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Thoughts: Early-Life Crisis? (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I'm a freshman first semester student at a state college within 20 miles of my hometown. I am a commuter, costing an hour and about a 2 gallons of gas each day. Fortunately, I'm saving about six thousand a year for commuting. My 'current' major is mathematics, which will be changed over to art with an electronic arts and animation option this coming spring 2008.

I thought I knew, but I really didn't know what college or what major I was going to pursue after high school graduation. It was around January 2007 that I actually sent in my application to this college, which was my one and only application to any college. I wasn't really enthusiastic about college. My orientation was early July, which was a problem.

Classes were filling up and I got a lot of not-so-good class times. On top of that, I am taking 18 credit hours (please shoot me). On top of that, I work about 12 hours each weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). On top of that, I visit my mother (divorced parents), who is limited by a mental illness and back problems, on the weekends (not every weekend).

It may not seem like a lot to some of you. For me, an ADD wannabe, intellectually creative, do-it-on-your-own-with-the-help- of-some-credible-references kind of guy, it's really difficult. So much so that right now I'm 8 hours away from possibly delivering a speech to my "Fundamentals of Public Communication" class which I have not written, researched, and definitely haven't rehearsed.

I'm not sure what's in the way, what's obstructing my ability to just hunker down and make some progress. You'd think that coming out of Thanksgiving Break that I'd be ready to pursue the rest of the Fall 2007 semester with an insatiable thirst for learning.

The truth is that I am not ready to pursue the rest of the Fall 2007 semester. I'm just tired. I have thoughts in my head sometimes, wondering if college is right for me.

Then, my conscious replays the message: "You need college to be someone in the world. You leave college and you'll have just accepted poverty or perhaps you'll leave home at the age of forty, pulling 120 hours a week at the local supermarket. Leave college and you won't make it anywhere until you die. Then what will your tombstone say, 'much ado about nothing' most likely." When my conscious says it, it sounds so good to hear, though. Like it's inspiration for the journey I'm on.

What is going on in this journey, though? I mean, if my conscious really expressed something good, why is this journey so difficult, harming even? Given that A's aren't suppose to just jump into my transcript, I still feel like I've put forth the maximum of my efforts.

Yet, I have to be honest. I put more time into playing video games than into studies. I've tried schedules, planners, calendars. They don't work. Not only do video games consume the meat and potatoes of my time, but Web surfing and being on the computer in general are also culprits for these academic problems.

Why am I 'addicted' to games and computers? Well, I've played video games since I was like 4. My oldest brother, who goes to the same college and is on the Dean's List (doesn't play video games a lot), had an NES and Zelda. After that, it was SNES and Mario. After that, it was Sega Saturn, Playstation, XBOX. Then, there came the PC games: Counter-Strike: Source and, more recently, Call of Duty 4.

Where was my father? My father was always working, sleeping, or fixing food for me and my siblings. My family didn't do much vacationing, traveling, camping, or anything outside of the confines of the home.

I don't know what my family was like with my parents together. I faintly remember one instance where I was bathing and started crying because I looked at my eyes in the mirror. Don't ask me why, but my mother came running and started washing them out with water, thinking I had put soap in my eyes.

Right now I'm listening to Leeland's "Tears from the Saints." Am I a prodigal son? Have I allowed video games to infest my life? Was it my parents who allowed this? What reasoning abilities or insight does a 4 year-old boy have? From my perspective, I've been setup for failure since I was born. If my father had stopped my habits around seven or eight years of age, I might have been fine. But, since I've played video games all my life, the damage is irreplaceable. Now I'm eighteen and I feel that I'm just not capable of pushing through four more years of exceptionally hard and tiring education compared to my high school education.

If I leave college, I'm afraid that my father will think that I am weak; I am afraid that my oldest brother, whom I have looked up to, will disapprove of me; I am afraid that my friends will distance themselves from me in fear of becoming infected with the same nonsense of leaving college. I'm afraid of the outcome of leaving college. I'm afraid that if I leave college, everyone will look down upon me as a video gaming addict, as if I were handicapped or the only one with faults.

I guess that's it. I'm afraid of the outcome. If I leave college, what's the outcome? I don't know. I know that if I go to college, I will get a job somewhere doing something that I've been affirmed by a community of intellectuals, whose job is to know everything about that something, that I know how to do that something well. That is certain.

I feel like I'm stuck in a time and place that isn't right for me. I feel that this world that is so defined by what degree you and I hold isn't where I belong. Frequently I find myself yearning to be alone on an island where I am safe from affliction and destruction. Somewhere where I can walk and talk with God and have no care save for my own survival. I don't expect any of you to understand this island, my little paradise.

There's so many thoughts racing through my head right now. To stay on topic, if I haven't done so this entire thread, I am in a crisis here. What do I do? Where do I go? Who do I talk to? Those questions generalize my crisis.
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Senior Member
The answer is easy. Stay in college. A degree goes a long way. It doesn't even really matter what it's in. Unless you're going into something super specialized, you could skate by with garbage and still get a 9-5 that pays the bills. Without a degree, your options for a living wage dwindle significantly. College is the new high school. Besides, what's the alternative? Working retail? Waiting tables? Telemarketing? You'll have the rest of your life to work a job you hate. Why not live off the teat of financial aid for a little while longer?

With that said, it's a good idea to disassociate yourself from everything else you wrote. The world isn't fun or fair and most of the time you have to suffer to access the stuff you enjoy. Self-medicating with video games and telling yourself that it's college's fault your uninspired won't fix your life. I was in the same boat in college. Video game junkie. Failing classes. Dismissed. Suicidal. All it took was discovering the creative writing program and I was back on track. At the end, I regretted having wasted so much time and opportunity.

Whatever. Maybe nothing I've written here will mean anything to you. Youth is wasted on the young after all. Just do yourself a favor and weigh whatever alternatives you're considering against college. If, without deceiving yourself, you honestly feel that you'll be better off out of school, then go for it. There are plenty of successful people who don't have degrees. There's just more successful people with degrees, is all.

Read my thread "Business Sense" for shits and giggles. I wrote that in college while also working.

Dr. Malone

College is bullshit, but depending on your career you do need that stupid piece of paper. Get your school shrink to put you on Adderall or one of the new Ritalin spinoffs. Almost all students are on them now, and they'll really help with getting shit done.


Senior Member
To be a success and to be someone you dont have to stay in college, however, if you do leave college, you need a strong goal, confidence and determination. I get the feeling you do not have this, so I would not drop out. Once you have done a year or two you may as well stay to the end.

I recently finished college, it was the best years of my life (so far) dont drop out. Stay and make it work.


Senior Member
You're 18 and taking just as many credits. There is your first mistake. Unless financial aid requires a certain number of credits, or someone is 100% certain they can handle and want to take so much, I don't think anyone new to college should take anywhere near that many. Ease into it.To compliment that last thought, why are you letting others push you around? Your dad, your brother, true they want the best for you I assume, but don't base all your decisions on what they want. Do what you want, but talk to them too. Get your problems out in open. You're making too many excuses to rationalize your erratic behavior.