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How do i plan for the future when i don’t want one?

i’m not really sure what to do with my life. nothing interests me. i didn’t know what to do after high school so i went to community college and it’s lead me nowhere. i don’t care about my grades even though i should. i actually should be studying right now but i won’t; i will just guess on my exams. i hate that i’m like this because i never used to be. but when i did care about school, i still had no idea what i wanted to be and i felt like i was just putting in so much effort for no reason. i take classes that i’m not sure will be useful in the future so why even try? i’m just kind of lost. i don’t know if i should be trying. obviously i should, but why? none of the material has meaning. and it’s not just school. i don’t take care of myself. that’s something i’ve only recently realized. i don’t eat proper meals and i don’t exercise. laying in bed isn’t self care or giving myself a break. it’s making myself think too much. i pick up extra shifts at work so i don’t have to think to myself, but that just makes me more tired. i always dread going to work, but sometimes it isn’t that bad being there. it’s a stressful distraction. i don’t think i’m making sense. in simple terms, i’m getting to a point in my life where i need to act like an adult but i just don’t want to. it’s not worth the hassle. that seems so stressful and sleeping all day isn’t. sending all my love <3 tpwk always

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I have been exactly where you are. School wasn’t playing out at all, but I “had to” get my degree. I was miserable. I was failing classes, negotiating with professors for second chances and favors, laying in bed all day if I ran late for one class, and finding fulfillment in my dead-end job. I don’t know exactly what the answer was for me. At the time I thought that everything else was the problem and school was the casualty. If I could just get one goddamned good night’s sleep, everything would be better. If I could have an afternoon to do do homework instead of going to work, or an afternoon to nap so I could feel well enough to do homework, it would be so much better. School being the problem “couldn’t” be an option; I “had to” get my degree to amount to anything.

It finally fell apart one nice sunny day in March 2013. I was at the entrance to a building for my 1PM State and Local Government class, when I stopped, walked back to my apartment, and drove home to my parents. I don’t know what it was, but I knew without a doubt I couldn’t enter that building. I drove home and told my mom I couldn’t do it anymore. She said “well, quit.” I was confused. That wasn’t the pep talk I was expecting. She said “It’s obvious to everyone that you’re miserable and don’t want to be in school. I don’t know what you’re trying to prove, but you don’t have to keep going if it makes you this unhappy.” Those words and that idea felt like sitting down after carrying a brick wall on my shoulders. Of course I knew people who dropped out, but I’d never thought it was an option before. School would always be there if I wanted to go back, but I didn’t have to keep going. The one catch: she wanted me to leave my dead-end part-time job and start a career related to my field. 8 years later, I can say it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

For better or worse, you’re done with the semester now. You can take a break. If you’re fresh out of high school, you have all the time in the world to finish college, or you don’t need to ever go back. Go to a job fair and see what’s good. You may be surprised at what kind of career opportunities are out there for you. You also have time to go do something stupid and irresponsible that you will cherish for the rest of your life, like driving across the country or hiking the Appalachian Trail or getting a one-way ticket to Europe and hitchhiking or backpacking or riding the rails everywhere. Do it while you don’t have bills. If neither of those appeal, I know a lot of people who found purpose and a calling in the Navy. I think they were required to stay in for 5 years, and now they all have really good civilian careers. But there’s no need to keep throwing time, money, and emotional energy at school if it’s not getting you anywhere.

Hey Hslot,

I’ve asked myself the same question time and time again. Why care about doing well in school, doing well at work if I don’t care about my future, and I don’t want one? And the answer is I don’t know. I wish I had an answer for you!

But unfortunately my response is less of a “I have support” and more of you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling, and you’re definitely not crazy.

I would tell you try to find things that you enjoy, but I know it’s hard! So keep fighting my friend and hold fast! You’re loved and you matter.

Hold Fast,
Olivia