Or we can, but it comes with great struggle.
I quit uni recently. It wasn’t the first time, but it was a hard decision, one filled with fear; fear about failing and having taken the wrong decision.
But life is short, I told myself. What is the point of living if you hate what you’re doing – or rather, you don’t even hate it, it just sucks out the life and joy of you?
When I went to uni, it wasn’t because I wanted to. It wasn’t even because I wanted to be something. I had no idea what I wanted to do or be, just that I wanted to study chinese because it was fun. What I ended up getting into had nothing to do with chinese or anything remotely interesting, because I had crap grades (due to not understanding their importance and exerting minimal effort in high school), but what I actually ended up studying was japanese, a language I already knew, thanks to my mom finding a course with guaranteed acceptance.
So, there started my uni journey. I studied japanese, then chinese, and it all went well. I made friends, had fun, but also amassed some loans, especially as I also moved out and lived in the city. After a while I came to realize that this won’t lead to a job or anything, so I moved back home.
Living at home, I eventually decided to become a nurse, but quit after about two weeks (a decision I don’t regret, especially during covid – but have much respect for all nurses who work through this time). After that I went to get a degree in literature science, intending to move further to a master’s degree in library science. But of course, I decided that I wanted to study psychology instead and threw that aside. Quit psychology and got into a master’s in library science.
The master’s lasted a semester, after which I tried to study courses in occultism, something I’m interested in, but ended up finishing none of the three I started. Then, I spent two months writing erotica and self-published on Amazon, earning a bit over 100 dollars. Figured it wasn’t worth basically working full time for that little. So, I went back to uni to study public health. Quit within 2 months, but finished another course in chinese and one in geology (which I got a B on, without any prior experience in science!).
Then, I decided to become a teacher, because it seemed easy enough to get a job, and the pay is quite high. Not to mention, there’s also opportunities for online jobs. But…
And here we are now. I lasted 1 month in the swedish course that would be the stepping stone into a teacher program.
I quit. Now, it wasn’t because I’m weak or lazy or anything. No one I know would call me lazy. I work out almost every day, worked my inflexible self into being able to do the splits, and can be very productive in things I like doing (such as when I taught myself japanese in middle school, or now that I make youtube videos).
So, I’m not lazy or lack discipline. Neither am I stupid. And yet, I find uni so hard. Even the simplest things are seemingly insurmountable. I couldn’t bring myself to even go to one last exam this morning. Just don’t know how to talk myself into it. How do you talk yourself into accepting feeling miserable, willingly?
I get if you have a family to support, or if you’re in a trickier situation. Well, I don’t understand it on a deep level, because I haven’t been there, but I get that it’s a different situation than mine, a childless woman in her twenties living with her parents, who don’t pressure her to make an income. I know that it puts me in a privileged position, but it’s how it is. It’s not something I chose, and my family is by no means well off. Even in this place, I have my own struggles and battles.
Anyway, being at uni, this time, made me feel particularly miserable. I don’t want to go into too much detail right now, but there were times where I didn’t want to live. I do experience feelings of depression, which has lasted for a few years, but it’s not a constant feeling. When it comes on, though, it can be quite strong and, at times, scary.
Yes, I was scared. I am scared about what will happen to me if I keep doing things that don’t work for me. If I keep trying to fit into a system I was clearly not made for.
The more I studied at uni, the more I realized what you actually learn: you learn how to think. You don’t learn how to do a job, or even become an expert in your degree (I have a bachelor’s degree, so I would know).
You learn how to think the way they want you to. I don’t know who they are, but it’s not important right now. Absolutely don’t mean it in a conspiracy way, not at all, simply how I experience it.
It’s not easy to try to alter your fundamental self for a cause you aren’t even sure of. Is it worth changing who I am to earn a steady income, which might not even happen? Is it worth it to get a degree that only serves if you want to work for someone else who needs you to be a certain way and even be present several hours of the day (I can’t even do things I enjoy for that amount of time, it drains me).
It’s not easy to think that you have to do a certain thing because you have to make a living. It’s not easy to feel like you have to sacrifice yourself. But I know that many people out there have no choice. And they keep going strong. I can’t admire all of you who do that more. I fear that I would end up on welfare or on the streets if I was in that situation, simply because I don’t think I could do it even then. It’s not a good thing, but it’s a reality for many people. It wouldn’t surprise me if many who are in that situation have the same or similar problems.
It’s not easy, but neither are other things. However…
I had a plan when quitting, and that was to become a fitness coach. It’s not a new thing, but something I’ve been kinda wanting to do for a long time. I used to want to be a life coach, since I don’t know how long, but it was probably last summer that it occurred to me that I could be a fitness coach/personal trainer.
Now, I don’t know if I have ever inspired anyone, but I would love to inspire people to become their best selves. It sounds cliché, but it’s something I think I would love doing. There would be hardships, but I think I have enough deep motivation, or rather, an understanding for why I’m doing it, to stick through hardships. I think I can keep the flame burning inside me.
Throughout the years I have experienced many different difficulties, which not only have shaped me as a person, but also have led me to understand a wider variety of people than I did before. For instance, I have struggled with back pain for years, starting in middle school, but especially in my 20s. At times, I get knee pains as well. In addition to that, I have an unusual amount of fatigue (I feel like), and the abovementioned depression, as well as anxiety. All of these are common problems, but they used to be more like myths to me (even the back pain, as it wasn’t as bad when I was younger).
I used to be a bouncy figure skater who could do anything and was adventurous af. Growing up, I wasn’t unhappy. I was probably a happy kid, the emotional problems didn’t come until my mid-late teens, but escalated in my twenties. I could push myself how much I wanted to, and even skip meals while at it. My point is, I don’t think I could’ve been a good life coach, say, in my early twenties, because I didn’t know enough.
As I’m only 27 now, I don’t claim to know much now either, but I do think I have a deeper understanding of some key things, which can serve as a good base for me to help other people. Of course, you probably don’t need to have every problem in the world to understand other people, but I certainly think my sufferings have helped me in that area, bitter as it is.
When it comes to being a life coach, I still think I lack life experience. But fitness is closer, and it’s very important to me, always has been. Even without being a fitness coach, I often find myself trying to help people make better choices. But it has never been rewarding, as these are people who didn’t ask for it. They don’t want it, and therefore they won’t go through that transformation I know they could do. It takes two people for a fitness coach to succeed; the coach, and the person they’re training. Without the will, it won’t happen. I can’t force people into change. But to have people come to me, willing to let me help them, would be amazing.
Of course, I still need an education to do this, and steps are already taken to get one. What I need is knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of exercise, as well as learning how to safely guide someone in exercise. Those types of things. And that’s why I applied for a personal trainer program. But in the meantime, I’m practicing on my youtube channel, Dreamy Duck. Feel free to try my workouts and critique me (constructively).
Anyway, this isn’t about me. Well, it is, but I’m hoping that this blog post by little me could reach someone who needs encouragement and inspiration, for whatever is on their troubled mind.
If you want, you can share your stories in the comments, or anything else you want to share. I want this to be a place where people can relate to each other and, hopefully, feel a little bit better about whatever they need to feel better about.