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17 and the realisation that I completely wasted my life away and have no foreseeable future.

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To be honest with you guys, this is sorta my first time ever coming on to a site like this, can't say I'm entirely sure if I'm really doing this right or if anyone is going to even see this thread, but it's better than sitting around and twiddling my thumbs about y'know? I always thought that if were to dawdle my way into a forum or two about this kinda stuff, I thought I'd be the guy on the other end of line, giving some poor guy in need a piece of advice. Well I guess I'm that guy right now.

I guess it's time to quit with the dumb mellow-dramatic spiel and get to the whole point of this thread before anyone reading leaves out of boredom but I'd like to give a bit of context to the whole situation before I get to the deep stuff, just try and bear with me a bit. You ever get to that point in life where you're all hunky-dory chilling out in your room watching YouTube, hanging out with your friends, not doing homework, all that kind of stuff. And I know that everyone was like this at one point in their life, we've all been young stupid teenagers at some point in our lives, but that's the point.

Well, it all came crashing down on me basically. The ultimate reality check came in the form of my year 11 yearly examinations, or moreso the quality of which I have attempted my yearly exams. It's that time already, and I feel like garbage. The final term of my year 11 livelihood before my departure off into the realm of year 12 and then it's off to the real world, and I have absolutely no plans nor knowhow on how to actually be 'independent'.

And then it all starts to set in about all these facts about yourself that you'd just nonchalantly shrugged off; that you're an actual moron, you have practically no redeeming traits or skills about yourself, you're lazy, you've wasted away how many years playing video games or watching dumb videos and how you've accomplished absolutely nothing worthwhile within your entire existence. Then you start looking at your friends who already have jobs, meaningful relations, brains that'll get them whatever diploma that they so wish for.

I'm the textbook loser, a joke, a complete waste of space with no future. And I know this all sounds petty, whiny and stupid as hell compared to people with legitimate mental problems. Just that I've been in a real iffy headspace for quite a while and could use some advice or someone who knows about this kind of stuff for an opinion.

Regardless though if you got this far thanks for hearing me out.

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi AnotherWebDude,

Welcome to the forums! Thank you for signing up and making your first post - maybe if you like it here you can jump on other threads too to offer some advice. I think just knowing that people get it can be a big help. Also - you did everything right!

I'm sorry that you're having such a really hard time with all of this - it sounds like you are really hard on yourself.

For what it's worth, I'm in my twenties now but I can 100% relate to what you're going through right now - and I know others can too. There is so much pressure from people and messages to 'get life right'. Anything from 'your life starts now', 'use your skills', 'adulthood!!'. That in one year you're supposed to just step up and have life all figured out. There's also this message that it's wrong (and there's something wrong with you) if you don't, because everyone else knows how to!

What I know now though is that nobody actually has it figured out. The people who I compared myself to who had uni degrees lined up generally quit or changed degrees, the ones who had work lined up changed careers, and the ones that had relationships grew out of them. There's no way that we are supposed to be able to figure out this stuff, especially not straightaway. Even some of the people who skipped school everyday ended up landing themselves good jobs or making their way to uni.

I don't know if any of this is helpful. I'm sure that I could probably rant all day, but at the very least I want you to know that it's okay to not know, and it's okay to feel this way - but it doesn't mean that you've wasted your life and it doesn't mean that you don't have a good future. As much as the teachers never want to admit it, grades don't determine where you'll end up. and just personally, I don't think playing video games is a waste of time - you may even find that that's where you want your career to go? No matter what happens in year 12 your options are always always open.


Community Member

Hi AnotherWebDude,

Thanks for posting. You're concerns in no way sound stupid and I think you've done a really solid job of describing what you're going through right now and it's something a lot of people will feel they can relate to, so thanks for sharing it.

What I'm hearing now though is that it might be getting a bit worse? You say you're feeling like your headspace has been not great for a while now, and sometimes that can be a sign that maybe you might need some extra help to work through what your feeling right now. Do you have anyone at school (teacher/counsellor) that you can go to? Or have you heard of a mental health plan? If you feel like you want to chat to anyone over the phone you can call Beyondblue 1300 22 4636 or Headspace 1800 650 890 (you can also live chat with them online https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/connect-with-a-clinician/)

I definitely agree with romantic_thi3f in that no one really knows what their doing at 17 (and often at 27/37/47), and those who think they do often end up dropping out of uni or finding they don't like their job choice because they didn't explore enough when they were young. I myself just endured school and went to uni on an arts degree because I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I've found my passion now, but I'm 30 so it took sometime.

I wonder if you've had anything you might be interested in? You sound like you're into video games? There's definitely jobs to be had (and money to be made) there!


Community Member

Hi AnotherWebDude,

Thanks for spending the time to write about your struggles and sharing them with us. I’m sorry you’re so down about everything at the moment, and not feeling optimistic about the future. Year 11 and 12 are hard enough without the added pressure of preparing for the future and beating yourself up about being a loser.

There is this idea in society that we all need to have it figured out before we finish school, and have planned out our whole lives. Which if you think about it, is completely unrealistic. At 17, you should be enjoying your life, hanging out with friends and playing video games. You’ve still got your whole life ahead of you, and plenty of time to decide how you want to spend it.

Although some people know what they want to do after school, a lot of people don’t, and often go to university to study something for the sake of studying not because they are truly passionate about it. Some people study something only to realise it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be like and change mid course. Some people choose to take a year off to travel or volunteer. Some people choose to start working straight away. Some people start studying, and then take a break for 4 years to travel. I am now in my late 20s and finally studying my masters. At the age of 18, I had this idea I would finish studying by 24 and now be working full-time. However, as my favourite quote says “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans”.

I can say from personal experience, at 17 I had all those pressures of doing well at school, getting into university, find a well-paying job, get married, buy a house etc. etc. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that we are all on our own journeys, and life will happen differently for all of us. So, there isn't really any point in comparing yourself to your friends who seem to have it all figured out.

It can also be quite scary to be independent, and do all those ‘adult things’. When I finally moved out of home, I had no idea how to cook, or pay taxes, or do any of those grown up things. But with anything in life, you learn. I guess it’s like a video game. The first time you play, you probably don’t know any strategies or techniques, but the more you play, the better you get. That’s basically life. So as RT mention in their post, its ok to feel this way, and not to know.


Community Member
Though education is seen as quite important, there are other alternatives for gaining a good career. It may be hard to get through your VCE years, but, their is always TAFE or employment that doesn't require high level education. I wish you luck in future years and maybe you might be able to gain help with either subjects or employment on here or with people close to you.

Community Member

Hello fellow Y11/ now in Y12.

I'm in the same spot and have been dealing with anxiety and sessions of panic over my future since I started year 10. This past week alone, I have cried every single night consistently about my subjects, my future and the biggest anxiety of all, my projected ATAR. I cried over my end of year 11 french exam, english exam (more than once) and most notably my maths exam. I keep comparing myself with my brother (who did really well- got into dream degree) and I feel like the failure of my family. I just want to drop out every single day and go to TAFE to do courses I want. I go to a top 20 private school in the East but I FEEL INFERIOR - I FEEL STUPID. I know everyone is judging me based on my courses and what I want to do after school. My brain feels mushed and I have trouble focusing or writing words correctly because I just feel so sad about my life.

The saddest bit? I hate successful habits- I have panic attacks over going to tutoring because 'why would i bother in moving up my mark- I'm just going to fail anyway?'

Look: This is my conclusion from someone who has just cried for an hour right before writing this because I thought about dropping out (again) . I think anxiety medication first- otherwise things can spiral out of control (like where I am now) and then shift your focus to the subjects you enjoy. If you have trouble doing homework/assesments, start your afternoon with the subjects you like. Then do the subjects you don't like as much because if you start doing the work you have no interest in- things snowball, you procrastinate and nothing gets done. Thirdly, one day after school every week (Say Tuesday or Monday or whenever you have work due), go to the room of the subject you perform worst in. That's right- if its math, when the bell rings, grab your bag and homework and sit down. Then- even if its just for 30 minutes or an hour, go through questions that you struggle with your teacher. Then you will slowly build up confidence with that subject, that teacher and your marks will come!. This has been a savior for me as I struggle to complete work at home. If your teacher cannot do afternoons, maybe try mornings but let ask them beforehand if they will be there!

I hope you find even one of these things helpful, and please keep me updated!

Class of 2020 needs to stick together!!