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Finding Yourself

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay so, I'm utterly amazed at the fact that I'm posting something so personal like this right now, but I have no where else to turn, it seems. I'm afraid to talk to my parents about it, and I need a new perspective on things rather than the predictable advice I receive from old friends.

I've been making a lot of life changes lately and I still have many more to go, that much is a given, since I'm only 19.

The fact is, I just came back from a church trip (in my religion we keep the Feast of Tabernacles), and I feel kind of... well, lost, really.

I'm not doing my best in college right now. I've missed a lot due to illness and now church, and my grades and focus have reflected that. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm unhappy with my classes, but they were required to graduate. I think things will be better when I get to choose what *I* want to take and am more interested.

But I can't help but feeling lost, still.

I love living here at home with my parents. They're very supportive and it's great to have a big family once again. Part of me feels like I could never make it on my own, but sometimes I feel so guilty for letting my parents take care of me, especially now that I'm not the best student. I had planned on getting a job after my church trip, but now I'm swamped with school work and I have another trip coming up soon, so it's kind of out of the question.

I don't know what I want to do with my life. I thought I'd had it all figured out. Now the only thing I'm sure of is that I want to be married in my twenties, and I want to be a housewife (no offense to any women's rights people on here, we all have our own desires and this is mine, and more power to you). I love learning and going to school, and I know that I HAVE to do it to stay on insurance with my family.

Like I said, I don't feel like I could survive on my own. I'm terrified at what the future holds. Just thinking about it right now gives me goosebumps and makes me feel hopeless and sad. And I know some of you are probably thinking that I'm just a weak person, and maybe I am.

All I know is, I can't be alone. Due to a lot in my past, me and my mom are practically joined at the hip. Sometimes I think I should try new things, like live with my uncle and grandma in a different state and try school there, or a job or something. But then I think about my mom and how much I would miss her.... she's my best friend, and it's basically unthinkable.

I don't know how to describe the feeling in me, I can just hope that you're not bored reading this and someone, somewhere has felt exactly like this at such a big moment in life.

My biggest thought is, if I did try to make it on my own, how would I make enough to keep up my life? Such as, caring for Bella (I can't live without her), my cell phone bill, car insurance, health insurance... the list goes on and on! All of it is truly mind-boggling. And right now I hate college so much that I wish I could just stop, but besides the fact that I know it will be better when I have better classes, I'm the first one out of my family to go to college, and I feel like I can't let everyone down with that.


I know that was sooo long and probably sounds whiney, but I'm going bonkers here. Has anyone ever went through this or have any suggestions? And please don't be too hard on me... this is all I've ever known and I'm terrified.

Thank you....
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldSongbird View Post
Okay so, I'm utterly amazed at the fact that I'm posting something so personal like this right now, but I have no where else to turn, it seems. I'm afraid to talk to my parents about it, and I need a new perspective on things rather than the predictable advice I receive from old friends.

I've been making a lot of life changes lately and I still have many more to go, that much is a given, since I'm only 19.

The fact is, I just came back from a church trip (in my religion we keep the Feast of Tabernacles), and I feel kind of... well, lost, really.

I'm not doing my best in college right now. I've missed a lot due to illness and now church, and my grades and focus have reflected that. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm unhappy with my classes, but they were required to graduate. I think things will be better when I get to choose what *I* want to take and am more interested.

But I can't help but feeling lost, still.

I love living here at home with my parents. They're very supportive and it's great to have a big family once again. Part of me feels like I could never make it on my own, but sometimes I feel so guilty for letting my parents take care of me, especially now that I'm not the best student. I had planned on getting a job after my church trip, but now I'm swamped with school work and I have another trip coming up soon, so it's kind of out of the question.

I don't know what I want to do with my life. I thought I'd had it all figured out. Now the only thing I'm sure of is that I want to be married in my twenties, and I want to be a housewife (no offense to any women's rights people on here, we all have our own desires and this is mine, and more power to you). I love learning and going to school, and I know that I HAVE to do it to stay on insurance with my family.

Like I said, I don't feel like I could survive on my own. I'm terrified at what the future holds. Just thinking about it right now gives me goosebumps and makes me feel hopeless and sad. And I know some of you are probably thinking that I'm just a weak person, and maybe I am.

All I know is, I can't be alone. Due to a lot in my past, me and my mom are practically joined at the hip. Sometimes I think I should try new things, like live with my uncle and grandma in a different state and try school there, or a job or something. But then I think about my mom and how much I would miss her.... she's my best friend, and it's basically unthinkable.

I don't know how to describe the feeling in me, I can just hope that you're not bored reading this and someone, somewhere has felt exactly like this at such a big moment in life.

My biggest thought is, if I did try to make it on my own, how would I make enough to keep up my life? Such as, caring for Bella (I can't live without her), my cell phone bill, car insurance, health insurance... the list goes on and on! All of it is truly mind-boggling. And right now I hate college so much that I wish I could just stop, but besides the fact that I know it will be better when I have better classes, I'm the first one out of my family to go to college, and I feel like I can't let everyone down with that.


I know that was sooo long and probably sounds whiney, but I'm going bonkers here. Has anyone ever went through this or have any suggestions? And please don't be too hard on me... this is all I've ever known and I'm terrified.

Thank you....
First of all, I am male but I had almost the same exact situation you describe when I was 19. I wanted to finish college but my parents had no money and I washed dishes at night, anything to pay the tuition costs. I saw no way out. But what I did was the most intelligent thing I could have done in my position. I joined the Navy. Of course being in the navy I was never alone and everything was taken care of for me including all the costs of a college education. This may not at all be for you but I offer it as a way out, the way that I chose. You may want to at least check into the possibilities because from what you describe, you would never be alone and you can explore all of the educational options available. And the navy actually helps you by acting as your parents so that you never have to worry about anything. Just a thought.
post #3 of 16
i want to say one thing - please take it as it's meant!
i, also, wanted to marry in my twenties, & have kids, stay-at-home-mom, etc.
i'm now 50, & never been married - just never found the right one!
if you can't be happy alone, it's incredibly difficult to be happy w/another person. there'll be times when you won't be together - what will happen then?
i really think you should find some things you enjoy doing alone... & don't marry just so you won't be. trust me - my youngest brother HATES being alone. he's going thru his 2nd divorce [he's 41] & he already has a girlfriend because of his 'aloneness' issues. i encouraged him to find some male friend who enjoy the same activities he does, because i hate to see him make the same poor choices over & over.
post #4 of 16
You've had some great advice here - you certainly need to be happy with yourself, another person in your life doesn't "complete" you. However, if they are the right one, they should "complement" you, in that they add to your life.

It sounds as if you are finding college has quite turned out to be the fantastic journey that you thought it would be at this time. I come across this frequently, students who talk to me because they have found themselves on the wrong course or just not enjoying particular subjects. My advice? Well, if you think that the course is the right one for you ultimately, see these courses as the nasty medicine that you have to take before the nicer stuff comes along. Grit your teeth and do the best you can in those courses.

But, if you think that the course is not the right one for you, talk to your personal tutor (or whichever person in your college gives guidance) and ask advice about transferring to another course that is more to your liking.

In fact, it might be a good idea to talk to a counsellor in your college anyway. You'll be amazed how many students find the thought of life after college overwhelming. Moving from the security of home to the big wide world on their own. But, just as with many other things, you find your way through when you're dealing with it.

Good luck, I hope that you are able to feel more comfortable with where you are in life soon
post #5 of 16
Now from someone at the opposite end of the spectrum (no disrespect to military... I'm just more of a free spirit type).

I spent a number of years trying to sort out what I wanted to do/be when I 'grew up' (mind you, I'm now 36 and I still don't think I've grown up). I started in Community College (much cheaper) to get most of the major 'ugly' classes out of the way. I did, earning my A.A. in the process. it took me five years and four schools to get there, but i did. I was different, everyone around me had college, and I wasn't expected to even graduate from high school (getting told you're stupid and slow has an effect). All through the community colleges, I was a music major, ultimately getting my AA in General Ed, to get away from an ex boyfriend harassing me on campus. I took a year off, went back to a local school, majoring in music. that lasted a quarter. I hated my teachers (some of them), and reevaluated things. I changed to English and never looked back. I had phenomenal classes and teachers. I found ways to incorporate things I enjoyed with the requirements (had to take statistics, so I found a Statistics Applied to Psychology, awesome class).

College is your time to explore your life, your possibilities and beyond. At 19, you're still early in the game... there are usually guidance counselors on college campuses who can help direct your choice of classes so you can get some enjoyment out of them. Attitude is a part of it. I went in to my classes not with the attitude of 'must get an A' but to soak up as much knowledge as I can, regardless of the grade. I usually did pretty darn good.

What is your major? Are these the classes you're struggling with? Or are they the basics that everyone has to take? Sometimes, it's all about the teacher. For example: In my first three years of college, I tried, and dropped, College Composition at least three times... always bored/frustrated. I changed schools once again, and found this one teacher. She's a Chaucerian Scholar (knows Chaucer's work inside and out - difficult stuff), but also teaches College Comp. She didn't enforce the same rules of Comp. as most professors do (pick a subject from this list), but explained the basics and said to write about what WE wanted to write about. This changed me for life. I aced that class... I hated it all the years before... a few years later, working on my English degree, I took a class on Chaucer... guess who was my teacher? It was a blast... not easy, but it was fun.

I stuck with college, something no one expected of me... now, I'm looking at aiming for my M.A. and maybe even a PhD (unless I go for the MFA in Writing... it's a terminal degree, there's nothing above it). In college, there are always options. Also, I was like you at 19... wanted to marry young and have a family... I changed, my values changed when I hit 30... not to say that'll happen... everyone has their own dream... chase yours... do some journaling... no one else has to see it... but it helps to get it down in front of you... list the things you love about college and don't like about it.

I'll go before I start writing a book here... it's already long enough... good luck... you have plenty of time to figure things out... take advantage of it.
post #6 of 16
I think many people at that age going to college have the same issue. We have no clue what exactly we want to do, and we get jealous of those people who have a "plan" in life.

You're not going through those "weeder" classes are you? The ones that test your "resolve" in sticking to a major? Just kind of have to grit your teeth through those.

What do you do summers? Can you take a co-op or intern at some place that's related to your major? That'll usually set you on your feet and if you really like the place it might give you something to aim for. If not, then you can either try someplace else where you fit better, or if you get second thoughts, you can change your major if you find that the application of your major isn't what you made it out to be. It's hard to have to subject yourself to the misery of classes you don't want to take if you don't have a clear goal in the end. Oh, and having co-ops or interns makes finding jobs a million times easier, even if you don't go work where you co-oped or interned, you have something to put on your resume.

To tell you the truth, unless your future husband is pulling in some serious cash, it's hard to be a housewife in this day and age. You almost NEED two people's incomes to keep a house running and have a family for most average people. I'm not trying to say it's impossible to be a housewife, but just something to keep in mind.
post #7 of 16
You sound like my sister was a when she first went to Stan State.
She was around your age and was taking Nursing and lived in a dorm.
She would cry and was depressed.
She would drive 2 hours just to stay at my dads every weekend or holiday.
She had to change her major because she was getting no where.
My Dad paid for her schooling but she switched to Crim Justice.
She got her Ba in 2007 but did not get a job in her field.
She works at a Casino and it took her a year to find a job.
She does live in her own place now and has for about 2 years.
She was scared just like you.
Is there anyone else you can talk to about how you feel?
post #8 of 16
It sounds like your major problem is hating school right now. The advice of talking to a guidance counselor is a good one. If you share what classes are bothering you and what your academic goal is, some people here might be able to help more specifically. My general suggestion is that you should talk to other students in your class and arrange study meetings with them. This would give you an additional social outlet that helps you focus on school instead of distracting you from school and it could be a way to make the classes actually fun.

You say you want to be married and raising children as soon as possible, that you want to stay very close with your mother, and that you are afraid of living alone. If you don't want to live alone, then why worry about it? If you don't find a husband in the next 30 years, would you mind living with your parents until they die? Would they mind you staying with them? If your parents want you to stay with them until you marry and you marry someone with similar views about what women should do, no-one will want you to live on your own or be independent. Others here have implied that you will need to learn to be self-sufficient, but that's not actually necessarily true.

Personally, my morals dictate that I should be self-sufficient, but it doesn't always work out that well. Humans are very social creatures, and often do better when supporting one another than when living alone. Okay, you don't want to live alone right now. That's fine: don't live alone, and stop worrying about it. Don't conflate needing to live in a social situation with needing to be married RIGHT NOW. Wait till you fall in love, and stay in a social living situation until then.

About health insurance: if you can't afford it, then don't get it. If you are really risk-adverse, get a very very high deductible plan in case of emergencies. Assuming you are healthy (have no pre-exisitng conditions) you are a part of the population that needs to be in health insurance so that you can pay more in premiums that you get in benefits, and so subsidize the health care for the rest of us. You can choose not to do that. Maybe your family doctor charges reasonable cash rates, maybe you should find a cash-only clinic that keeps bills down by refusing to file any insurance paperwork. Health insurance does not equal health care.
post #9 of 16
I can relate to how you are feeling. I stayed at home through college, now have a career, was staying at home to save up for a house. It is very hard to get a house on a single income especially when you weren't getting a decent pay. So here here I am 27 and still at home. I always felt like I knew who I was in school. I was focused on all my classes and played tennis. I helped around the house, yard and ran almost all errands. Once I graduated and started a real job (I had other jobs to pay for school once I went to private school), well, I really didn't know who I was anymore. I felt like I had lost my purpose.

My mom died this year in March. We were pretty close and she was someone I could always ask for advice or tell her if I was scared or upset. She was always there for me no matter what and now I feel lost without her. I really am still trying to face the reality that I won't ever see her again.

My point is that you are still at an age where those feelings are going to be normal. It is a time in life that is uncertain because you are still trying to figure out what you want to do and if you don't do what you feel is right, you may regret it later on in life. It is scary to move away, but it sounds like your parents are supportive and if it doesn't work out, you could always go back.

Are the classes you are taking prerequisites or are they classes for a major you don't want? Do you have an idea what area you do like?
post #10 of 16
I know almost exactly how you feel, except I'm a male (so naturally I don't plan on being a housewife), I knew that I wanted to have a career in which I would be involved with animals (and I ended up choosing to be a vet), and instead of working with a church group, I was trying to balance 2 jobs while going to university.

And like you I hated my classes but I had to take them. I passed that semester with 60%s in most of my classes because I just didn't have enough time to do all the homework and studying that I should have because work was keeping me busy.

After that semester, I decided to take a year off from school and just work and make money so I wouldn't have to worry as much about paying for tuition and books. Honestly, that was one of the best choices that I made. Some people don't think it's a good idea because sometimes people who take a year off don't go back. And at first, I didn't want to either but I knew that I had to and now that I'm only working one job and school, it's not nearly as bad. I don't have nearly as much stress as I did, I doing better in my classes, and I'm generally happier. Just something you might want to consider. I hope everything works out for you in the end.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
You all have been SO extremely helpful, and I thank you very, very much for taking the time to write back.


To answer the seemingly general question: The classes I'm taking are necessary to graduate from any Georgia school, except for the class I'm having the hardest time with - Latin. My major was going to be Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Rome and their languages: Latin and Ancient Greek). I love that time period and I wanted so badly to do it, but I should've known better; I'm not a languages person AT ALL, and if I find Latin hard, Ancient Greek is going to make me kick the bucket. So, I think I will stick to general history major. I adore history and I just GET IT, you know, unlike some other stuff that is just beyond me (math, for example).

The part about it is, at my school, you can't change a class after the first week. You think you have time to test the waters and suddenly the time is up. I have to have 12 hours to be on insurance, and so I couldn't drop Latin, which is the class giving me the most trouble. So I'm stuck until the end of this semester, and I'm terrified because I know my grade won't even be a C in that class, and I've never made below that before. I feel like I've wasted my parents' money and I don't want them to feel that way.

As for the being alone part, I have no problem being alone, as in, I spend a lot of time to myself. But I don't think I could live alone (not even with Bella with me), and I fear that I will be with my parents until I'm married - not that I consider that a bad thing whatsoever. It's how it was done in the old days and it's just fine for me to do it now.

After reading all your replies, I feel cooled down a lot. I guess I just needed to breathe for a minute. Sometimes things can be overwhelming, as I think we ALL know, but it will be okay, I know. Especially if I pray about it and keep getting such great advice from you folks.
post #12 of 16
I agree with the responses above. The main thing that strikes me is that you are unhappy about college. If you are 19, then I am making an assumption that you are a sophomore. That is one of the worst years, especially the first semester. You have to take prereqs for a major that you need to declare but that you might not like after all. I remember that I had to still take courses that would fulfill my distribution requirements.

Anyway, can you take a leave of absence now or next semester? Maybe you just need some time to yourself. You are part of a religious community. Is there some kind of spiritual or community service you can perform?

I would agree that you should not make plans to marry in your twenties and be a housewife. You certainly do not want to marry Mr. Wrong just to be married and then, even worse, be divorced with 2 kids when haven't even turned 30.

Nowadays, most women work for pay outside the house. I went to grad school and had a professional career in front of me and to never be a housewife. I had no plans to marry in the near future.

I met DH while I was in grad school. I graduated and we got married the next year. That was not in my plans 26 years ago but we are still married.

I had my professional career and now I am a housewife so I can stay home with our bipolar son. Point is, when you are in your twenties, you do not always know how your life will turn out.

If I could be any age, I would be in my 30's. That is when DH and I were settled in good jobs, we owned a house and had a wonderful little girl. That little girl, Jen, will be 22 in Dec and is a senior at college. She did not much like sophomore year, either, but she will be switching that tassel in May during commencement. Jen has always expected to work after college. Hopefully, she can get a job in this economy.

IMO, take some time off and experience the "real world" outside of a college community.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldSongbird View Post
You all have been SO extremely helpful, and I thank you very, very much for taking the time to write back.


To answer the seemingly general question: The classes I'm taking are necessary to graduate from any Georgia school, except for the class I'm having the hardest time with - Latin. My major was going to be Classics (the study of ancient Greece and Rome and their languages: Latin and Ancient Greek). I love that time period and I wanted so badly to do it, but I should've known better; I'm not a languages person AT ALL, and if I find Latin hard, Ancient Greek is going to make me kick the bucket. So, I think I will stick to general history major. I adore history and I just GET IT, you know, unlike some other stuff that is just beyond me (math, for example).

The part about it is, at my school, you can't change a class after the first week. You think you have time to test the waters and suddenly the time is up. I have to have 12 hours to be on insurance, and so I couldn't drop Latin, which is the class giving me the most trouble. So I'm stuck until the end of this semester, and I'm terrified because I know my grade won't even be a C in that class, and I've never made below that before. I feel like I've wasted my parents' money and I don't want them to feel that way.

As for the being alone part, I have no problem being alone, as in, I spend a lot of time to myself. But I don't think I could live alone (not even with Bella with me), and I fear that I will be with my parents until I'm married - not that I consider that a bad thing whatsoever. It's how it was done in the old days and it's just fine for me to do it now.

After reading all your replies, I feel cooled down a lot. I guess I just needed to breathe for a minute. Sometimes things can be overwhelming, as I think we ALL know, but it will be okay, I know. Especially if I pray about it and keep getting such great advice from you folks.
WOW! You don't go for the easy majors, do you? First, can you get a tutor for Latin? It's only one class in 4, right? If you can get to C by the end of the semster, that would be great, but you still have 3 other classes to pull up your GPA.

And, honey, I'm 39 and I STILL don't know what I want to do when I grow up! It's not uncommon to change majors to something you feel more comfortable with. Maybe History, or Mythology would be better? Just throwing them out there. I actually started as a psychology major but ended up with a BS in English and a minor in Communications. There's nothing wrong with changing direction if you find something that interests you more.

And, there's nothing wrong with not wanting to leave your family right now. I know, society seems to think everyone should be moving out once they are age 18, but that isn't true. I remember crying myself to sleep my senior year because I was "supposed" to go away to college the next year, and I wasn't ready. I decided to go to a community college for a year, then went to a state college for 3 more years (only 15 minutes from my house) so I had the best of both worlds. There is nothing wrong with being close to your family and not wanting to leave them.

You have a lot of living to do, and I hope your plan works out. I wanted to be married by the age of 24 (when my mom got married) but I didn't find the right man until later. I got married when I was 35. Plans are great, but don't base your decisions on a time table. You need to find the right man to raise a family with.

I hope you have had time to breath and stop stressing. Just remember you don't know to know what you want to do with your life this year, next year or the following year. Life is an ongoing process and is ever changing. I honestly don't think there IS an answer except "what makes me happy".
post #14 of 16
Hey hon,

I am yet another of the many people that completely understands how you feel! I am (was?) the exact same way. The only reason I'm not now is because I somehow plowed through college and am now married.

Like you, I cannot live on my own. Unlike you, I have for a while. Just under a year, I lived on my own with my two dogs, and I had no life. I was miserable and really hated it, even though I was close to home. So you have my sympathy!

The main reason I'm adding to this thread is to give you more sympathy. But, I also wanted to add a suggestion. With your major, have you ever considered doing a study abroad? If there is any way you can afford it- scholarship, fundraising, student loan, what ever, I highly, highly recommend it. Even if it's just for a short time- 3 weeks, say- it would likely help you out as much as it helped me. Not only does it give you a chance away from home, but it really helps you with your major! You will likely love it and come home a different person, but even if you hate being away from home, you learn the fun, easy way that that really is what you want. Honestly, it's better experience, better resume, better education, and probably more fun than living with your uncle or grandma in a different state! And, it's short term. Plus, your college probably has something that will also work towards your major!

Just a thought that you may want to entertain. It really helped me out!!

Whatever you do, I wish you all the best. Just keep plowing forward, don't give up (continuing college or not is one thing, just don't give up on life!), and you will get through these awkward years and end up somewhere very happy!

PS- yeah, I'm a lot like you. My husband and I bought our first house- and it's literally 5 mins from my parents!
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6 View Post
To tell you the truth, unless your future husband is pulling in some serious cash, it's hard to be a housewife in this day and age. You almost NEED two people's incomes to keep a house running and have a family for most average people.
well, it isn't easy, but it's definitely doable. my sister has 4 kids & was a SAHM. her husband was career military - so not a lot of $$$, altho medical was pretty much taken care of. she didn't start working outside of the home until just recently - she gives private voice lessons at the local high school [she has her master's in vocal performance]. her oldest is now 22, graduated from college & employed [altho still living at home]. her youngest is a freshman in high school this year.
oh, she also home-schooled all 4 until high school age.
they made lots of choices based on the way they wanted to raise their children. she made many of the kids clothes [especially when they were little], cooked most of their food from scratch [cheaper than prepared stuff], they've never purchased a new car, always a used one.
even w/a college degree, she researched it & found that daycare would've eaten most of her salary had she chosen to work outside the home when the kids were small.
post #16 of 16
Sounds like you are getting the core classes out of the way... my advice is to figure out what you love to do and choose that major. Then school will become much more fun. If there are several things you like, choose the one that will make you the most money when you graduate.

Bite the bullet and get that degree. You don't want to be financially dependent on some guy. What if the marriage doesn't work out - you would be stuck there if you don't have a degree or work skills to fall back on. And, it's not difficult to live on a budget if you are willing to do without some things.

Unfortunately, many men do not respect women who can not bring in some income to the relationship.

Being a sahm is not an easy job, it's quite thankless, and it doesn't pay well at all! All the sahm's I know (myself included) do volunteer work or have part-time jobs just to keep their sanity!

I wish you well, as others have said, this is the time for figuring things out about your life and your future. You can't figure it all out right now, though, so follow your passions and and think career. Financial independence is HUGE and will allow you to go wherever you want in life, once you figure it out. Good luck!
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