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Completely ruined my life. What do I do?

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    A little backstory is necessary here;

    I am 21 and about to (hopefully) graduate at Manchester University with a History degree. I found that History was not the subject for me by the end of my first year of university, but I thought it was mostly because I had a terrible time in halls and was bullied by my flatmates so I continued through to second year. My second year went much better, but I discovered I have no interest in History at all. In actual fact, I have no interest in anything at all, nothing sparks anything in me beyond a casual like or dislike and I have thought about doing almost every kind of job imaginable in the past.

    I have no work experience, I felt I never needed the money and it wasn't until this year that I realised that experience is so important to the process of finding work. I also spent most of my time at university struggling to even speak to people and therefore did not do any extra curricular activities. So at this point I have nothing to write on a CV, so applying for any job seems like a pointless endeavour. I am also terrified of interviews in general, the first and only job I have ever applied for, when I was 16, left me feeling rejected and useless after they told me I did not get the job.

    My main interests are in computers and Art, both of which would require further study and going back to college, something that I can only dream of being able to afford. At this point it seems like all my plans for an enjoyable future where I can actually afford to do the things I enjoy, such as travel, are slipping away. All of this stress because I merely picked the wrong subjects to study way back at A Level and chose the wrong degree.

    My worries over this situation are constantly plaguing me and I feel like its hopeless to even think of having a career or even a stable job.

    At this point I am here to ask what your advice to me would be? I feel like I am at the end of my rope and its starting to affect my health.
    What should I do next?
    Please only give answers that are actually useful as telling me that I should not have made the choices I did is not going to help me now.
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    I think the answer to this is probably twofold.

    (1) You don't seem to be a particularly resilient person at the moment, and you seem not to have any passion or anything like that. So I'd consider that the internal problem. In terms of building resilience it's either a case of getting over rejection and your difficulty in speaking to people through forcing yourself to apply to jobs or go to social events or - alternatively - if it's a really deep seated issue perhaps see a doctor and explore the options for therapy.

    (2) The external problem of not having a job seems to me to be quite large. Not only have you never worked you've not done any extra curricular activities or anything which you could reasonably put on an application form. I would suggest that you start applying for the sort of jobs that are easier to get without experience, for example Marks and Spencer take on Christmas temps in late July. If that doesn't work perhaps consider volunteering for a charity such as CAB, or in an Oxfam shop. Both of these provide transferable skills which could help you apply for jobs in the future.
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    was once like you. i had nothing to write on my cv.

    since you have got a year left, who not try getting involved in societies or clubs? get involved in business-like clubs or societies. manchester has a good business school and there should be a few clubs or societies that are open to non-business students. literally "get involved," so dont just join but take part in them.

    why not do a dissertation in economic history or social history. you can write this in your cv and in your final year try to take modules that have some business, econ and social history in them.

    when looking for jobs, lower your expectations and demonstrate your willingness to learn. dont think you can earn 35k upon graduation, only bankers can. your starting salary will be around 20k and over the next 5 years it will reach 35 - 40k.

    edit, sorry this is an advice for finalists. you have already graduated?
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    As Norton1 says, voluntary work is probably the best route forward. It is highly valued by employers generally. It would be great if you could get work experience in the areas you are interested in so you get experience in those areas. I'm not sure what you want to do with computers, but maybe you could volunteer on schemes helping people learning to use computers, or with art you can volunteer at after-school clubs. Even if they are barely related they make your CV look that much better. Plus voluntary work can help boost your self-esteem.

    Unfortunately you are going to have go get over your interview fear, there is no way around it. Try not to be scared of rejection because it is rarely personal, it is usually a result of a more qualified applicant. Plus just remember people interviewing you are just people, be friendly, share your qualities, share why you want the job. It's just a skill you can develop.

    Anyway, you haven't ruined your life. The idea of going to uni, graduating and finding your perfect job is more a fairytale for most of us than a reality. Good luck
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    I'm in my final year now and have just finished my final exams. I still am unsure whether I will graduate at all as one of my modules may have been a failure.
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    (Original post by barkyface)
    As Norton1 says, voluntary work is probably the best route forward. It is highly valued by employers generally. It would be great if you could get work experience in the areas you are interested in so you get experience in those areas.
    I think my major problem is that I have no real passion or interests in anything beyond a mere cursory like of a subject. If I had any real focus then I imagine I would feel better within myself and more optimistic about the entire matter. Unfortunately, no one can tell you what your interests and skills are.

    University life has also really shook my self-confidence. I spent a year being bullied by flatmates which killed most of my self-esteem and left me being too afraid to use the bathroom incase I ran into one of the girls. I have made 0 friends since I have been here at University although that is completely my own fault, and I pretty much feel like a failure academically and socially. I used to be at the top of my game but since university I've pretty much faced consistent failure. I know deep down that I need to break this attitude but no matter how much I want to talk to people or get involved, the fear of being rejected holds me back.
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    Oddly enough your tale rings true with me too. Much of what you have written there could be equated to my own experiences. Actually I didn't find that I disliked history (quite the opposite), but I did find the subject as taught at undergraduate levels was not the subject I enjoyed during my A-levels or after university in my own private studies. History at university these days is the province of the faddist and is as disjointed as at school, but without (at least in my case) the brilliance and direct involvement of a teacher.

    And after leaving university my life pretty much fell through.

    I'd advise getting whatever job you can and look for training in a practical skill on a part-time basis. I've got accountancy qualifications since then - AAT, which are not hard to get or too expensive, but coupled with some experience do your career prospects a world of good. Especially as a stepping stone to ACCA. Ultimately I decided it wasn't for me (I might still get the level 4 qualifcation for the sake of a back-up) and ended up taking evening classes in Computer Science at Birkbeck. I'm software testing now, and much happier. If you can in any way, get some professional qualifications - and experience, through voluntary work if necessary - I got my first accountancy job only after 10 weeks of volunteering there - even if it is not of the most glamorous kind. I've been able to afford my masters by working full-time (this works for online and evening classes) whilst doing it... a career development loan can help, if you want. I'd only recommend it for something strictly career's based though.
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    speak with a professional like a career consultant, but here are what i have so far.

    i would write modules that had some business, econ and social history on your cv and explain what you have learned. you can write the title of the dissertation on your cv. when writing a cv, think long and hard about what you have done in the last 3 years. there must be something you can write on your cv.

    you could get involved in local charities. dont do cooking for homeless, raising money for cancer or shop-assisting at oxfam. never do shop-assiting as others suggest here, they dont take you anywhere. they dont get you the right connections or the long term career prospect. these are deadend roles for retired people. try to get a voluntary role in a charity office, hopefully in big charities like shelter, this often leads to a permanent post. you will be surprised to learn that senior members in the third sector earn a lot more than accountants at pwc. if you do really well in the third sector, you might be joining some big-name international ngo or politics later. (my bad, i used ngo wrongly.)

    another promising lead is to look for a job in your alma mater. why not try your department, library or the central administration? they dont need any experience (assuming you can do word and basic excel) and the starting salary will be around 18 - 22k. you might be surprised when you realize that a senior librarian at a uk university makes about 55k and they do quite a lot of database management.

    the public sector is another area you might want to look into. your local council and library. you could potentially do art projects with local schools or local communities that way?

    conclusion is think long term. dont do shop-assisting because those roles are temporary. dont work as a care-taker at old peoples home because it wont get you anywhere. if you join a library you have a career, if you join your university as an admin, you have a career, if you join a local council, you have a career.
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    Hope isn't lost just yet
    I think before you can start sorting out your career and education prospects, you need to focus on yourself. In order to succeed in the job market, you need to come across as confident etc, and you really need to do this for yourself too, because it'll only get worse and spiral out of control.

    I'd recommend talking to someone professional, like a councillor. I know how it sounds, but even one appointment could really help!
    I'll talk from my own experiences, and although I am younger than you, and our experiences are not identical, maybe you can gather something from it

    In 5th to L6th, I faced a pretty difficult time. I was getting bullied by a few "friends" every day really. When I went to meet up with them in town, I'd be told by other friends about them wanting to ditch me. They often ambushed me with abuse, and trust me, i've been called everything under the sun by them. This obviously led to massive fall outs and other people started to try and turn the rest of my friends against me. There were many times where I sat looking at the floor in school while they talked about me in front of me, and I was so upset all I could do was go to the toilet, sit down on the floor, and cry.
    It was a terrible situation that lasted for months, if not years. But I picked myself up, I worked hard to make new friends and now I'm much happier than any of them (they occasionally follow us around now and shout abuse out of cars, do attention seeking passive-aggressive facebook updates, and this all was coming up to 2 years ago- how sad!). One of them actually admitted that she wanted to be friends with me again... she even said she was "jealous" of me and my friend group.

    You can get yourself out of this situation, you just need to believe in yourself. YOU got yourself through a good degree at a good university that you hated and that's pretty admirable. You can make it in this world, you're young and intelligent, and you have so much potential.
    Just because a few people were immature and decided to bully you doesn't define who you are.

    If it was me in your situation, I'd definitely, as Norton1 said, maybe try working at a charity shop? The chances of rejection are low, and doing a good deed will make you feel better about yourself, as well as improving your confidence as regards working and it'll give you something to write down on your application form. When you get more confident, you can start applying for other jobs, and due to this confidence, you should eventually get employed (even if it's a waitressing job- everything counts!)

    Regarding education, I think some time out of education would be beneficial. Try to find who you are, and your passions will come through. Would your parents be able to help you out financially to help with school? You could also maybe take an access course as a mature student; this would open up doors to the degree which you eventually want to do

    I hope you are able to overcome this situation! If you need anyone to talk to, feel free to PM me
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    (Original post by nienie)
    A little backstory is necessary here;

    I am 21 and about to (hopefully) graduate at Manchester University with a History degree. I found that History was not the subject for me by the end of my first year of university, but I thought it was mostly because I had a terrible time in halls and was bullied by my flatmates so I continued through to second year. My second year went much better, but I discovered I have no interest in History at all. In actual fact, I have no interest in anything at all, nothing sparks anything in me beyond a casual like or dislike and I have thought about doing almost every kind of job imaginable in the past.

    I have no work experience, I felt I never needed the money and it wasn't until this year that I realised that experience is so important to the process of finding work. I also spent most of my time at university struggling to even speak to people and therefore did not do any extra curricular activities. So at this point I have nothing to write on a CV, so applying for any job seems like a pointless endeavour. I am also terrified of interviews in general, the first and only job I have ever applied for, when I was 16, left me feeling rejected and useless after they told me I did not get the job.

    My main interests are in computers and Art, both of which would require further study and going back to college, something that I can only dream of being able to afford. At this point it seems like all my plans for an enjoyable future where I can actually afford to do the things I enjoy, such as travel, are slipping away. All of this stress because I merely picked the wrong subjects to study way back at A Level and chose the wrong degree.

    My worries over this situation are constantly plaguing me and I feel like its hopeless to even think of having a career or even a stable job.

    At this point I am here to ask what your advice to me would be? I feel like I am at the end of my rope and its starting to affect my health.
    What should I do next?
    Please only give answers that are actually useful as telling me that I should not have made the choices I did is not going to help me now.
    You're always better off with a degree. Trust me! You made the right decision.

    I know someone that was in the same situation as you. Half way through her engineering degree she realized she has no future and dropped out.

    Perhaps, do some voluntary work to build up your CV first.
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    (Original post by rippedbanana)

    i would write modules that had some business, econ and social history on your cv and explain what you have learned. you can write the title of the dissertation on your cv. when writing a cv, think long and hard about what you have done in the last 3 years. there must be something you can write on your cv.

    another promising lead is to look for a job in your alma mater. why not try your department, library or the central administration? they dont need any experience and the starting salary will be around 18 - 22k.

    the public sector is another area you might want to look into. your local council and library.

    I've never even considered looking at University-based jobs, I assumed that they would all require experience, just as most jobs require these days. Although I can hardly say that I am very savvy about jobs in general.

    People rarely believe me if I tell them I have legitimately done nothing of worth in the past three years, but it is true. I have had no employment, no extra-curriculars, I mainly studied modules based on Gender History and social-based modules, rather than politics and economics and I did my dissertation on the impact of Menstruation on ideas of Gender in the eighteenth century. Hardly useful for including on a CV.
    I spent the past three years playing video games, hiding in my bedroom, drawing and reading self-help books and novels.
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    (Original post by nienie)

    I have had no employment, no extra-curriculars, I mainly studied modules based on Gender History and social-based modules, rather than politics and economics and I did my dissertation on the impact of Menstruation on ideas of Gender in the eighteenth century. Hardly useful for including on a CV.
    I spent the past three years playing video games, hiding in my bedroom, drawing and reading self-help books and novels.
    As if the history of politics and economics would be any more applicable in the real world than gender and social history. I don't think that anyone doing a history degree is ever going to be able to point to a direct link between their course choices and the real world.

    Yes, you've done nothing for the last three years. But the thing is you're at the age where that's just just acceptable. So don't waste the chance you still have.
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    (Original post by snailsareslimy)

    Regarding education, I think some time out of education would be beneficial. Try to find who you are, and your passions will come through. Would your parents be able to help you out financially to help with school? You could also maybe take an access course as a mature student; this would open up doors to the degree which you eventually want to do
    Thankyou for your comments. I agree that for the time being at least I have no plans of going back into education. I know that my issues are far beyond just the issue of finding work and I often have periods of severe low mood. Its difficult to see beyond the present at the moment and I know that this is probably a job for a professional. I did try visiting a Counsellor at my university however I found the experience largely useless and actually it left me feeling worse after dragging up all the things I really hated about my situation. I didn't feel comfortable speaking with the woman and I never went back for another session. I would love to eventually go back and study something that I have an actual interest in, I feel like I wasted my opportunity the first time. Although it will have to be completely self-funded as my mother is unemployed and is unable to support me financially at all.
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    (Original post by nienie)
    Thankyou for your comments. I agree that for the time being at least I have no plans of going back into education. I know that my issues are far beyond just the issue of finding work and I often have periods of severe low mood. Its difficult to see beyond the present at the moment and I know that this is probably a job for a professional. I did try visiting a Counsellor at my university however I found the experience largely useless and actually it left me feeling worse after dragging up all the things I really hated about my situation. I didn't feel comfortable speaking with the woman and I never went back for another session. I would love to eventually go back and study something that I have an actual interest in, I feel like I wasted my opportunity the first time. Although it will have to be completely self-funded as my mother is unemployed and is unable to support me financially at all.
    Is there anyone that you trust you can really open up to? Maybe that would be more beneficial than a councillor. I do think you sound a little depressed through, and of course I'm not a doctor, but a GP might be able to prescribe something which would take the edge off? Always worth a visit if you want to go down the medical route.
    You're young and you can still definitely succeed in life, but I think the first step is definitely sorting yourself out and getting a job eventually, so you can save enough money to have that second go at education, good luck
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    As money is an issue, I actually just remembered about the Open University.
    It's fees are considerably lower than other universities (http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergr...ancial-support) and although this could be out of date, this thread does shed some light on how to make it more affordable (by taking modules beginning in February: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1830107).
    It might be worth sending them an email to see if this still applies and having a look at their courses to see if anything would appeal to you
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    You have no interests because you haven't had any experience. I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago where I had never really joined a society, didn't have many friends, no volunteering or work experience. You just have to go out and apply for jobs / volunteer opportunities and see if you like it.

    You really can't know what your interests are if you haven't experienced things. Try something new. If you like it, explore it some more. If you hate it, find something else that takes your fancy.

    Good luck! Just remember that lots of people have been in your situation, including myself. Take the advice from the posts above and you'll be well on your way.
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    what you dont realize at the moment is that you are a graduate of one of the most prestigious universities in europe. if you have 2.1, you can apply for most jobs that dont require strong numerical skills assuming that you can do add, subtract, multiply and divide. as you join the graduate program, you will probably have to learn power, but thats about it.

    based on your dissertation topic, are you not into the hr things. looking after people's welfare.
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    Your only 21, finishing your degree at a good school and you think you've ruined your life? It is far from ruined dear! You have time to experiment, volunteer, get to know yourself and develop some confidence. The general advice given so far is very good, take it!

    There is no doubt that things could have gone better but don't beat yourself up about it. Bullying can be very damaging and from the way it sounds you probably have some sort of anxiety problem as well. It is not an easy thing to deal with, and the more time you spend on your own thinking about things the more impossible everything seems.

    Before you decide on doing anything you should invest some time in resolving your confidence issues as that will likely be your biggest hurdle no matter what direction you choose to take.

    Do you only fear rejection or are there other factors which impede you from interacting with others? Perhaps you feel inferior in some way, guilty, afraid of saying something silly, something related to why you were bullied when you first got to uni? Try going to see another counsellor, sometimes you have to see a couple. Each have their own style and personality so not everyone will be a good fit for you.

    Do not be so hard on yourself! You finished your degree even though you were miserable which is no small achievement in my opinion! That is something to feel confident about, allow yourself to feel good about the things you hae done! Don't dwell on the things you've done wrong. Think about the future as a blank slate, you can be anyone you want to be. That doesn't mean you can have any job you want but I can guarantee you that feeling better about yourself will make any job more enjoyable

    I don't have any answers for you but you sound a lot like me, you just have to bite the bullet really and put yourself out there a bit more! I am far from recovered but I've been able to get out of my shell and have had some lovely experiences, some not so lovely but that is life.

    If you never put yourself out there you will never be rejected, but you will miss out on a lot more!

    It is NOT too late and it is not impossible.
    Feel free to PM me if you like
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    The route you aspire to get through life is a generic one which looks good only on paper. Getting a good degree with plenty of work experience and extra curricular activities is a straightforward path to a graduate job and career. Which is all good if that is what you want.

    However, there are many other options out there; explore them and choose accordingly.

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