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I've wasted my life so far, depression is setting in - at a loss for what to do. watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hi, (Tl;DR: please refer to the bullet points)

    I really need some advice - I have no one. I'm turning 26 tomorrow, I'm from London and as the title says, I've completely wasted my life so far. I spent my secondary education pursuing arts qualifications and a foundation year (An English pre-university qualification) But when I entered university I made a complete mess of it and ended up having to drop out at the end of the year. I spent 2 years working at a restaurant and am currently unemployed and living at home... I know it's not good. I've come to realise that nothing is going to change unless I ****ing do something about it, but every time I consider what to do, doubt, fear and anxiety creeps in making me extremely panicky and depressed. I would like a future in Web/graphic design and I am seeking some real, frank advice on how best to move on from here to try and salvage what I can from my 20s to be better prepared for the future.

    Each option I consider I immediately think of the downsides until I can't make sense of what to do:

    • * Do a degree now I'll spend the next 3 years in education. BUT I'd be leaving university with little to no real world work experience at almost 30 years old, wouldn't I be completely unemployable?
    • * Commit to self-study and making a portfolio on my own. BUT I may not grow and learn enough as a designer, I may fail without the discipline of university deadlines when left to my own devices
    • * Find a random job or apprenticeship and work my way up. BUT any worthwhile apprenticeship schemes will be taken by younger people (It's a funding issue here in the UK if you're over 24) so I will be relegated to work that I won't be that into/manual labor apprenticeships.

    I really need some fresh perspective on these options, or maybe completely new options entirely. Skill-wise I can speak Japanese and I am computer literate/have good language skills and can actually draw/design when motivated and pushed (this is something I have to work on for myself and I understand this.)

    I know that change has to happen with me, and I completely understand that it's my own fault that I'm in this situation. I am not expecting a quick fix by any means, I just really need to find purpose in my life. Any advice big or small is really appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.

    I'm looking at changing direction and moving into computer programming. From what I've heard, a computer science degree is fairly important when trying to land a job as a programmer in a more traditional company, but I'm not sure how much that applies to web development.

    I'd imagine that especially with the graphics side of it, the most important thing would be the portfolio. I would offer to do projects for people in order to get up the experience and develop your portfolio.

    My plan is to do an MSc Computer Science conversion and build a portfolio/self-study at the same time, as it's the best of both worlds.

    Similar position, felt completely lost and I had different motives. I wanted a career in engineering or related to physics.

    I couldn't afford to go to a standard university so I choose Open University and a course that had an approved degree. I completed it in 3 years alongside a full time job. 2 years into the degree I started applying to engineering/physics jobs and I was actually getting interviews and finally got a job before I even finished, I decided to finish it all with an MSc. I cant say I've enjoyed part time studying alongside a job, its been a long, tiresome gruelling endeavour where I've had to make a lot of 'social' sacrifices. If only I had direction when I was younger -.-

    I'd imagine you may need to take a similar path, a part time course (preferably accredited) which will eventually lead to more opportunities. I think you need a degree or some kind of formal qualification, the job market is just too swamped with people with them already and its too difficult to compete against them when CV's are sifted through so fast by HR departments.

    Your best making a long term plan to obtain it, look at the type of job you want and work backwards with what they are asking for and plan how you are going to get it.

    I had a child when I was 20 and I am now 30 and haven't had a paid job for 10 years. I'm going to uni in Sep so that will be another 3 years of not having a paid job. I have volunteered and gained many qualifications in the meantime. I think if you are determined to do something, if you have passion and you try to succeed when the odds are against you, you will be employable. You made the decision to leave uni after a year which can't have been easy. But you could have stayed and been even more miserable. You might have not enjoyed working in a restaurant but that's at least 2 years experience. Don't think about time you have 'wasted.' Now is the time to look forward and plan what your next steps are. Good luck!
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