn to enjoy the journey.
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