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Doubts/regrets about choices in life

  1. Jul 6, 2011 #1

    I've been thinking (a bit late in the course of things) that I have been making bad decisions....

    Bad decision 1# Choosing Physics for my degree
    2# Going for teaching (quit after two months)
    3# Currently on course for an MRes leading to a Phd (...there's a little doutful
    feeling at the back of my mind that this isn't the right decision)

    But having said all that, I don't know what else to do with my life :/ (sounds lame I know) but I've spent so much time trying to think of what drives me, what I'm passionate about...etc but I came up with nothing, it's like I have no drive for anything. In fact I would become quite low and depressed by thinking about it all so much!

    I've been looking at this self-help book lately and I completed a task and came up with this list of things in my life that align with my 'core values' apparently:

    1. Exploring (If I had the opportunities to travel, try new things and didnt let fear of failure etc deabilitate me I would love this)
    2. Creating (- again with practicalness)
    3. Connecting (with people, gaining peoples respect, love and support etc)
    4. Engaging (in reality, that is being more practical - i tend to be 'stuck in my mind too much-bleh')
    5. Learning (new things continuosly, thinking about things).

    :/ Trying to get some insight into what it is I want out of life. I always imagined I would be a scientist -almost like a default setting. I don't know now. I feel lost.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2011 #2
    Maybe doing volunteer work for a cause or an organization that strikes a chord with you would fulfill some of your core values and bring another dimension to your life. It also might give you a better perspective and bring more focus/clarity to your life.

    You could even do it full time in the Peace Corps.
  4. Jul 6, 2011 #3
    On a similar note to the above post, there's also organizations like Engineers Without Borders and Design for the Other 90% which would allow you to help others (connecting), travel (exploring) the world, and use what you've learned about science in a practical way (engaging). In addition, creativity is definitely a job requirement for things like that, and I'm sure self-study could easily be of benefit.

    It may not be for you, but I think that pretty much satisfies the 5 core values you listed. Not to mention you'd really be doing something useful. I quite like the premise of Engineering for the Other 90%: Why is it that almost all of our engineering efforts are focused on creating luxuries for the richest 10% of the world, when the other 90% is out there dying of starvation and disease?
  5. Jul 6, 2011 #4
    You might try organic farming networks, au pair networks, teaching part time through skype. We found a lot of opportunities to travel and offer your talents for working in fields or teaching children of in other countries.

    Personally, I would love "micro" classes for kids in physics/chemistry/C++ programming during the summer.

    Good Luck!
  6. Jul 6, 2011 #5


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    You've answered your own question. No point in trying to change destiny.
  7. Jul 7, 2011 #6
    Bad decision 1# Choosing Physics for my degree

    Come on, you can't post something like this on this forum and not expect someone to ask why? :p

    I'll be the first one...why?
  8. Jul 7, 2011 #7


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    It sounds like you might be depressed. Have you thought about seeing someone about it? I had a bit of a hard time earlier this year and was on an anti-depressant for a few months. Luckily I decided to stop taking it and have been fine since, so I don't have to worry about the medication at the moment. Don't worry about any hype or worries about what the meds will do to you. They didn't make me crazy happy or loopy or anything. I just realized after a few weeks or so that I didn't feel as bad anymore and wasn't having so many negative thoughts.

    You seem to have some classic depression symptoms. No drive, lack of interests in things, etc. Many people are depressed and don't even know it. You don't even have to take any medication if you don't want to. Even the act of seeing someone and talking about things could get you through.
  9. Jul 7, 2011 #8
    Thank you for your suggestions, but I will be starting MRes(leading to phd) in Sept (accepted offer). I probably won't have time to do volunteer work.

    I think I was panicking a bit when I posted the OP, feeling better and more positive tonight after being productive in learning/recapping some phyiscs.
  10. Jul 7, 2011 #9
    Lol. Hmm.

    I can't remember...anything, hardly anything from my four year degree...I've been out of education for about a year, but still, I should have more knowledge than I do :/ - That gets me down. Makes me wish I took an 'easier'/more appropiate course, a path on which I could be confident in succeeding.

    Yeah, I think at times I can border on being depressed, but I manage to get myself out of it -with self-help books and supportive friends.

    I think it's fear that I'm one of those people who will have to work her *** off to get somewhere, rather than just being 'naturally talented'(plus some hard work). The fear is that it won't be enough and I will fail. - it can cause me to look the other way sometimes (which is VERY bad) and not face the work at hand, not even try :( - I can't afford this situation occuring again!
  11. Jul 7, 2011 #10


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    I know the feeling. That's why I'm here at PF. Slowly but surely, things are coming back. :smile:
  12. Jul 7, 2011 #11


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    Let me ask you this Synapse. How do you feel everyday? Do you feel like a "zombie" most of the time? Or that your "out there"? Do you have trouble focusing?
  13. Jul 8, 2011 #12
    That's partly why I've come to these forums also.

    Yes! Zombie would be the perfect word to descirbe it, lack of focus, like my mind is in a daze - hated it. My mind didnt feel 'sharp' anymore, felt like it turned to mush or something, but for about a couple of days now by forcing work on myself (learning things for myself, like i'm learning C++ using some websites and looking more into quantum mechanics) I've found I feel more 'awake', 'on the ball'. I hope this lasts, I think what it was is after quitting the PGCE (-this was also a brain-killer) I've been doing a 'brain-dead' job for the money and I think that's why I fell into what felt like i'm 'in a dreamy world' stuck in my mind. -bleh.
  14. Jul 8, 2011 #13


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    I felt like I described every day for at least 4-5 years. Then my girlfriend at the time told me should thought I might have ADHD. (For other reasons that she saw) When I was diagnosed with it and started my current medication, I woke up one day and realized that I wasn't a zombie anymore. I can't even begin to describe the difference it has made for me.

    I'm not saying you have ADHD or Depression, but if you are having problems you should go see someone about them.
  15. Jul 9, 2011 #14
    I'm glad things have worked out for you :)

    I did see a therapist, a couple of times but I find it hard to open up in real-life. I guess I probably should've seen her for longer, to get past the 'surface layers'. It was free as well because I was still at uni then.

    I'll think about booking an appointment. Thanks.
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