Dear Miss Emily:

Last year, I left college after a week. I was scared, not ready and
immature. I'm now 19, and this year I have started college, again,
studying accounting. I haven't gone to classes in five weeks, and I'm
feeling very low in myself because of it. Im not sure what exactly to
do with my life. I feel a lot of my friends have found their passion.
I feel like I'm letting my parents down again this year if I tell them
I'm failing and leaving college for the second time. I feel like a failure.
I don't have any hobbies or anything that I would really like to do. I'm scared
that I'm going nowhere. I should be doing something with myself, instead of
wasting every amazing opportunity given to me by my parents. I just can't bare
to let them down and tell them that I'm leaving college, and I have no idea what
I'm going to do with my life! Again, I'm confused, and upset with myself fo being a
let down. I need help and advice on what to do.
Hanging by a Thread

------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------

Dear Hanging:

It's hard, when asking for advice on an Internet site, to pour
out your heart. But this is what I wish you had done. It's
seems that you blame yourself for so much of what you perceive
as failure, that I feel almost certain that there are many other
factors involved. Do you feel as if you need to excel because
of pressure from your parents? Are you compared to others --
siblings, perhaps? If I'm anywhere near getting to the root of
these feelings you have, then blaming yourself for the
"bumps-in-the-road" of life, is useless and well, foolish. Come
to think of it, even if I'm not even close, it's still foolish!
First of all, you can't carry this burden alone. You need to
go to a college counselor and state your present situation and
drop the classes before you are penalized. Believe me, they
have heard this before. You are not an isolated case. A bigger
problem would be to force yourself into a course of study or path
that is against your present nature. You are aware that this is
going to come out sooner rather than later, and your real fear
comes from this being a second round. I don't know how your parents
will take this, but if they are loving and caring people, they will
seek the help you need in finding your way. Life is competitive, and
thinking that you haven't found your niche, at nineteen, is a
result of, too often, vicious social pressure. But the
question is: Who are you? What makes you smile? Your lack
of passion in life is probably a result of feeling that you
are expected to perform a certain way, and that very thing has
blocked your view of the world. I know one thing: Life isn't
fair. If it were, no one would go hungry. But I think you
have opportunities to find out what you want if you are truly
honest with yourself. It may not be something that will bring
you fame or fortune, but it will be your pursuit of something
that gives you purpose in life. Female or male, facing this
head on with gut honesty is your only chance of success.
Self-pity is a table for one. If this had been a letter from
a forty year-old, I would give the same advice (sans the
parental guidance). Lighten-up, face the music and get the
help you need NOW. It's a sad thing that some of us don't
acquire wisdom until we have one foot in the grave. You're
just starting out in life. I've said this so often, I should
have it tattooed on my chest: "TAKE THE TIME TO GET IT RIGHT!"
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