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I live in my moms basement

  1. Feb 19, 2013 #1
    I graduated from high school back in 2010.
    I let a year pass by doing nothing, thought i would relax let my head cool off.
    I applied for engineering in the year 2011, (i never really wanted to go for it it's my parents choice and they kept telling me that i should apply for it) and now, 2 years later i have not had any progress, since the program i have applied for was not suitable for me so i left

    Now i am unemployed and confused about my life what should i do?
    I'm a 22 years old unemployed bum depending on my parents to make it to the next day of my life
    On the other hand i feel very old, and i am unable to study and keep up with the young kids,
    I feel like my brain is slowing down already, i have felt that since i hit like 20, I felt like my brain is slowing down and i am unable to take a lot of information at once

    I thought of applying for IT(programming) next, But i am not sure anymore what to do with my life, I still feel depressed, Since like when i look at the people that i grew up their all pretty much working and have done something compared to me, I feel like i have been just really dumb through out my life and I've never really planned ahead of time

    I was looking at some youtube videos lately, Some people have achieved like a lot when they are younger, Compared to them I'm really old and i feel like it's too late for me to be able to study again and actually to make it anywhere close to their level or on par with them.

    In reality if you don't have a hand or leg you can't really touch or walk, I feel the same with my brain it's like i have lost my young ability as in my fast learning curve and i will never be as skilled or as fast as others will be on learning early since i am already capped.

    What should i do now? Please kindly leave out optimistic replies of *try harder* advice, I would prefer to be more realistic about my age gap and slowing learning curve because it does exist sadly.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What are your interests? What do you do of your time? Is there anything in there that you could ear money with?

    I understand the feeling of depression when you realize that you are not as good as others. One way out is to find something you can really be interested in, that is fun for you to do. Every time I start thinking about the Nobel prize I will never win, heck, even about the articles I wrote that probably no one will ever read, I try to start thinking instead of utility players in baseball, the guys that will never be regular players in the big leagues, let alone stars, but continue playing anyway, sometimes for many years in the minors, just because they love the game. They get to play and hang out with the stars, and sometimes might even teach them a thing or two, and that can be enough to get them by.

    Instead of trying harder, I would suggest you try different, to paraphrase Apple. Are there more hands-on things you could be doing? Life is not only intellectual pursuit. One advantage of learning something more technical is that you will probably end up in classes where you'll be among the faster thinking. I am not saying this in a derogatory way: people have different skills and habilities, and it doesn't mean that there are lesser people. But it could be good for your self esteem to be for some time in an environment in which you don't feel that everyone is ahead of you.

    You don't have to decide now what you'll be doing when you're 50. Just think about the next step. What could you be doing tomorrow that would make your life better?

    According to what measure? The amount of money they are making? The fact that the have settled in a "suburban life" from which they will never emerge? I am being a bit harsh here, but I want to hammer the point that you have to find what is good for you.

    See again my analogy about sports. You don't have to be a star to have fun playing the game. Let others shine. You just have to find what will make you want to get out of bed in the morning.
  4. Feb 19, 2013 #3
    Why did you leave for a year after graduating high school? Were you tired of studying? Why is engineering not suitable for you? Can you explain how you were studying during high school? What was your daily schedule during high school? Were you burned out from pulling too many allnighters?
  5. Feb 19, 2013 #4


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    Take advantage of it and save money.
  6. Feb 19, 2013 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Go get a job. Not a career, a job. Start making money and paying bills and doing something productive with your time, even if that productivity is just flipping burgers.

    Of course you feel depressed. A healthy 22 year old living on charity should feel depressed. It is the only reasonable emotion to feel about your choice in lifestyle.

    Honestly, I don't think that your slow learning curve is even relevant. What you lack is a work ethic, and that is the lack that is depressing you. From your words I assume that you are male, and a large part of a man's self-image is their work. Being unemployed is very destructive for a man.

    Get off your butt and get a job, any job. Work, save some money, help your parents out with the cost of food/utilities/etc. Be at work on time every day. Look for promotions or other jobs, try a few.

    Once you have a work ethic then you can think about going back to school to start a career. You won't learn any faster, but you will know how to work, and that will make up for it. Your younger classmates might learn the same thing in 1 hour that takes you 2, but you will put in those 2 hours and do fine.
  7. Feb 19, 2013 #6
    I was in roughly the exact same situation years ago. When I graduated high school, I went straight into engineering discipline which I didn't really like while holding a full time job. My inability to juggle both, growing tension at home and my dispassion for the degree led me to quit, so I spend 2 years getting a tech degree from a vocational night school.

    During this time I only loosely liked what I was doing. I was still unemployed, I worked sporadically as unemployment was and still is rife where I live, but completing the degree gave me the confidence boost to go to university again, starting effectively at the age of 21. Now I'm finishing the degree I always wanted to do but was too scared to try at the ripe age of 18. Now I'm graduating and hopefully on the way to a phd. Note that I am someone that was very math phobic in his teens and have generally always thought of myself as intellectually inferior to my peers, but I managed to do it by being stubborn.

    My precarious financial position and performance got me through my degree on a full scholarship+stipend, so I've been pretty much independent for the past 3 years. Ymmv. Things can get better, but you have to pick something(not necessarily a degree) and finish it. By the end you'll probably know what you want to do, but get into the habit of finishing what you start.
  8. Feb 19, 2013 #7
    It's an illusion. You just forgot some things, and how to learn. Need some time to get back in shape.
    There also were periods in my life, when I didn't program for a while, travelling, laborer jobs.
    When getting back to study/work, it takes some time for you to become effective as before.
    But when you did, your level is significantly getting higher due to increased awareness.
  9. Feb 19, 2013 #8
    I was in a similar situation. Out of high school I went to college for computer science, but only because I liked computers and didn't know what else to do with my life. This lack of true interest led to me dropping out after a year and a half and then spending 2 years at home playing World of Warcraft and not doing much else. In 2008, I went back to school, first at a community college and then a 4-year private school after earning a transfer scholarship. I graduated with my BS at 26 and am now in a Biology PhD program. As I was finishing up undergrad, I noticed being older than my peers, but the only disadvantage I felt was that I needed to work more hours at a job than they did. At 22 years old, you're far from past your intellectual prime; just go do it.

    I credit two things with being able to get out of my slump and go back to school: working a minimum wage job and falling for a girl. After 2 years, I was so sick of delivering pizzas and making sandwiches that I would have gone back to college to study anything at all, but the time off did help me pick a field that I would enjoy more and be more successful at. Also, potential love interests seem to be much more accepting of someone going back to school than of someone with no plans.

    TLDR Version: Go get a job, any job. Worst case scenario is that you might eventually make enough money to move out and have a life of your own. (I could have been a manager at my last food service job if I wasn't in school and could work the required shifts.)
  10. Feb 19, 2013 #9


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    You seem fixated on age, as if being 22 makes you too old for something.

    Yes there are plenty of examples of people who accomplished great things at young ages. None of them are you. You had to work with a different set of circumstances and maybe you've made some poor choices, but all you can change is the future.

    So the real question is, do you want to be 23 and still living in your mom's basement?

    The learning issue is one of intellectual exercise, not age. You need to get your brain in gear. You do this by challenging it. Take courses. Read. Start a hobby that involves problem solving.

    If you don't know what you want to do, try browsing through some community college calenders and look at their programs. You don't have to get it right on the first try. Sometimes you just have to jump in and see where your strengths are.
  11. Feb 19, 2013 #10
    Holy cow, I envy you. When I was 22 I was a college drop out living in my parent's basement, I wish I'd decided back then to return to school. I'm a 30-yo fourth year eng. physics undergrad, I'll be 32 by the time I graduate, 38 if I get my phd. You could get your degree and still be in your 20s.

    As for thinking slower, that's what depression and stress do, it's not because you're 22.

    You could start at a cc to get your grades up.
  12. Feb 19, 2013 #11
    Sitting around in your Mom's Basement (what a tiresome cliche) is not going to make you feel good. Even if you can't get a job, at least volunteer for something.

    Do not consider what others are doing. There is always someone else who will overachieve. Trust me, it does not always make them happy. In the scheme of life, the universe and everything; if you are doing something you like, and you feel good about it, who cares how much you make or who you hang out with?
  13. Feb 22, 2013 #12
    thank you all for your replies
    i still don't feel motivated to do anything yet..
    but i appreciate everyone who bothered to reply here it has made a difference to me thank you again
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  14. Feb 22, 2013 #13
    You probably feel overwhelmed by the number of responses and the long posts. Can you at least expand a bit:

  15. Feb 26, 2013 #14
    Get over yourself dude.

    Sounds like a bunch of excuses to me...

    "wahh..wahhh...I didn't get my degree ASAP....wahhh..wahhh I am too old now!"

    One day you will wake up and smell the coffee. It ain't about age, it's about determination.

    I'm not going to baby you; I am going to tell you what you need to hear.

    Your 22 dude, thats a spring chicken in some people's eyes.

    Your not motivated yet? You expecting some posts from strangers to motivate you??

    Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom to get motivated (Like me).

    Just pray you get motivated before then so the recovery isn't as bad.

    Seeing your friends be successful should be motivation.

    If you always say its too late...well before you know it..it will be too late!
  16. Feb 26, 2013 #15
    The OP could be suffering from clinical depression I dont see the need to pile on.

    OP you should start by taking a class at your local community college equivalent to get back into academics
  17. Feb 27, 2013 #16
    whats wrong with living in your moms basement? go get a job and you can save money.

    why do you care what people have achieved and what age they are? stop comparing yourself with other people.

    how can you say you lost your ability to think? you haven't been doing anything, no job, no school. you can't assume that.

    i know i sound like a dick and i have my reasons because i WAS where you were and you have absolutely no reason to be in this situation. you may be like me and over analyze everything and try to plan everything perfect but you have to know you that it won't work out. been there done that.

    i also graduated in 2010, did nothing but party from 2009-2011 so my grades were crap. I had jobs here and there so i saved up money and decided that i want to make something out of myself . So i went a community college and got over 90% physics and chemistry and over 95% in math. to remind you this is AFTER 3 years of alcohol, girls, fights, and a LOT more idiotic things. so to say that your brain is going downhill at the age of 20 is unjustifiable. now i am looking forward to starting my physics degree in september(with scholarship).In highschool i failed math 11 never took math 12, failed bio, had a C- avg and thats exaggerating.

    no without hands or legs you can't touch or walk. But the ones who TRY and never give up are the ones who actually accomplish something.

    I have been through depression for a number of years, i'm not sure if i'm completely over it yet but i see where your coming from. Confused about life, what you wanna do, what interests you and what doesn't. all these things will drive you crazy. My only advice on that part is to STOP THINKING SO MUCH. if you enjoy something, do it. don't try to think of what you WON'T like about it. just GO. what do you have to lose? your unemployed, not going to school, it will only go up from here if YOU make it.

    And again, your age is irrelevant if you have the determination, dedication, motivation, and work ethic.

    Sorry if i came off rude/dickish or anything of the sort. I'm not the type of person who tells a person in trouble that everything will be fine, that it happens to anyone. telling you that sh*t will do nothing but make you weak
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  18. Feb 27, 2013 #17
    To add to my last post(because i feel like i may have been a little hard on you), i also recommend:

    exercise - release some of those good old endorphins.

    surround yourself with highly motivated people!!!!!!!!!!! when i was partying throughout highschool i hung out with the wrong crowd and i was not happy. surround yourself with motivated and creative people and you will have a difference perspective on life

    Read - start reading books that you enjoy! it'll be a much better use of your time then doing nothing. i used to hate reading stuff but i found i like to read textbooks and about physics

    make a schedule! THIS is the biggest helper for me when i was going through depression. i was waking up at 1pm daily staying up till 6am. But when i made a schedule, i always had something to do. But don't jam pack your schedule. When i started all i had was "read" @ this time to this time, "watch khanacademy" @ this time to this time, "practice math" @ this time to this time. as simple as that! this will help you stay on top of your goals and make you not think so much

    i hope this post is a little more friendly
  19. Mar 1, 2013 #18
    This is excellent advice.

    Even 30 minutes a day of physical exercise can be a wonderful thing; you'd be surprised how much it can help your mood.

    The advice on making a schedule is also great. (I need to work on this one myself!) One "rule of thumb" that I've heard is to only fill up 2/3 of your free time. In other words, leave one-third of your time unscheduled. This gives you time to take care of important stuff that comes up out of nowhere, and keeps you from feeling overburdened. (Make sure to schedule some time for your hobbies too.)

    Regarding taking some college courses - I'm sure money is tight at the moment. Some universities post lecture videos online. MIT's open courseware comes to mind. They have all sorts of stuff on there. Just find a course that sounds interesting and dive in. This will help you build up some confidence too - I have a feeling that your mind isn't nearly as rusty as you think it is. It will take a bit of effort at first, but I think you'll pick up on things pretty quickly.

    With the depression - you'll get through it! It may not seem like it right now, but it's only temporary. (Trust me; been there, done that.) You don't need to do all these things at once either. Start with one or two of them, and go from there. Comparing yourself to other people is always a losing battle. There's always going to be someone who's better than you in some area.

    Anyway, back to the career advice: What courses did you enjoy in high school? Have you taken any career placement tests? (A quick google search will find a lot of them.) It sounds like you have at least a passing interest in programming. So go with that. The MIT link I posted above has a good introductory computer science course that teaches you Python (I'm slowly working on that one).

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  20. Mar 5, 2013 #19
    At some point he's going to have to STOP feeling depressed in order to do something about the problem. That depression can be a trap.

    Also, all that thinking about age is a trap, too.

    Comparing to others -- a trap.

    Lots of traps.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  21. Mar 6, 2013 #20
    It's a trap!

    @OP: I graduated in 2010 too, and after spending 2 years away from home attending a community college in Austin, trying to get into UT, only to fall behind letting my gpa slip, I'm now back at home. I had no motivation to go to UT. So I sat down with the important people in my life and told them I needed a change, I decided I wanted to pursue a childhood dream of mine that I had long since tossed out the window. Now I'm back at home attending a local CC, working my butt off to get into a different University. My point being, you just need to find out what you WANT to do, and then do it. All the pieces will fall into place after that.
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