Feeling like a failure

Lately I feel like I don't know what I want to do with my life. I have had a path carved since I graduated high school. I've been checking goals off of my list. My last semester of undergrad is this spring and I'm freaking out. I want to go to graduate school but I'm scared of choosing the wrong program and getting into more debt for something I don't want. I debate taking a year off but I'm scared I'll hate myself for taking a year off. Anything I do right now I hate myself for. I'm constantly dissappointed in myself for anything and everything. Since my anxiety feels like its getting worse at times I'm terrified that its going to take over my life. I feel like whatever choice I make for my future will be wrong. I have been lucky to have a consistent work and school schedule the last 4 years I have been in school. However, this coming semester that got messed up and I think it is adding to my anxiety. I will need to quit one of my jobs and am in the process of trying to find another job that works with my new hours but its tough, especially since ive grown so accustomed to a certain schedule. I feel like I won't find another job and I'll just ruin everything.

7 Replies

  • Hi, Brinks 9. I would guess more than a few students get fearful and start second guessing their life choices at the stage you are at. Graduate school is a big (and expensive) commitment. You said "I have had a path carved since I graduated high school"... that sounds like you have a real passion and I'm curious what it is. Also, do you feel you've grown into other interests? Would it help to talk w/ a guidance counselor @ school about what plans you really want to make? Try to work with your anxiety and focus that energy on something positive. You have accomplished so much already. Be proud of what you have done and try to believe in yourself that you can and will make the right choice.

  • I am studying psychology to be a mental health counselor. I am debating between a clinical psychology phD program or a masters program. I would love to be a doctor and prefer to get my phD sooner rather than later. If i get into a masters program i would take time off and settle into a career before going back to get my doctorate. I'm extremely passionate about what i'm studying. I just dont feel adequate enough to be a counselor anymore. As my ocd and panic attacks interfere more on my life I feel like i wont be a good counselor. I feel like im just learning about all of my triggers now so anything and everything can set off a panic attack. Thank you for your encouraging words :) i appreciate it. I'm just scared to ruin everything.

  • You can work on your OCD and panic attacks and still follow your dream for a PhD. Also, I think having dealt with your own issues (which you sound like you are working on) can make you more understanding and compassionate about your future patient's issues.

  • Congratulations on almost being done with your degree! That is a huge accomplishment.

    Anxiety is pretty normal when you have a lot of life changes coming up. It's okay to see a doctor and a counselor if you think some medication and talking to someone would help. It's also okay to go to graduate school and change your mind. Sometimes you just don't know untiil you've take a couple classes and gotten a feel for the field. It's not making a mistake to change your mind. People do it all the time.

    It sounds like you need to cut yourself some slack. You don't have to have all the answers. Take good care and best wishes to you.

  • Thank you :) I appreciate your encouraging words. I am really tough on myself most of the time and it is something I am trying to work through in therapy right now. Theres a lot behind my perfectionist complex, i just need to work on it so i dont get in my own way.

  • Hi Brinks9. What you are feeling right now is exactly how I have felt about school as well. After high school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn't want to take random classes and waste money on something I was unsure of. I actually took two years off from school, which was a huge stress reliever for me. I do wish I would have only taken a year off but I did eventually go back. If you feel like you need to take a year off to care of yourself then that's what you should do. It's never too late to go back to school and accomplish what you've started. I understand it may be tough to go that route just because you have already completed so much of schooling. I just know it helped me a lot with my anxiety worrying about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Now I am one class away from being able to apply for the program I am going to school for. You have to do what's best for YOU! Everything will work out in the long run, just don't ware yourself thin trying to get to that point. I wish you the best!!

  • Thank you for your supportive words. And congratulations! :) I am trying to not be so hard on myself and take life as comes.

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