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Dear Wendy

How do I get excited for my future?

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  • #841871 Reply

    I am 22 and I’m still living with my parent. I currently have no job. In only a few weeks, I will be obtaining my first degree before moving out this summer to live on or near a college campus to begin working on my bachelors. Most people in my position would be excited to move out and start their life, but I am very much dreading it. The only reason I am dreading it is because I know my life will consist of almost nothing except constant work. I will most likely have to hold a job while doing full-time school and spending most of my money (if not taking out loans too) to hold a roof over my head. I WANT so badly to be excited, but how do I get excited about constant work?

    I know this sounds awful and makes me seem like a deadbeat, but I don’t want to be that type of person. My girlfriend of 3 years is even contemplating everything because she can see how little ambition I have. How can I change my thought pattern on life?

    #841875 Reply

    Not to be a wiseass, but, um, plan a future that excites you?

    What will you be studying? Does it interest you? Will it prepare you for a career you’ll enjoy? If not, you have some changes to make.

    College is what lays the groundwork for the good stuff that comes later. Yeah, you’ll be quite busy for the next four years, but I studied hard, had a job, and still had plenty of time for fun. You will too.

    I know I’m going to sound like an old person (probably because I am), but those old cliches about having to put in the work to get the reward are true. The hard work is something you have to get through in order to get to the fun stuff.

    #841908 Reply
    Bon VivantBon Vivant

    ” I know my life will consist of almost nothing except constant work. I will most likely have to hold a job while doing full-time school and spending most of my money (if not taking out loans too) to hold a roof over my head.”

    Boo-fricking-hoo. Um, this is called LIFE and is pretty much what most of us have had to go through as well. Nobody’s career and exciting life were just magically handed over on a silver platter or of nowhere without time/hard work/dedication/ and more hard work.

    Think about it this way: Through this hard work and the difficult times you learn, grow as a person, mature and develop your intellect, meet interesting people, overcome challenges which makes you stronger, and establishes the tone for your life. It’s during times of difficulty that build your resolve and resourcefulness. Great things do happen during these times, and you will look back and be thankful for the experiences that built who you are as a person.

    You are at an exciting time in your life where there are infinite possibilities. You’ll never get this time back so seize the opportunity. Good luck to you.

    #841913 Reply

    Work you ass off when you are young. Save. Work some more. Rinse and Repeat.
    Then retire early and do what ever the hell you want.

    You have your entire life ahead of you and you are bemoaning the fact that you will have to support yourself?

    I think you are just terrified of leaving the safety nest of your parent’s home and financial support.

    #842058 Reply

    What is it you want your life to look like?

    You’re an adult. You don’t HAVE to do anything. Nobody can force you to go to college. You can have a meaningful life worth living without college. You can have a meaningful life worth living if you go to college. You can also go to college now or you can go to college later after exploring the world.

    What I suggest you avoid is going to college, racking up huge debts for a degree in something that will make you miserable and not help you find a decent job. Then you have massive debt and the only way to repay it is working a job you hate.

    Also, I don’t buy into the “work hard now and enjoy life in retirement” logic, at least if you’re in America. The way the economy is moving retirement isn’t going to be an option for most of the younger generation except for the exceptionally wealthy. Social Security and Medicare are going to be wiped out by the time anyone under 30 reaches retirement age (possibly under 40). Health insurance and medical costs are continuing to skyrocket, the cost of rent keeps increasing as well, and the average wage isn’t moving. Life is just getting harder and harder and the future is pretty bleak.

    Plus, who knows if you’ll even survive to retirement age? I certainly don’t see retirement as a possibility for myself.

    This isn’t a knock on saving and spending prudently, but rather an endorsement of finding things you enjoy doing NOW and doing those things. That seems to be what the LW’s core concern is – all he’s seeing is constant work. There must be something out there to enjoy.

    #842061 Reply

    Why do you need another degree right now? Why not start working, saving and see how you feel in a year? Or two? Or five?

    You’re 22. I hate to be that person, but you’re in your prime right now. I would encourage you to try and find a job that you’ll enjoy and make time for fun, too.

    Working a full time job and completing a bachelor’s on time sounds really exhausting. I don’t think most people can do both of those things at once with a lot of academic success so I can see why you feel apprehensive and discouraged. Do you have to do this? Can you work part time?

    One of my major regrets is going to a prestigious school (expensive) for a Bachelor’s degree. I had scholarships, but I still had to take out a lot of loans to cover my expenses, and I worked part time all through school and full time+ in the summers. But it was for a degree and career prospects that aren’t know to be high paying, so. For me, it was a bad choice.

    You don’t have to embark on your life this way. Do you have access to an advisor with the degree you’re getting soon? Or a counselor? If so, take advantage while you have that access. See your doctor, if you do think you might be depressed could also be better to do now, while you have that benefit at school.

    #842064 Reply

    I’m not sure what degree you are finishing, maybe an associates?

    It’s okay to take a year or two off to work so that you can save and only work part time while working on your bachelors degree. You can also consider working and taking one or two classes. Pick something that you will like doing as a job but also it should provide a living wage.

    There are also options other than college. HVAC is big. You can be done in one year and make a good income and be self-employed if you want.

    #842141 Reply

    It’s hard to be excited about the future when everything seems so dreary. I’d like to tell you things get better, but I spent the day envying Jonathon Singleton.

    #842264 Reply
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