Trying to Find Purpose

Hello Everyone,
I wanted to reach out for support. I am going through a tough time and I was hoping for prayer and support.

Currently, I am going for my PhD and I am halfway through the program. I have to take an exam in February that will determine whether I get to stay in the program or not. I am currently in a class that is prepping me for that exam and I recently failed the mid-term exam. I feel this is a sign of what is to come and if I fail that exam in February, I have no fallback option on job or path.

Compounding the anxiety are multiple things. First, I am carrying a burden of student loan debt. When I was in Undergrad, my parents claimed me on their taxes even though I was independent and on my own. This became consequential, as it allowed the school I got my master’s from to charge me out of state tuition even though I would have qualified for in-state tuition. As a result, it ballooned my student loan debt from what should have been $30,000 to over $75,000. In a way, I feel betrayed by my parents because them claiming me (even though I was on my own and paying my own bills) was the cause of this much student debt. I am not sure how I am going to pay that all back and I feel like it is going to hinder my chances of being in good financial shape and getting a house. Second, my parents officially divorced after 30+ years. Because of their divorce, I got a lot of my old stuff from their house and it brought back a lot of bad memories that I had forgotten about. Finally, I feel like I don’t belong. I am the oldest one in my program. I feel completely disconnected from my classmates. Additionally, all of my friends are working full-time jobs, raising families, and are light years ahead of me in terms of life it feels.

I have not found a good outlet through this time. I have found myself drinking more and drinking at home by myself. I know it is not a good outlet for me to turn to but I feel like it is the only option I have. I feel so down about myself and my future with this financial debt that I have. I also see how fractured my family was growing up and how I tried to bury a lot of the past. I just feel so far behind in life at some points I wonder if I can ever catch up.

Thank you for reading.


Hey SDLongBoarder40,

Thanks for reaching out, this is a really good step.

When I was in high school I was not great at a lot of classes, in college I dropped out twice, and I’m attempting to go back but- math is my downfall. I totally understand how hard school can be. It is really awesome though that you are taking that class now to be prepared for February! The good thing is February is still a ways away!

Debt is one of the cruddiest things about going back to school, I’m sorry you have to struggle with that much debt, no one deserves that. I’m sorry to hear about your parents, that is something that really hurts, especially after what you’ve known your whole life.

Everybody works at their own pace, some people I went to high school with have kids and have finished college- and i graduated in 2018! It’s hard to see past the accomplishments of others sometimes, but I promise it is possible, it’s possible to find that you are indeed on the right path.

There are a lot of outlets to get into to clear your mind, I’d take a look into some- maybe drawing, doodling, music, hiking… find one that makes you happy.

I hope that things get better, just know you are not alone.


Hi SDLongBoarder,
thank you reaching out here.
It sounds like a lot is going on in your life.
First i would like to say, terms of life is what you make of it. All the people i know from my school and
my past are all having kids, a house.
I’m in my mid 30’s, living alone and having the most difficult year of my life. I learn so much about myself
this year. I have my job, but i work since i was 15, so i don’t have a degree or more. My parents also
divorced when i was 6. Was also the “outsider” in class much of my school life.
I paid for much everything in my life by my own.
When my grandma died last year, we sorted out her stuff in her house, what was also difficult for me.
Only you decide where you go in life and the pace, don’t look at others.
You are carrying a lot with you, and i am proud of you. You will overcome this and get your degree.
You have done an important step by reaching out right now, keep that. Debts are hard but you will overcome this.
If it helps, reach out here everytime, we are here for you. We care for you.
You matter, you are worth it my friend. My toughts are with you and you are not alone.
Hope you have a wonderful day, feel hugged,

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Hey, I know how it feels to be betrayed by my parents. I’ll get straight to the point, don’t give up. Do whatever it takes to persevere till the end. No matter what happens, winners never quit, and quitters never win. I know what it feels like to feel helpless. If you feel helpless tell someone, tell everyone. I promise you where there is a will there is a way. I would even help you raise the money to get out of debt. Use this as a way to form friendships, and bond with people. Don’t give money power it doesn’t deserve. Everyone has debt. Use it as fuel to find friends. Rise above it, because everything is more beautiful from above. Reach out if you have any questions or just want emotional support. :heart:

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