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Giving college a 2nd try at age 28

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Replies to: Giving college a 2nd try at age 28

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 6,175 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    isn't the main idea of depression feeling depressed *for no legitimate reason

    Actually, no. Depression (thanks to the NIMH here): "causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working." "It isn't the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder (thanks to Mayo Clinic there). It is real, it is legitimate, and fwiw the characteristics can include:

    Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
    Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness .

    I have no idea if you are depressed or not (a counselor would), but I do know that your sense of perspective is seriously distorted. In just your last post you have expressed:
    permanently ruin my life
    my one and only chance
    I'll never make up for what I lost

    all because you didn't have an "amazing" fraternity experience. Seriously? You have convinced yourself that an Animal House experience is *essential* to having meaningful life. In real life, only a tiny fraction of the human population ever has that experience- and I assure you that life has meaning and joy for the rest of us.
    The people who did pretty much all agree that this is the creme de la creme of life.

    No, they don't "all" agree. Anecdotal, but I know rather a lot of people who tell the same story. My brother had a happy frat experience. One of his best friends to this day is a former frat brother- ONE! Except for a reunion a few years ago he doesn't see much of his former frat friends. But he would strongly disagree that his frat days- happy as they were - were the "creme de la creme". He would put his wife and children well above frat days. Starting his own business also. etc.

    But: we have all been saying the same thing over and over, so I think it's time to bow out. Talk to a counselor and get some advice there.

    Good luck.
  • SeekingHopeSeekingHope Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    I'm not really seeing how you ruined your life.

    It's what this thread was about. I'll never get to experience young adulthood, college and fraternity life. The people who did pretty much all agree that this is the creme de la creme of life.
    You sound pretty unhappy in general, not just about your college experience, so I think it would help to speak to a counselor.

    Except for a short depressive period when I was 15, my life was pretty great before I graduated high school. If I had a good college experience I would be a happy person.
    You can still switch careers. Many people do.

    That's what I'm working on. But that only goes so far -- I'll never be able to go back in time and do life right.
    Take classes at a cc or go to grad school. But speak with someone to help you sort out your goals. You don't have to be so unhappy.

    Things would certainly be a lot better if I achieved my goal of being a famous filmmaker, but according to the responses in here the gaping hole in my heart from missing college life will remain there forever.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,440 Senior Member
    You're placing way too much value on a college experience that you've created in your own mind. Where did you get the idea that everyone who was in a frat agrees that it's the "creme Dell creme of life"?

    It doesn't sound like you missed college life. It sounds like you attended a residential college and got a degree. According to the NCES, about 20 million students were in college in 2010. More than 40% of them were part-time. So there are literally millions of people your age who didn't get to have even as much college experience as you had. And those numbers don't include the millions who directly entered the workforce.

    Missing that part of the college experience causes a "gaping hole in your heart"? A lot of people work their way through college and have no time for a social life at all. I think it would help to see a counselor to understand why you place such enormous value on the college experience. You need perspective.
  • SeekingHopeSeekingHope Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    edited May 6
    Just wanted to thank everyone who has stuck with this thread. I realize in that trying to figure out the best course forward I can seem stubborn and like I'm not listening, but I'm taking things into account.
    Actually, no. Depression (thanks to the NIMH here): "causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working." "It isn't the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder (thanks to Mayo Clinic there). It is real, it is legitimate, and fwiw the characteristics can include:

    But this is a depression caused by a loss. I had real depression before and have taken Zoloft for over a decade.
    I have no idea if you are depressed or not (a counselor would)
    all because you didn't have an "amazing" fraternity experience. Seriously? You have convinced yourself that an Animal House experience is *essential* to having meaningful life. In real life, only a tiny fraction of the human population ever has that experience- and I assure you that life has meaning and joy for the rest of us.

    Not sure why the thread became fixated on that movie -- it only gives a part of the picture. As much as I so badly want the fraternity experience, plenty of people who never joined Greek life still had an amazing time in college -- and college grads are not a tiny fraction. There's a reason that college being the best time of your life is considered common knowledge. And I blew it and can never get it back, from what it sounds like.
    No, they don't "all" agree. Anecdotal, but I know rather a lot of people who tell the same story. My brother had a happy frat experience. One of his best friends to this day is a former frat brother- ONE! Except for reunions he doesn't seem much of his former frat friends. But he would strongly disagree that his frat days- happy as they were - were the "creme de la creme". He would put his wife and children well above frat days. Starting his own business also. etc.

    Even if you don't see them much later, for the years it lasts it's still an incredible experience according to those who go through it. I'd find it quite interesting to speak with him.
    But: we have all been saying the same thing over and over, so I think it's time to bow out. Talk to a counselor and get some advice there.

    Good luck.

    Thanks for the perspective and well wishes.

    You're placing way too much value on a college experience that you've created in your own mind. Where did you get the idea that everyone who was in a frat agrees that it's the "creme Dell creme of life"?

    It's an extremely common trope that "college is the best time of your life". There are websites like TFM dedicated to how amazing being in college (especially a fraternity) is. Everything my dad told me about his chapters as well as my observations during college, seems to all lead to the same conclusion. But even without that, people pay thousands to join these organizations and go through pledging for a reason. And even most people who never joined frats loved college.
    It doesn't sound like you missed college life. It sounds like you attended a residential college and got a degree.

    That's not "life" though, it's just going through the motions. I didn't get to do the college experience that is practically worshipped in our culture. I just walked through it like a zombie.
    Missing that part of the college experience causes a "gaping hole in your heart"? A lot of people work their way through college and have no time for a social life at all. I think it would help to see a counselor to understand why you place such enormous value on the college experience. You need perspective.

    The reason I place such value on it is because virtually everyone who actually gets the experience does the same. When there are films, TV shows and entire websites dedicated to how great it is, I have a hard time believing it's all a big hoax.
  • coco55coco55 Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    edited May 6
    also hung out most of the week with a chapter for a few months, until being denied a bid by one vote. This was probably the main turning point in my life going down the drain, come to think of it.

    I'm sorry, but what? If being denied a bid by a fraternity was the turning point of your "life going down the drain", I strongly suggest you do some volunteer work and speak to people your age who have been through life-threatening illnesses, have been homeless, disabled, or whose parents died before they could even see them graduate high school. I don't know the ins and outs of your personal life or what you've been through, but if the worst thing you've ever experienced is being denied a fraternity bid, your life is not down the drain. You will be okay. Don't complain about things that are meaningless.
    Taking a message of "it's over, you're screwed" to heart isn't as easy as you made it sound.

    Nobody is saying that you're screwed. In fact, I would say most people are saying you have a big life ahead of you that is full of more important things than being in a fraternity. I feel for you, I really do. I didn't have a fantastic college experience either. But I took it for what it was and I'm excited about my life as an adult. I'm involved with groups of people who have similar interests to me who are also grown adults out of college and working towards their careers, their marriages, their families, their friends, etc. You need to find the same. What kinds of things are you interested in? Film, and what else? Consider taking classes at a rec center. Join a church. Join a movie watching/making club. Join a dating app. Get an internship. Apply for a program to volunteer abroad. Volunteer in your hometown. Whatever floats your boat, and ANYTHING you can do to find community with MATURE adults who share interests with you, do it. You need it.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,440 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    There's a reason that college being the best time of your life is considered common knowledge.
    Just because you say it doesn't mean it's true. People also say their wedding day is the happiest day of their life. People who believe either statement are setting unrealistic expectations and are bound to be disappointed.



    I didn't get to do the college experience that is practically worshipped in our culture.
    It's not worshipped by our culture. It's worshipped by you, but whatever's going on in your life wasn't caused by not being in a frat and it won't be fixed by spending thousands and thousands of dollars for the opportunity to join one.
  • SeekingHopeSeekingHope Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    edited May 6
    I'm sorry, but what? If being denied a bid by a fraternity was the turning point of your "life going down the drain", I strongly suggest you do some volunteer work and speak to people your age who have been through life-threatening illnesses, have been homeless, disabled, or whose parents died before they could even see them graduate high school.

    Nowhere did I say I had the worst life in the world. Pretty much everyone alive in a first world country today has a better living standard than 99% of humans in history, but that doesn't invalidate our own problems.
    I don't know the ins and outs of your personal life or what you've been through, but if the worst thing you've ever experienced is being denied a fraternity bid, your life is not down the drain.

    It's not the act of being denied a bid, it's the fact that that was the first domino in me wasting my life. If I got in there, I would have had an amazing young adulthood and have something worth looking back on the last decade.
    Most likely not. Because it's not about what you want to hear, it's about what you need to hear.

    But then haven't I heard it all ITT?
    Just because you say it doesn't mean it's true. People also say their wedding day is the happiest day of their life. People who believe either statement are setting unrealistic expectations and are bound to be disappointed

    It's people looking back though who experienced it.
    It's not worshipped by our culture. It's worshipped by you, but whatever's going on in your life wasn't caused by not being in a frat and it won't be fixed by spending thousands and thousands of dollars for the opportunity to join one.

    We have tons of websites and movies dedicated to the glory of the college experience, frats in particular. If I had been in a fraternity or just enjoyed college in general I wouldn't have wasted my young adulthood and wouldn't be making this thread.

    Maybe it's time to retire this thread. Thanks for the input though, a lot to think about.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 8,440 Senior Member
    How was getting a college degree a waste of your young adulthood? The college experience portrayed in the media isn't the experience most people have. I think it's a mistake to waste your late 20's/early 30's trying to be 19 again. Why not go to grad school? You'd still be at college getting a college experience, and you might even be able to work as a TA. And you'd come out with an advanced degree.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,046 Senior Member
    I'm not sure what the point of continuing this thread is. The OP has been given the same advice over and over. See a counselor. Move forward, not backwards. Get involved in age-appropriate activities. Take courses that will further your career. Stop obsessing over undergraduate fraternity life. He doesn't seem to be internalizing any of it.

    @SeekingHope, I wish you the best.
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,886 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    What are you doing right now about film? Film is one industrty that does not require a degree. As a matter of fact most people in film think a degree is a waste of time. What matters is the work that you have done. Do you live near LA? Do you have film side projects going on? Can you get a part-time job as a production assistant on a local TV station or movie set? You really should be focusing on your career change not on living in a frat.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 9,080 Senior Member
    edited May 6
    Your life isn’t permanently ruined at the age of 28.
    I’ll repeat that, because it’s important that you understand this, acknowledge it, and try to move forward: Your life is not permanently ruined at the age of 28.

    If you were prepared to spend thousands of dollars going back to college and joining a frat, you’ll get a better return of investment by getting counseling. I’m not being snarky. I genuinely mean that you should seek counseling. I feel that your issue is nothing to do with wanting to relive youth, but rather, learning how to move forward and make the most out of the life you have yet to live. Best of luck to you.

    ETA: FWIW, my college experience was traditional in no way. Six years of commuter college. I had fun with work colleagues and by traveling. I didn’t have the “best four years” nonsense either. The best years of my life so far we’re probably in my early to mid 40’s, but life is still good.

    You’re here. You exist. You might as well be happy. Go find happiness now, not in the past.
  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 Registered User Posts: 4,024 Senior Member
    Please seek really good therapy. It's nothing like taking an antidepressant or getting feedback from a bunch of parents on a message board. I say that as someone whose therapy totally changed my life. Yes, it cost a lot of money (and I know how fortunate I am to have been able to pay for it) but certainly nowhere near what 4 years of college costs.
  • bgbg4usbgbg4us Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    Here's my son's experience with a frat. He's 50/50 on his experience.

    He just graduated from college, and we moved him out of his frat. Towards the end he hated the late night parties, yelling, screaming , puking, and lack of focus by some kids. He's slightly hard to get along with as he's very black/white with his opinions. He thought a frat would be inclusive, and different from HS, but really, it still was filled with groups/cliques and the cool kids that he never was part of, partly just because of who he inherently IS.

    It's ok, he has a few friends, a degree, a good job offer and some memories. But it truly wasn't the "experience " he envisioned as a HS kid. His favorite part of college: finding a new hobby. Woodworking. He found a place on campus that let him use all sorts of tools and he made all kinds of things.

    Accept who you are, find things you like to do, and move forward. You can do this! There are so many things to do out there that are better than trying to re-live a "college experience. " I wish you the best.
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