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24, no degree, no career prospects...depressed and going nowhere in life Watch

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    I don't really know where to begin. The title pretty much sums it up. My life is a collosal mess.

    I am 24 years old, living at home with my parents in a semi-shared room with my youngest brother (he sleeps in a loft conversion which is accessible only through a ladder in my room, so I still get no privacy).. I work part-time in retail earning minimum wage. I dropped out of university (studying acting) in the second year due to depression and anxiety rendering me unable to cope with the schedules and coursework, landing me with £30k of student loans debt with nothing to show for it. I have only GCSE's, a college BTEC in Performing Arts and a very basic certificate in IT User Skills which isn't going to impress anybody enough to give me a proper job.

    I can't drive, having never had a single lesson, and I currently don't earn enough to pay for lessons AND buy a car plus all the insurance that goes with it. So I am stuck trying to find a better-paying job which I can travel to using public transport, which is very difficult.

    I am grateful for my job in the shop, having been long-term unemployed before, but as it is a designer brand it is geared towards hard-selling, which my social-anxiety is not suited for. I am expected to meet sales targets and have to come up with innovative ways to boost sales in my area. I often feel completely incapable of this and so I sometimes dread going to work, particularly if I am criticised when my area has not been selling lately.

    I flick through job websites hoping to find something I am qualified for, but fail to find anything. I don't want to work in retail my whole life, yet I know I am not qualified for anything else. I believe my written communication is very good, yet I am incredibly nervous in interviews.

    And above all, I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. Trying to dig myself out of this hole feels like an enormous struggle. I find myself just sitting in my room, vegetating in the front of the computer or staring out of the window. Or I buy things online just for that bit of excitement when something arrives in the post, which is short-lived. Or I download porn for hours on end, something which I am very ashamed of, but can't seem to stop doing.

    I'm supposed to be enjoying my weekend off of work. Instead, I have just sat in my pyjamas for the last two days, not showering or grooming, eating sporadically, going to bed late and sleeping in. After this, I am dreading going back to work as it seems like a real hurdle to get myself out of this state.

    I don't really know what I am looking to get out of this post. There is a pressing sensation on my chest, and I just feel like garbage right now.
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    I wouldn't rely on motivation, it's very unpredictable and I think it's a waste of time to wait until it 'comes'. What you need is discipline.

    Grab a couple courses, you can do so many of them online - have you thought about Open University? Some people have left quite good reviews on a lot of courses.

    You do need to know what you want from life though. You can just say 'oh I want a well-paying job' without even having an idea of what it could be.

    IT specialist? Banker? Scientist? There are so many. You could try doing some personality tests to find out what suits you. I know it helped me at least.

    Yeah, social anxiety is a pain in the ***, but I don't know how else to get rid of it apart from constantly interacting with strangers in real life. Constant exposure to your fears makes you kind of 'immune' as it were. You need to get used to socialising with strangers to stress out less during interviews.

    Oh, and by the way, you're not a failure. You'd be a failure if you didn't reach out for help and didn't care for the state you're in. Good luck
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    What you have is time and a stable roof over your head. So if you lack qualifications and discernible skills, earn them. Learn how to code, or learn a language or two. Both are a definite path towards something better. I've linked three free, easily-accessible sites below. If you want a more technical entry-point, you could 'acquire' the literature online.

    The internet is the greatest tool ever devised for the accessibility of education. All that you need to bring is some motivation.

    https://www.codecademy.com/

    https://code.org/learn

    https://www.duolingo.com/
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    You've really got it bad, haven't you? I'm sorry you feel the way you do. Now, you realise that things have come to a head, it's time to do something about it, and the only person who can do that is you.
    If you are only part-time, what about some voluntary work? Charity shop, Food Bank, homeless people. This would give you a focus, and also look good on a CV for future prospects.
    You are stuck at home too much and it's making you more inward looking. Get out and about, you don't need a car for that. Take proper care of yourself, please. Get a shower, and sit down and think about things and what you can do to help yourself. X
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    Same OP, except I do have a degree and its value has already diminished. I'm stuck because I'm still deliberating whether to study for a master's or get work (which isn't succeeding)
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    Yoy arent finished although I cna see you are in a tough spot. At some stage you have to be prepared to make changes or you will stay exactly where you are or worse.


    Find out who you are
    Think about what you would like to do
    Think about what your skills are
    Think about what jobs use those skills
    Find out what you need to get those jobs, qualifcations , experience.
    Work out how to get them and do so.
    You should also get help dealing with your depression and anxiety.

    Not sure if you cna ask fro some of your student det to be disregarded if you have medical proof about your depression, that would in theory give you access to funding a degree if you ever decided you wnated to go back, but not till better. Its cheaper just to get into the working world and get promoted whilst earning.

    Go and get a copy of what colour is my parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles- Ten Speed press- any edition and as cheap as 1p off Amazon marketplace or cheap on ebay. Read the whole book. It might not seem like it but many are in a worse situation than you , but they find a way out. You have plenty of time. Good luck.
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    If you want your life to be better, you need to do something about it. Just worrying and being depressed wont get you anywhere. If you really want to get a degree, apply through clearing asap to go this year, there still may be places available for a course that interests you or defer the year for 2017 entry. It doesn't matter what BTEC you have, you can study anything you want at Uni if you have good grades. As for the job thing, if you hate it that much, then leave if you can and just concentrate on studying. Then you'll be qualified for a better job, if you need to work then look for entry level jobs that you are qualified for and that aren't in the retail sector. There will be something out there for you.

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    Remember when things feel like they are awful, remember that you are still young 24 years old. There is someone out there who is dieing ,and would want to be in your exact position. So you just have to find it within yourself, to make things right.

    I recommend :

    Read books
    Go to the gym
    Drink lots of water
    Go for a walk everyday
    Make new friends
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    (Original post by SuperHuman98)
    Go to the gym
    Thread can be summarised into this.

    Train hard, eat healthy, get ripped
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    what the others said. regular hard exercise will improve your mood no end.
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    Whilst I wouldnt rule out exercise, being ripped isnt the same as having a career and everything that brings.
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    (Original post by Manchester United)
    Thread can be summarised into this.

    Train hard, eat healthy, get ripped
    Yeah and you can make friends at the gym aswell!
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    I used to be in a similar position, it took me a while to get out but it wasn't easy- don't expect it to be. Good things don't come cheap or easy. You're going to have to fight and be stubborn, it'll be worth your while

    You don't have a car, driving license nor can you afford lessons. Having a car helps expand your ability to find a nicer job but you can't afford it. A car at this point isn't a necessity if you can use a cheapo (but reliable) bike. As long as it doesn't get nicked (cheap+ reliable, no fancy crap) you have a source of transporation sorted for now. Bicycling is VERY cheap and it's a nice way to wind down.

    A £200 bike (with some £50 accesseries incl. puncture repair kit and lock) allowed me to travel for TWO YEARS. Compare that £250 or £125 per year with the £1,200 per year I would've spent on public transport, that's a difference of almost £1,000- money that could be put to better use. Even if I got my bike stolen, it still would've been worth it. If you're going to get a bike make sure it's reliable/simple and looks like crap so no one would bother to steal it but don't neglect it either. All it'd take is for some yobbo to kick the wheels in and you walk home, if it does ever happen to any of you, walk home WITH your bike knowing full well those clowns won't get to keep it.

    You live with your siblings/shared house, how much do you spend on bills? Are some of those necessary? Are you able to srimp or save up for something like a course or lessons? But that's the least of your concerns.

    The thing you're going to have to tackle first in my view...
    Anxiety and depression. I'm not an expert but see what you can do to tackle it because if it hampered you before, it'll hamper you now. Find ways to alleviate your anxiety and depression and take preventative measures so you can start hauling butt. Don't worry about the porn yet, unless you're spending every waking moment watching it are are beginning to see hair sprout from your palms? What triggerd anxiety/depression in the first place?
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    (Original post by CorneliusRT)
    I don't really know where to begin. The title pretty much sums it up. My life is a collosal mess.

    I am 24 years old, living at home with my parents in a semi-shared room with my youngest brother (he sleeps in a loft conversion which is accessible only through a ladder in my room, so I still get no privacy).. I work part-time in retail earning minimum wage. I dropped out of university (studying acting) in the second year due to depression and anxiety rendering me unable to cope with the schedules and coursework, landing me with £30k of student loans debt with nothing to show for it. I have only GCSE's, a college BTEC in Performing Arts and a very basic certificate in IT User Skills which isn't going to impress anybody enough to give me a proper job.

    I can't drive, having never had a single lesson, and I currently don't earn enough to pay for lessons AND buy a car plus all the insurance that goes with it. So I am stuck trying to find a better-paying job which I can travel to using public transport, which is very difficult.

    I am grateful for my job in the shop, having been long-term unemployed before, but as it is a designer brand it is geared towards hard-selling, which my social-anxiety is not suited for. I am expected to meet sales targets and have to come up with innovative ways to boost sales in my area. I often feel completely incapable of this and so I sometimes dread going to work, particularly if I am criticised when my area has not been selling lately.

    I flick through job websites hoping to find something I am qualified for, but fail to find anything. I don't want to work in retail my whole life, yet I know I am not qualified for anything else. I believe my written communication is very good, yet I am incredibly nervous in interviews.

    And above all, I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. Trying to dig myself out of this hole feels like an enormous struggle. I find myself just sitting in my room, vegetating in the front of the computer or staring out of the window. Or I buy things online just for that bit of excitement when something arrives in the post, which is short-lived. Or I download porn for hours on end, something which I am very ashamed of, but can't seem to stop doing.

    I'm supposed to be enjoying my weekend off of work. Instead, I have just sat in my pyjamas for the last two days, not showering or grooming, eating sporadically, going to bed late and sleeping in. After this, I am dreading going back to work as it seems like a real hurdle to get myself out of this state.

    I don't really know what I am looking to get out of this post. There is a pressing sensation on my chest, and I just feel like garbage right now.

    Listen! Please do not feel that way! Firstly, try to understand what you want from your life. When you have so much going on around you, it is so hard to focus. Are you interested in a acting career? would you like to pursue a new career from start? Work on one thing at a time. TRUST ME. I went through this, i was an academic UNDER achiever at school, but I just gradated from The University of Oxford with an MSc, and now applying for graduate entry medicine whilst re-sitting my A-levels and oh I'm 25!! I will be 29 when i have finished (if i get in this year).

    You got to write them goals on a paper, again and again UNTIL you get there my friend! Start out by writing what you want and tick them through, your retail experience is so so valuable because of all the transferrable skills! GO OUT THERE, and make use of them cookie!

    PM if you want to chat/vent

    xoxo
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    Thank you for your replies. I'm going to go through these in no particular order...

    AnnaRainbows/Just a Bloke: I know what you mean about discipline. And I'll admit I have very little of it. Like not showering for two days, for instance. I figured, I'm not going anywhere, so why should I bother? I'll often leave my room in a mess, with paperwork and clothes pilling up, and I haven't the discipline to clean up and organise the place. I'd rather take the easy route and ignore it.

    I actually bought an online course for becoming a computer technician (CompTIA A+), but really struggled to motivate myself to see it through. Although, I can't say it was entirely my fault; the course merely consisted of very long, meandering videos of a guy rambling at the camera in a very vague, unstructured way. It was very difficult for me to follow what was being said, and so I quickly gave up with that. £150 wasted. I have since bought the official study book instead, and found that it is easier for me to digest. But it's still an incredible amount of knowledge to be processed, and depression makes my concentration poor.

    I thought that by consistantly interacting with strangers my anxiety would decrease, but I've found the opposite. In my shop, I am constantly trying to engage customers, but often I am met with very cold, aloof people who don't want to be bothered, and my confidence takes a hit. So many times I have tried to get a conversation going with customers, and they just stare blankly at me like I'm a complete wierdo.
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    (Original post by Lostperson)
    Listen! Please do not feel that way! Firstly, try to understand what you want from your life. When you have so much going on around you, it is so hard to focus. Are you interested in a acting career?
    xoxo
    Yes, above everything, a career in acting is my biggest ambition. I used to be full of confidence about it: did lots of plays and student films, was part of a theatre group, was actively networking with other actors on Facebook, read acting books, watched documentaries...but since I dropped out I have just felt like a complete fool for believing I could become an actor and hardly mention it anymore to anybody. I have essentially given up. I used to have a free, flexible voice during my training, now my voice fails me. My throat is full of tension when I speak, and people often have to ask me to repeat things.

    So now I am faced with the fact that I have spent all of my higher education studying something 99% of employees would consider irrelevant. I'm now trying to find a backup career, with the idea that I return to acting when I am ready. As I mentioned, I have vague ambitions now to try for a career as a computer technician.
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    (Original post by CorneliusRT)
    Yes, above everything, a career in acting is my biggest ambition. I used to be full of confidence about it: did lots of plays and student films, was part of a theatre group, was actively networking with other actors on Facebook, read acting books, watched documentaries...but since I dropped out I have just felt like a complete fool for believing I could become an actor and hardly mention it anymore to anybody. I have essentially given up. I used to have a free, flexible voice during my training, now my voice fails me. My throat is full of tension when I speak, and people often have to ask me to repeat things.

    So now I am faced with the fact that I have spent all of my higher education studying something 99% of employees would consider irrelevant. I'm now trying to find a backup career, with the idea that I return to acting when I am ready. As I mentioned, I have vague ambitions now to try for a career as a computer technician.
    What would your back up career be? Maybe we can help you with that, and on the side you can focus on your acting? What are you passionate about? Could be something related to acting? Like a drama teacher?
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    (Original post by CorneliusRT)
    Thank you for your replies. I'm going to go through these in no particular order...

    AnnaRainbows/Just a Bloke: I know what you mean about discipline. And I'll admit I have very little of it. Like not showering for two days, for instance. I figured, I'm not going anywhere, so why should I bother? I'll often leave my room in a mess, with paperwork and clothes pilling up, and I haven't the discipline to clean up and organise the place. I'd rather take the easy route and ignore it.

    I actually bought an online course for becoming a computer technician (CompTIA A+), but really struggled to motivate myself to see it through. Although, I can't say it was entirely my fault; the course merely consisted of very long, meandering videos of a guy rambling at the camera in a very vague, unstructured way. It was very difficult for me to follow what was being said, and so I quickly gave up with that. £150 wasted. I have since bought the official study book instead, and found that it is easier for me to digest. But it's still an incredible amount of knowledge to be processed, and depression makes my concentration poor.

    I thought that by consistantly interacting with strangers my anxiety would decrease, but I've found the opposite. In my shop, I am constantly trying to engage customers, but often I am met with very cold, aloof people who don't want to be bothered, and my confidence takes a hit. So many times I have tried to get a conversation going with customers, and they just stare blankly at me like I'm a complete wierdo.
    I noticed depression in the way you've been writing, until you confirmed it yourself. I've been through it myself, that's why it occured to me as a possibility. Depression is annoying, please don't think lightly of it. That's the very first thing you need to address before starting to improve yourself.

    If you want to discuss it privately, don't be shy to PM me. I just got out of the claws of depression, and if you like, I'd be more than willing to help you out as well. But since you live with family, you could perhaps bring up the subject with them? Speak about the way you feel deep down there, get rid of all that's been building up since you had to leave university. If it's really serious, you could even consider therapy, just don't take the meds if you get prescribed any - a pill won't fix what's not physically broken. Please take care of yourself.
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    Go back to college and do an access course then go university next year. Colleges are still enrolling for people to do access course, so be quick! If that's not an option, there's always open university? Do you know what subject you'd like to study?

    You're not a failure. You will graduate when you're in your 20s, so you're fine.
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    ^^^ i agree
 
 
 
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