I've posted many times on this site before, mostly in other forum topics, but here's the latest rundown:
I'm a "junior" in college (21 years old) who has had a mess of a college experience so far. I began at my local branch campus of Penn State, and just this past Fall I transferred to the main University Park campus. But literally almost everything has been a disaster. I've changed my major 3 or 4 times because I was never sure what I wanted to do with my life. My passion was always astronomy/space, and that's what I began studying first, but I gave up on that in my 2nd semester of college because the math scared me. I changed to Political Science, did that for about 2 years, decided I was unhappy, and just switched back to Physics. The reason I'm posting this now is because this is the first semester I planned to be "back" pursuing a Physics/Astronomy major. I scheduled 4 core classes...Calculus, Chemistry, Chemistry Lab, and Physics.
I have always loved science as a person...there's nothing else in the world I think more highly of. And I always did decent in science in high school. I took two years of Physics in high school and got Bs.
But due to changing my major several times, along with working (admittedly now TOO MUCH) at my job that I've held for 5 years, my academic schedule has been a total mess. And I'm not retaining information. I don't feel like I've really learned hardly anything in college in the 3 years or so I've been here. I took my previous chemistry course a full year ago. I was planning to review and study that material over holiday break, but I ended up having to work at my job 60 hrs/week because I NEEDED MONEY to pay for things. And on top of that, my family had nothing to help me pay for college, so the entirety of my payments are student loans...federal AND private. I'm up over $60,000 in debt already.
My GPA overall is 3.2. Not terrible. But my point is, I'm not in the correct mental state right now. The spring semester just began and 2 of my professors are awful. I did well in Calculus 1 last year, but now my professor for Calculus 2 is teaching in a totally different way and I just can't do this. I took a step back, tried again...and nope. I just can't do this right now. Factor in due dates and constricting deadlines, and I'm pretty much having a mental breakdown.
I can drop my classes by tomorrow (Friday) night with no penalty, which is what I feel like I have to do, because there's no way I can do this right now. My mind is a mess. If I continue with these classes, guarantee you I'll have trouble just getting Cs.
I met with the head of undergrad Astrophysics today, and he is a great guy. I basically told him most of this, but he pretty much encouraged me to stay enrolled and push through. He said that it's "OK" if I don't understand everything in every class that I take. But respectfully, I don't think he understood the severity of my situation. I can't even mentally focus on my classes. And I'm such a perfectionist that I CANNOT ACCEPT being average or below average at anything I do. I'm a very deep, intellectual person, and I always aim to produce my best work. And when I feel like I CAN'T produce my best work, I feel like I have to take a break and give up (temporarily) entirely.
I hate everything about where I am right now. I don't enjoy college. I'm not motivated. I'm not focused. You might be thinking that I'm a partier, or otherwise reckless, but that's not true either. I'm very independent and introverted. Most of my time is spent alone, with nothing but myself. I'm an only child and my family knew nothing about college, so I've been ON MY OWN for most of my life. I believe in myself, and I know what I'm capable of. But right now feels like a time that I need to step away and get my self in order.
I'm posting this here because my college has no resources to receive quick help with an urgent crisis like this. You have to wait days and days for academic advising appointments or mental health appointments.
Please help me talk through this....I appreciate the help SO MUCH.