Why cant I get my life together? How can I do it? Major issues
Question Posted Saturday January 8 2011, 4:24 am
Oh my god, I'm sorry this is monstrously long but my life is just in complete shambles right now and everything is only getting worse. I have absolutely nobody else to turn to right now so please help.
I'm 16 and ever since I was 12, I've been procrastinating and it only seems to get worse every year. Now I'm a junior, and its really embarrassing for me to say but last marking period I failed 4 classes because of my inability to do work. I mean I know I am a smart person (despite the grades) and when I put my mind to it I've always gotten near perfect or perfect grades (I'm a big perfectionist). Sometimes to my own pitfall.. cause I'd hand a project a day late to get it perfect and get the same score as someone who did mediocre work because they take off points for lateness. I have terrible time management. Nobody ever really gives any proper advice on how to fix it. I know it mainly has to come from me, but i dunno... I just have some mental block or something. I try to make schedules but have trouble following them.
I don't know why this year I've just lost all my motivation to do work. It's hard for me to tell others my problems, too. Nobody knows the scope of how bad it is in my life right now.. this is definitely the worst time I've ever experienced in my life and I feel bad cause its my fault and I know a lot of others have it much worse and still prevail. I mean, I don't understand why I block out everyone when all I really want is for someone to notice. I try to hide my problems very well, but at the same time I want someone to notice something is not right and persist me to spill the beans. Just because I say I'm "okay" doesn't mean I'm okay. Someone asked me that today and I said I was fine, though I didn't look them in the eyes cause I had tears in my eyes at the time. This past week I've been teary eyed everyday.. I just feel so regretful for what I have done.. and don't know how I can fix it all.
I've become a lot more reserved this year.. my family moved to a new town in the middle of last year and I was more myself then. Very outgoing, got great grades, and everything. I had a lot of people to talk to, too. But this year, I guess its my own fault for shutting people out.. potential friends. I feel bad for it and want to make amends with them, cause its not their fault that I shut them out, its mine I think. I literally feel like I have no true friends apart from a couple people from a forum I go on online. I know friends aren't really important but it just sucks to not go to movies with anyone, parties, have all the inside jokes, or even just someone to talk to everyday in a school period. I'm not the type of person who needs a lot of friends, even just one good friend makes a day a lot better. Most talking I do nowadays at school is with teachers, but mostly with asking questions because it helps me learn better. And I'm a very talkative person.. its hard for me to be so quiet all day, so when I come back home its a huge relief. The first few hours from when I come home are like.. ecstasy. And then reality sets in that I have homework and as more time goes on I just feel guilty which just keeps me procrastinating, and then guilty.. just a big cycle. School is hell and I pay attention and everything, but I'm hoping the time goes by as fast as possible. And school used to not be that way. I used to LOVE school and wonder how anyone could dislike it. Cause I do love to learn but I also feel like I've missed out on a lot of the social aspects of growing up, like best friends, sleepovers, and what not.
In my old town I still had a friend problem but at least I could trust the friends I had grown up with since I moved to that town when I was 6. I talk to them now rarely.. I really miss some of them but I feel like I don't know what to talk about with them, aside from saying "miss you". I hardly ever talk to anyone on facebook or text/call anyone cause I don't know what else to say. like if I know someone from volleyball i dunno what to talk about aside from volleyball. school 'friends'.. i dunno what to talk about aside from school. I listen to pretty obscure music (indie rock.. not that obscure to people online but a lot of kids my age like a lot of mainstream stuff), and I'm interested in the world and what not.. I just feel like I'm not on the same wavelength as most other teens in my town, unfortunately. even in my old town it was still similar. I'm originally from the UK and my family is from Cameroon so maybe that could play a part with it? I miss England a lot.. I feel like I'd fit in more with British culture than American. I'm not the type of person to try to change myself.. I just try to find people like me that I know exist, because I talk to some of them online from around the world and of different ages.
Last summer I tried initiating things.. to hang out with people. I've only hung out with 1 person from school in nearly a year now. Cause I invited her to a concert that I won free tickets to. We both really loved that band. When I was new she talked to me a lot. Now she never even talks to me or says hi to me anymore, even when I occasionally say "hey" she just ignores me. Now I don't even know if I'm close to anyone to be able to ask to go to that sort of thing. I try being nice.. but I just feel like no one, apart from my family, truly cares about me. So I've just come to expect people to let me down, but at the same time I keep trying to find someone who wont. And it makes me sad because I care about everyone else.. even people I hardly know. I shut people out now because its very hard for me to be self confident and bubbly when my grades are so horrible. I have big dreams, to go to a good college and become an economist.. but I just feel silly when I think about it now, and tell people my dreams, with my grades being the way they are.. because I'm in a new school maybe my teachers think its always normal for me to get grades under Bs when thats not true. That is not what I expect for myself. I don't want them to think I'm stupid though I feel stupid for not doing my work. I know its my fault and I should put the blame on me and keep telling myself that.. but it just makes me so confused cause I don't know how to just change myself like my parents say to do. My parents don't help at all, they make me feel like crap and make me even more afraid for the future, and even more likely to procrastinate cause of myself feeling bad. They don't pressure me to get perfect grades though, just do to the best I can. I think it just comes from me.. but I don't know why I feel like I need perfect grades and for everything to be perfect. I feel guilty about procrastinating and all my stupid decisions everyday. Even little things. You don't know how hard I've wished to turn back time to just finish an assignment instead of surfing the web, watching tv, or wasting my time in that sort of way. And yet I still procrastinate worse and worse. Some classes I hardly turned in every work. I write down the work in my planner and everything.. but I just can't get myself to do it. I've looked up things online.. i dont know if I have ADD, fear of success, or depression. But I don't feel depressed.. or I don't know. I'm just self-analyzing myself so i dont know if I'm right. I dont know anyone who'd really care enough to listen to all of this to really help me. Though that is something I'd do. I'm not a pushover or anything, but whenever someone has a problem I try to give them good advice. I dont know why I can't give myself good advice and actually follow it.
I guess in my life I've developed a hard shell, so I can't admit when things really hurt me... I just brush things off but maybe some things stay in my self conscious. Maybe I took the phrase "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me" too literally, sending all the pain to my subconscious. So for that I thought I was confident, cause someone could say something looks weird, but if I liked it, I just shrugged off the comment. But maybe I'm a lot less confident than I really think I am. Right now I'll admit I'm really not confident and worry about little things but just overall in my life, even when I thought I was very confident, maybe it was this way. I mean I have little confidence on getting a boyfriend. I dont even feel like I'm ready in my life to have one right now. I mean I'd love to have a boyfriend, but my life isn't the way I want it to be right now. Honestly, I'm a good looking person though a little chubby, but there's people who I don't really consider the best people who are average looking who have had lots of relationships. I've had 0. No guy has even asked me out, and I'd never do it either. But I've never outright flirted with anyone anyways.. I'm too afraid of rejection. I think that came from when I was in 5th grade, some guys played a joke on me.. that I liked one of them I think. I think that had a big impact on me.. cause it seemed like they were saying that dating me would be a joke. That's the impression that was left with me.. that they maybe thought I was too weird or something. I mean it was 11 year old boys.. it probably wasn't a big deal but, ugh. I know things get better after high school but I hardly have any experiences so far in high school ( and I'm a junior!) that I'd truly relish on. 10th grade was starting to go bad w/ procrastination before I moved to my new school and then i started doing great. and now its even worse than I've ver experienced in 11th grade. Also with guys, I don't know if this is really weird but I tend to be attracted to a lot of guys and that freaks me out cause I don't want to appear like I'm flirting with them when I don't want to pursue anything but it feels that way.. though when I think over what happened I know it wasn't like that. but at the same time I don't know whats going on in another persons mind! I dont go after perfection with guys I like, but I do expect we'd be on a similar wavelength with things... a great deal - best friend and boyfriend at once. I don't think I've even had a good guy friend, much less a best friend one though. Once in middle school a guy clearly liked me, and I thought it was creepy. But once he stopped liking me and started liking another girl, I grew jealous and started growing a crush on him. Whats wrong with me? I don't like games and everything but it seems like my mind just does it automatically. I like things to be out in the open but nooo my mind just has to be complicated???
It doesn't help that my guidance counselor doesn't give a crap either. she doesnt notice anything. its hard for me to talk to her when I don't even feel like she truly cares or even truly knows what she's doing. she's the only guidance counselor at school (its a small school) and she also handles a lot of other things like senior stuff and etc. I don't feel like she has the time to really pay attention. Sometimes I wish she'd notice how bad I was doing and get met to talk about it and make me feel comfortable with sharing.. but ughghgh. Should I just go to a therapist? Or can you help me in any way? I have an older sister who's recovering from depression and I don't know how to tell my parents I want to see a therapist too.. if I needed to. its expensive and just embarassing.. I can't share these thoughts with my parents. why is it so hard for me to admit these insecurities IRL, but so easy online.
I don't think I'm depressed.. I still love the same things. I really wanted to do soccer over the winter but cause of my crap grades I couldn't try out. That was embarassing. I had to leave the volleyball team near the end of the fall season cause of my crap grades. that was even more embarassing. there's just so many things that I regret that when I try to look forward and be positive (and I'm normally a very positive person I think) I just think I'm foolish for thinking I'm worthy of that when my grades have been so bad in the past. and how hard it will be to suddenly try to get people to like me again so I can actually get some friends. But I have to be a friend to get a friend in return, so I have to stop shutting people out from my life. But ughghg in my life in general its been hard for me to get together with friends outside of school so I'm still very uncomfortable with it. I know how embarassing that sounds.. but I don't know how it happened, in my life people just didn't invite me for things and I don't know why .I'm a nice person, and fun.. even more shy kids seemed to have more friends than me. maybe its cause most people in the places I've lived were white, then asian, and then african-american? I dont care about race but maybe it made some people not want to hang out with me? I say african-american because they're different from people with recent immigration from africa. also I don't act like a lot of them in the schools I've been to, with liking a lot of hip hop, the way I talk, and what not. I've been friends with all types of people though.. but I just don't know.. maybe other people have issues with other people being different.. i dont know. Also I'm a pretty good-hearted person, and though I can be sarcastic like I'm not the type of person who calls their friend the B word as a joke and what not.. and saying lots of sarcasm and having lots of witty comebacks. at my old school in the northeast there were a lot of people like that. now i'm in texas and people aren't like that generally.. but though everyone was all "southern hospitality"-like when I first moved here, now I feel like everyone ignores me.
I just don't know what to do but I can't keep living like this. I'm not suicidal or anything.. and I know I should think life will get better. but at the same time it doesnt just change. how do I change my life to get my desired result? I think I have a problem with actually planning out ways to achieve my dreams. I spend too much time dreaming about them than actually making effort to reach them. And I just cant let go of my regrets.. and don't know why I have so many issues with friends, why or if I have low self confidence and just EVERYTHING. This is monstrously long but if I kept this all in one day at school I just won't be able to contain the tears coming from my eyes when I sit in class again with everyone else laughing to their friends while I sit and try to occupy my time without being awkward..and I'll just hugely embarass myself by crying and going to the stupid guidance counselor who'll make me feel uncomfortable as I try to stop the tears to tell her whats wrong though she doesn't truly have the time to listen or really help me like I need someone to. and then news will spread across the school about me being a total weirdo and people wont forget, and my parents will be upset cause they dont want me to become depressed like my sister and just everything will f*** up even more than it is right now and it is very f***ed up right now since junior year is really important and everything and I just have to f***it up so far. And now I feel selfish for wanting someone to help me, but I just don't know how to help myself. It's been too long like this and I really want to change but those things online just saying "make lists, etc" do not help me at all as I have crappy self motivation and a9fuqw390ru9qefoe/
You do not need to know everything. You don't need to know why you're sad, why things are how they are, what will happen in certain scenarios. It's okay to not know why things aren't right.
It is not your fault. Stop putting blame on yourself for everything that doesn't go right in your life. No one is perfect.
And finally, there is nothing wrong with you. You are so completely normal.
Do you want to know how to deal with this? You fix it, one problem at a time.
When I read this, it was like watching my adolescence in some sort of obscure video. You are me when I was 16 years old.
When you're a teenager, you want everything. You want to be perfect, you want to have the perfect teenage experience. You want to have amazing friends that you connect with on an unbelievable level. You want the high school sweetheart boyfriend that makes you understand what love is. You want the perfect grades that will guarantee you a future in whatever your heart desires. And I had to wait until I finished High School to understand why I wasn't meant to have all of that and why I wasn't meant to know exactly what was in my future.
You're 16 years old. Life has not even begun. Here, you can take another deep breath and relax. Procrastination is about will power. It's about forcing yourself to work. You need to force yourself off the couch, grab a piece of paper, and do your work. It's so hard to make that first step, but the more you force yourself the easier it gets. It needs to be the first thing you do when you get home. The quicker you do it, the faster it's done and the more time you have to relax. YOU are the reason you need to work hard. You deserve to succeed. You deserve to go to college. You deserve to work your butt of to get what you want in life. Tell yourself that every day, that you are not only doing everything for yourself, but that you deserve it. You will feel like you deserve those marks when you work your butt off to get them.
You ARE a smart girl, you always will be. Just because you've been procrastinating does not mean that you can't start pushing yourself now to get A's. When I was in school I got average marks. By the time I started University, I was so disapointed in myself and looked down on myself so much for my High School marks that I just gave up from the get go. But in my second semester, I pushed myself. I sat down and did the reading I was assigned to do, I studied, I did my work, I did my homework. I did all of it and I did it on time. I went from getting passes and credits (60%) to distinctions (80%) which is the second highest grade I can receive. This was in my first year at University that I've just completed. I worked my butt off to get those marks. I worked my butt off to go from ordinary to exceptional and I deserved them. You deserve exceptional, so start proving that to yourself.
Sometimes it's hard to push ourselves to succeed when no one else cares. But you know what? That just gives us even more reason to push ourselves twice as hard and do twice as well. Prove to them that you're amazing. Prove to everyone that you're going to be amazing after High School. And if that's not enough, then you prove it to yourself that you're beyond amazing.
I like being different. I like having an obscure music taste and strange interests, that's what makes me unique. These things are what make you unique. They make you special. When you leave school, you'll look at the girls you once went to High School with and you'll notice how alike they all look and seem. And you'll be so grateful that you were different. After school, you'll meet more people that aren't like the kids you went to school with. They will be different and like different things, and the things that make you different is what they will love the most. These people will be better friends than you could ever have had in school.
It's hard in school making friends, and even keeping them. Sometimes you just don't click with people. Don't force it. You keep being a nice person and eventually you will meet someone that you become friends with. Embrace your differences too, be more yourself to people instead of keeping it caged up. Maybe that's what people are waiting for, to see the real you?
But lets get back to the first course of action: taking one step at a time.
Friends come and go. Sometimes it takes a little longer to make friendships, but there's nothing wrong with that. Right now, focus on your school work. Focus on studying and getting your grades up. If you make friends, that's awesome, but if you don't, that's okay. What is important right now is to get yourself back on track and stable before thinking about making friends.
You don't need to know what you're going to do after school. You don't need to know what college you're going to go to, or what course you're going to do, or what you're going to be in 10 years time. Even if you don't get good marks right now, you still have a lot of time and other options to get you where you will eventually want to go.
Do your best in school. Just think now and then about things you're interested in. Don't think too much. You can be anything you want to be. Just, now and then you might think something would be cool to do as a career or you might be really into something and then you might think "that would be kinda cool to learn about at college". Even when you get to college, people drop out, people change courses, people finish and decide it's not right for them, so don't worry about the future, just work hard for the present.
If you need to talk, if you have something to say, say it out loud. Don't wait for someone to ask you if you're okay, go to someone you trust and just tell them "I'm not okay. I need someone to listen to me." and just let it all out. Sometimes it's nice just to talk about your problems, and sometimes you figure out your problems all on your own just by talking about it out loud with someone else.
Nothing is screwed up. You're just a confused teenager which is so normal. If things get tough, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and take baby steps.
You know what I do when I'm really confused or scared or upset? I think about something I want. Something I really want. I live in Australia so I don't see snow. And more than anything, I want to see it. I want to see a log cabin peppered in white snow. I want to see huge, bushy pine trees like big green pillars sticking out of the enormous white blanket. When things get tough, I close my eyes and pretend like I'm there. I feel the snow as if it was really in my hands. The crunchiness, the cold. I breath in the clear, clean, crisp, cold air and hear nothing but the sound of wind. And I say to myself, "One day I'm going to be here. One day I'm going to see the place I've always wanted to see. And I'm not going to stop until I do."
Find something you want. Even if it's silly. Even if you only half want it. Find it, and when things get tough or you can't force yourself off that couch, you say "Well, if you're ever going to get it, you have to get off that couch. And I told myself that I'm not going to stop until I get it."
Who cares what people think? You're intelligent and wonderful. Be selfish and get a little upset and say that your life is horrible sometimes, but don't forget to be selfish and tell yourself that you deserve the world on a platter and that you will get it if you push yourself for it.
Oh, and boyfriends? Overrated. You'll find a perfect guy when it happens, that's how these things work. From my experience, the best things come when you least expect it anyway.
EDIT: I forgot to say why I understood why I wasn't meant to have the perfect teenage experience and why things had to be hard. Because it made me want so much more from life. It made me want to push myself to be something unbelievable. If I was given everything from the start I would have just sat content and been average. And when I do become exceptional, it's going to be so much more worth it. [ xXxPuNki-PiXiExXx's advice column | Ask xXxPuNki-PiXiExXx A Question ]
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