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Am I running out of time?

ElieAC
Community Member

I’m very nearly 20 and feel as though I haven’t accomplished as much as I should.

I used to be the kid that did absolutely everything and did it well. Now I sit around without friends or hobbies wondering if I’ll ever make anything of myself.

My grades at uni are no longer the A’s they once were. My jobs (I have two) pay less than enough to be financially stable. I live alone and know bringing in a roommate would be more financially responsible but I’m an introvert who needs space and would panic having someone else in my home.

My problem is I feel that I don’t really have much direction. I’m not extraordinary at anything and I’m just sort of decent at most things so I have no idea what to do with myself.

I feel like I’ve not accomplished anything and that I’m running out of time to find a skill or passion that’s worth investing in.

If you have advice or have felt like this, I’d love to listen.

Sincerely,

A very stuck young human.

6 Replies 6

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Dear ElieAC  
Thank you for posting today.  
It can seem overwhelming to feel that you need to have all the answers at the moment. Rest assured that you do have ample time to consider the direction of your life, and it’s important to not place so much pressure on yourself..  
It can make a real difference having someone to talk to, so we’d like to invite you to call our wonderful counsellors on 1300 22 4636, or jump onto a webchat here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/  Our counsellors are available 24/7 to provide care and support.  
Thank you again for sharing with our wonderful community members.     
Warm regards  
Sophie M

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello ElieAC, striving to get A's in uni so that you hope to get into the profession you have always wanted to, can certainly change when you're in this age group, and may wonder why you are actually doing this course, because at 20 much can change and differently to how you felt when you were 17 or 18.

Can you make a decision whether or not you want to continue on with this course or if it's heading in the wrong direction, and then perhaps apply for a job that you had never thought you would have applied for, something to break this cycle.

You may not have to stay with this job, because it might inspire you to another direction, it's just about taking small steps, at the moment it's giving you the confidence to move on from where you are currently at now.

You can also contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 by phone, web chat or online (5 to 25 years) and hope you can still stay in cntact with us.

Take care.

Geoff.

Beeee
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi ElieAC,

I'm 21 and often feel just like you. I think it's normal post-high school to wonder what direction your life is going in as this is the first time we've really been in charge of our own future.

But we are still so young, lots of people change careers at 30, 40 or even older. Our lives might be going in a certain direction right now but we can change the path at any time in the future. So I hope you don't feel like you need to have your whole future mapped out before 20 (I certainly did not!)

Maybe think about some things you enjoy doing, re-visit hobbies you had as a kid or even try something completely new.

Wishing you the best,

Beeee

jaz28
Community Champion
Community Champion

hi there,

OMG! 20! You are still so young with SO MUCH to give. i am 21 and i am STILL figuring it out. my tip is to have a dream, or a goal, but even if you don't - just take it one day at a time. what is meant for you WILL come to you. You can achieve great things!

Your 20s SHOULD be the age of discovery - where you START to figure things out. Most people these days change careers MULTIPLE times, so you do not have to have something set in stone at this age. you need to focus on what passions you have and your studies and see where it leads you.

you will be FINE, my advice is to focus on your passions and immerse yourself in them, be open to new experiences and see where life takes you. DO NOT feel any pressure to have it all figured out - bc who does?

all the best,

jaz xx

Bob_22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi ElieAC,

Thanks for your post. I know it can be difficult to feel like you have no set path/direction, especially if you thought you a plan and were highly motivated in your teens. It also sounds like you have a lot on your plate with rent struggles, two jobs and uni to boot.

You mentioned that you feel like you're running out of time to find a skill or passion. I would ask that you be more forgiving with yourself. Many people go their whole life without asking the questions you're asking right now.

You have a lot going on in your life as well as all the changes one goes through in becoming a young adult. I assure you that during your twenties, opportunities will arise and things may pique your interest that didn't before. You're also allowed to make mistakes when it comes to finding your 'passion' or dream 'career' and its never too late to reassess - especially if its for something you love. Its simply a matter of patience.

Hope that helps

Spl spl
Community Member

Hey ElieAC,

It's normal to feel that way in uni, you are far from the only one. Still, just because it's normal doesn't mean it can't feel unpleasant. It's this time of life where you really start to be on your own and take your first steps into adulthood, so please be easy on yourself. In my opinion, you're already doing very well. Two jobs, uni, and living on your own is nothing to sneeze at, those are all great accomplishments.

From the sounds of it, you are a busy person and work hard. In my opinion, being able to do that is a skill in itself. Skill can be a subjective thing, and other people around you may have different perceptions of what you're good at. I used to take photos I thought were just decent, but other people really liked them surprisingly. You may also have some old forgotten skills from childhood that just haven't had the right time or place to reappear. How skilled you are is a matter of perception. There are famous artists who think their art looks horrible, and kids drawing stick figures who think they're the best. There is no point where it's "enough" and suddenly you are passionate, because finally it's "good". What you do already is good.

Hype yourself up and celebrate the things that go well for you. In school, all that is built in. At first while reading your post I personally didn't relate to wanting to get A's - but now that I think about it, an A is the result of hard work. It's a real accomplishment. So not getting A's would of course be a cause for worry. Once uni is over, so are grades, so of course there is stress in not knowing where you will go quite yet. Feeling accomplished is pretty important- it's how the brain works to complete tasks- to get that dopamine.

Feeling accomplished in what you do is not some secret sauce passed down from the school system, or a rarity, it is something you can feel right at this moment in yourself. Even if it sounds cheesy, please celebrate yourself, that is my advice. An extraordinary accomplishment does not always equal feeling extraudinarily accomplished. Small tasks can feel rewarding in themselves, so take advantage of that.

I'm not asking for you to settle, more like it's easier to figure it all out if you aren't simultaneously expecting a specific feeling to arise from it. Feelings change all the time.

Last thing, working two jobs and uni might be making time appear to go faster because you're busy. If you get the chance to take a break at all, that might help. All the best!!