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Old 03-23-2019, 08:47 AM #1
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Unhappy My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Hello everyone,

I'm 27 years old today and instead of being happy, I'm thinking about how slow my progress in life has been compared to my similarly aged peers.

I'm currently a full-time college student who will be graduating from a two-year program in Social Service Work this May. Afterwards I'll be going to university to continue my studies. I won't get my university degree until I'm at least 30. Meanwhile, many of my peers from high school already have their Masters degrees.

I spent much of my young adulthood in and out of the hospital for mental health issues, so I'm starting late. I just feel...inadequate. I had so much potential before these mental health issues came and delayed my progress.

I should be proud of how far I've come and what I'm doing, but instead I'm comparing myself to others who have done so much more by this age.

Can anyone relate to feeling behind in life?
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:54 AM #2
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

At almost 60, I feel great sadness that I havenít accomplished what I feel I was capable of in this life.

I want you to know that I got my first Bachelorís degree at 21 but the second Bachelorís degree (at 31) was the one I made a living with. So with age comes a better idea of what suits us better. Be proud of your accomplishments. Youíll get where youíre going eventually and be happier for it.

Happy Birthday! Enjoy it!
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:55 AM #3
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

*hugs* - Ohseedee

First, happy birthday! I hope, despite what you're feeling, that you're able to find some way to treat yourself to something nice today. Everyone deserves something good on their birthday!

Second, I've been struggling with similar feelings too. I'm 45... I feel like I had "potential" but came from a dysfunctional family (with a good dose of trauma thrown in), and that my life has been all about dealing with that, in one way or another. Sometimes, I didn't even realize that's what I was doing - but it was clearly influencing who I was and how I interacted with the world. And, I'm still dealing with it (it has also influenced my ability to really get help, I think, as I've had terrible experiences with therapy, and just recently had another abrupt ending).

It makes me sad. I'm struggling with depression right now, and I feel like all of my energy goes to just maintaining my life, not moving forward (i.e. making sure I have healthy food, keeping the house clean, trying to get some sort of exercise done, doing laundry, dealing with things that break in the house, etc.) It shouldn't take literally everything I have to just keep my head barely above water, but it feels like it does... and who has the time/energy after that to do anything fun, or anything that would actually help you reach bigger goals. It makes me so sad... like... horribly abysmally sad. Unspeakably sad.

On top of that, my job is pretty "meh". I put a lot of focus and energy in to school, to try to do well at life (and because I enjoyed it) - and it's disappointing that *this* is where I ended up.

So, I get it. And I feel really sad that you're feeling something similar.

But, I want to leave you with some sense of hope too. You're not even 30 yet! Lots and lots of people get off to a slow start. My sister dropped out of college, twice, and worked at a low-paying job for years before going back, first for an associates degree, but working her way up to a law degree. (When she passed the bar, we joked that if you had looked at her in high school or right after, you would have NEVER predicted she'd go in to law. It was so far from anything she seemed likely to do!) She was the oldest one in her classes at law school, but... now she's a lawyer and even though her job is hard, she has a pretty good life with amazing friends that she met in school, works with now, and are like family to her.

Maybe another way to think about it is this: everybody has stuff to deal with, at some point in their life. Sometimes it's physical stuff, sometimes mental. You've dealt with a ton already, and while it makes it *look* like you're behind, in reality, you're ahead by dealing with that stuff first. At some point, some of the people that you're in school with will have their own stuff to deal with - and that will slow them down then.

You're also "ahead" in the sense that by having dealt with your own stuff, you have an edge - you understand yourself and how your brain works better than they likely understand themselves. At some point, I bet that will be helpful. (And, if you're going into counseling/social services - I bet your experiences will give you a much deeper base to draw on when you work with clients!)

All of this has made me realize just how much context and luck play in our success. Hard work is important too, of course, but if you're born with a hundred pound anvil figuratively tied around your neck, you're got a lot *more* work to do to be "successful" than someone who comes from a loving, supportive, and sane family. It sucks, but it's reality. All we can really do is try to make the most of what we've got, figure out what things are important to us, and work to move toward them - no matter what age we are.

Good luck with your studies! *hugs* (Sorry for being so long-winded!)
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:03 AM #4
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohseedee View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm 27 years old today and instead of being happy, I'm thinking about how slow my progress in life has been compared to my similarly aged peers.

I'm currently a full-time college student who will be graduating from a two-year program in Social Service Work this May. Afterwards I'll be going to university to continue my studies. I won't get my university degree until I'm at least 30. Meanwhile, many of my peers from high school already have their Masters degrees.

I spent much of my young adulthood in and out of the hospital for mental health issues, so I'm starting late. I just feel...inadequate. I had so much potential before these mental health issues came and delayed my progress.

I should be proud of how far I've come and what I'm doing, but instead I'm comparing myself to others who have done so much more by this age.

Can anyone relate to feeling behind in life?
First...Happy birthday!!
Please don't compare yourself to anyone. You are an individual. I didn't finish my degree until I went back to school at age 40 due to mental health issues.
You still have a lot of potential...nothing's changed. I hope you can see how far you've come.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:33 AM #5
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Happy Birthday, Ohseedee! I'm sure many people can relate to what you wrote here, especially here on PC. I know I definitely do. You're definitely not alone in this, you can be sure of that. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You are an unique individual with your own unique characteristics. There isn't anyone, there has never been, and there never will be anyone lik you on this Earth! Please remember that. Be proud of yourself simply for existing here on this Earth. Your life is not over yet and you have plenty of time to do many great things! You will achieve many wonderful things, I'm sure of that, but you will take your own time and your own space to do that, and that's perfectly ok! You still have lots of potential and you can do everything you want, MI or not. Don't let a diagnosis bring you down! You're just as valid and special as everyone else. I hope you'll be able to see that someday. Remember that we're here for oyu if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. Sending many hugs to you, Ohseedee! You're a strong, wonderful person. Please remember that and remember that we'll always be here for you, we all care about you here, we all love you here and we'll never judge you. I promise you that. Happy Birthday!
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:38 AM #6
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Thank you so much everyone for your replies. It means a lot.

My birthday was fun - I went out for dinner at a nice restaurant with my partner and family. It was nice to spend time together because we don't often have the opportunity to get together at the same time.

I'm going to try to focus on my own goals and self-improvement, rather than comparing myself to others.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:23 AM #7
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Good for you! I like your new attitude and need to adopt it myself! Happy belated birthday.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:03 PM #8
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohseedee View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm 27 years old today and instead of being happy, I'm thinking about how slow my progress in life has been compared to my similarly aged peers.

I'm currently a full-time college student who will be graduating from a two-year program in Social Service Work this May. Afterwards I'll be going to university to continue my studies. I won't get my university degree until I'm at least 30. Meanwhile, many of my peers from high school already have their Masters degrees.

I spent much of my young adulthood in and out of the hospital for mental health issues, so I'm starting late. I just feel...inadequate. I had so much potential before these mental health issues came and delayed my progress.

I should be proud of how far I've come and what I'm doing, but instead I'm comparing myself to others who have done so much more by this age.

Can anyone relate to feeling behind in life?
First of all, you're not inadequate. This is not just my opinion, it's a scientific fact. You are not inadequate



My peers are of same age as me, some are ahead of me while most are in my boat. How can I transit from being an average student to an extraordinary student who eventually will become an even more extraordinary scientist?


The answer is hard work. Most of my friends failed in inorganic chemistry exam, while I started studying only three days before the exam, and with some resources (smart work) I was able to write answer to about 65% of the questions, meaning I will get around 50% in my report card.



That, too is average and nowhere near close becoming an extraordinary scientist. But you know what makes it so special for me? I failed the last time I gave the exam, I did not even know the difference between an orbit (Bohr's concept) and an orbital (modern concept) But now, I was able to write the theoretical part of Born-Haber cycle of sodium chloride to calculate its lattice energy.


Of course, it was because I let my chemistry knowledge rust ever since I started studying it and all I ever wanted to do was medicine and I wasn't aware that inorganic or physical chemistry are as important as organic chemistry. It was partly because of incomplete curriculum and partly my own ignorance.


But now, I plan to do a PhD in quantum physics. I will write a book on classical mechanics within next three years (it'll take me two years to improve myself and finish my BSc degree and one year to actually write the book) My inspiration is Lord Kelvin, who wrote a research paper at the age of 16. (That's how I remember it anyway)



I want to do research in quantum physics so I can satisfy my own scientific curiosity. Of course I am a bit unstable and I have my own demons, I change a lot and that may be a sign I have a personality disorder, whatever. But I won't let the odds stop me, just like how Dr.Hawking said.


Don't listen to anyone or any force but your heart. Do what you enjoy. Work hard. Achieve success. Simple as that.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:03 PM #9
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Default Re: My Birthday Today - Feeling Inadequate at my Age

Happy belated birthday!
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