Personality Cafe banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Also known as "that lingering uncertainty over whether or anything you do will be worthwhile, and the fear that your efforts have no meaning or are otherwise insignificant in value compared to some greater purpose of yours, because we just want to assume so badly that the universe and human society unfolded in so tidy a way that there must surely be some thing as an objectively perfect purpose for each and every one of us."

Hi there PersonalityCafe folks!

I apologize firstly that my introductory post on here is but a petty and frantic rant, not unlike the kinds people would ordinarily be content in making before audiences far less experienced with and scrutinizing in such matters than ourselves.

There are no pillars in my life. I have never been romantically involved or gained any meaningful employment. And throughout life my pursuits have flip-flopped all over the place, between writing, art, design, modding video games, and many other things. There's just no simple title or other means of describing me succinctly. Sometimes I feel as though I don't even have a determinate identity. I'm just sort of...there. Existing. It's unusual. In the company of friends I feel as though I'm not as valued as the others are - they seem to blend in so well. When they can't make it to a social gathering, people appear to be more inconvenienced than they would be if I told them I couldn't make it. They seem to laugh with one another with a greater sense of kinship than I feel when I'm a part of it. I feel distanced. It's sappy, but the truth of the matter is that my best friend, and the only person who can relate to the breadth of my thoughts and sentiments, is my dad. He's always been so warm and amiable, always making playful asides, talking to the cats or personifying every little thing in the way I do. Beyond that, I have perhaps two friends who understand me, and both of whom I simply stopped talking to (I deeply regret this now and wish I could reconcile with them somehow) due to my own whimsical predispositions.

This past summer, I focused extensively on myself, and spending time with my family. I resumed my studies of philosophy, cooked regularly, and exercised. I had thought that, after two years of not attending class whenever I could and drawing the majority of my social interaction at school from class, that I was finally ready to start school off with a healthy mindset. I moved in about ten hours ago and I already feel utterly doomed.

I have strong interests in writing, video game design, photography, as well as some more orbital things which I'm not as easily motivated with unless I have an end in mind (rather than being a source of constant respite and a thing I can readily fall back to at any time with eagerness) - such as web design. In secondary school I always loved history, and for the longest time I thought I'd go into that before realizing I didn't really like academia.

But I think that my dismissal of history is a part of some lower-level tendency. The short version is that I feel as though every interest and hobby of mine at home has been either too "pure" or too whimsical to ever be realistically interpolated into a regimented and breadwinning means of employment. And yet likewise, in spite of the numerous times I think I've finally made peace with myself - that is, settling, thinking it's not the end of the world if my job isn't an all-encompassing representation of my entire being and justification for my existence in its totality, maybe I'll even magically find something in this listless liberal arts university that I love even more - it just doesn't happen.

I've realized like many of you that I like the overview of many subjects - in my time in school I've studied art history and religion, among other esoteric things, and I was thrilled with the intro courses. I'd soon declare a minor, and take more specialized classes in the department, and just drop them immediately due to realization that I find them to be completely pointless.

What if instead though, it's merely resentment at having to do work? If I'm merely an unmotivated person, who's to know how many truer interests or career paths I might've gone down with great enthusiasm had I only realized what the proper criterion in reading myself were.

And then there's those days of completely unstructured free time, where the weather or the sudden remembrance of some video game or book from my childhood evokes in me the greatest nostalgia, an intimation of a thousand prior states of mind and sublimity and serendipidous delight. There was a time for me when the painted backgrounds of Disney movies, or history, or reading books, was the world for me. And suddenly I find myself in the midst of this sudden, indescribable, instinctive fleeting sense of distress and estrangement. "What ever happened to that interest? I hadn't considered it in so long - maybe I should have majored in history. But no, if the interest were strong enough, it would have persisted until now and my losing interest in it is ultimately no different from the loss of interest in a thousand other, even more inconsequential things as we do in our day to day lives. But then...what if not?"

And then I get into theatrics. I was thinking about majoring in IT as a relatively safe and practical middle-ground from which I could segue into more interesting work, such as my interest in design and editing. I'd minor in english to maintain my sanity. Except I've just registered for my classes this year and suddenly I find myself missing art history and history alike. But perhaps it's merely the notion of the existence of some more certain path that I could be trodding down, that makes me feel envious and inadequate w/r/t my current circumstances. And I think about the nature of IT work, and suddenly the notion of settling is no longer on my mind - yeah, I like working on computers here and there, what tech savvy power user doesn't - but just the entire concept of this potential career being introduced to me as an entirely foreign, external thing, something about it utterly unnerves and frightens me. I know that life is innately serendipidous, and I have come upon many interests that prior to their manifestation could have in no way been conceivably implied through my other previous interests/tendencies at that time, and yet they appeared. But suddenly, forget the minor, what if I was supposed to be safely ensconced away, studying history? I remember the days of high school when I'd write my papers while listening to celtic and medieval music, and growing up on Civilization III and IV, and at the time all of that was positively the world to me. But do I want to go back? Can I go back? Or is this all conjecture and fiction of an utterly pointless kind because I'll presumably never, ever feel right the first time around in making a commitment to something such as a college major?

I'm sorry, I just had to get this off my chest. I'm in my third year, and yet it never gets easier - every time, I feel as though I'd be happier in community college, or with my family, or studying carpentry, or doing virtually anything that in my mind would be something I'd already be engaged in and thus not having to deal with the realities of emotional and mental discomfort as they unfold in the present. The question is, do these tendencies mean something, or is it my mere laziness/homesickness? Sooner or later, as with my previous two years of school, classes will crush my will, and I'll feel complacent just wandering around and doing what I'm supposed to do int he short term. Except I'll finally have to declare a major, and the nature of the coursework will stack, and I honestly find myself at a complete and utter loss as to whether or not I want my life to be proceeding as it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
What You're Really Meant to Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential

By Robert Steven Kaplan

I've had many of the same thoughts as you. I can't say whether there is some objective purpose to life. I'd much rather take a more personal narrative and create my own path, what this entails though is often a thorn in the brain. I'm sure you can relate.

What I will say is that personal fulfillment is a tough gig to reach, but very rewarding. If there is any advice I have....read the book I've named above and apply the exercises to your life. They've helped me breakdown many of the aspirations I have and create a path to reach them.

If you've come to the realization that you will have to do "work" for a good portion of your life.....well, welcome to the adult world. If you're able bodied, be prepared to contribute in order to have your daily bread. It's not glamorous, nor fun, but life is what you make of it.

One last thing......interest and passion will wax and wane as the moon does over life. You will have to exercise will power to keep working at whatever goals you have.....even if it does feel like a grind at times. The sense of accomplishment is well worth the sweat involved however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
I think you need to understand what forces are driving you to feel these things. Just understanding what is happening in the background helps out immensely in our being ok with ourselves and knowing how to go forward.

First, an INFP has 'Fi' as their primary cognitive trait. Fi is an evaluation function, which means that every piece of information that comes to you gets an evaluation attached to it. This evaluation for INFPs is generally 'How much does this affect the flow of harmony in my life"? Harmony is defined as a sense of the 'rightness' of a certain activity in relation to it bringing you peace, rest, comfort, ease, joy, etc.

Fi is an evaluation function or an observation function. If you exist in a state of Fi, you just kind of sit there and observe the world running by you, making judgments on it. This may be why you feel like you don't have identity, because you are in the state of observing a lot.

Ne is a seeking or explorative function. It is an information collection function that bounces from idea to idea, connects ideas together, and zooms out to see the big picture. It is breadth seeking and struggles to dive into depths (jack of all trades, branching out, tasting a little bit of everything are common descriptors of Ne).

Fi combined with Ne is like the ultimate idealistic treasure hunt. Your Fi is evaluating for harmony and your Ne is looking at ideas based on that evaluation. Unfortunately, Fi's harmony values can fluctuate with minute changes in the situation. An activity like "studying history" can, depending on the atmosphere, peers, subject, context, stress level, and hunger level of an INFP, register as 'deeply harmonious', and 'get me out of here' in a very short amount of time, which causes Ne to 'jump' to other activities.

To live this way, as many INFPs find out, is not so practical for daily life. The only thing that is constant is our getting bored of things. Ne will always jump to other things, and Fi's evaluation is ever fickle. Eventually you learn not to put so much trust in how you feel.

I don't have any suggestions, but I find that just knowing how I work does wonders to make me feel at ease with myself. Hopefully it helps a little.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,786 Posts
There's an idea that all humans have 6 Critical Needs: Certainty, Uncertainty, Connection, Significance, Growth and Contribution.

We have an order of importance to depending on external situations and our internal perception of lack. So if you're living on the streets, Certainty starts moving at the top of the list because you want to know that you'll eat tomorrow and have a warm place to sleep.

Almost everything we do we do to fill those needs. We play video games and watch tv shows we like because were certain that we'll get an expected level of enjoyment from them. We get bored doing the same thing, so for uncertainty, we try a new restaurant or do something different to break up the monotony.

I think the reason why you're so undecided about career paths is that whatever path you choose, the only thing you see yourself getting out of it is Certainty (steady paycheck, food and a place to sleep) and Certainty isn't your primary need at this time. If you're primary need is Significance, then if there a guarantee that one career would bring you recognition, then that would be the one that most captures your imagination. Or if Connection is your primary need, and there was a guarantee that one career would let you me the love of your life, then that would be the one you would feel drawn to.

Honestly, if Certainty was your biggest need, picking a career wouldn't be that difficult. But I don't think it is. So figure out your top 2 Critical Needs at this time and learn the skills that will allow you to meet those needs. Hopefully as you get better at those skills, you can eventually translate them into a career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. I've mellowed out a bit since having written my original post but I'd like to continue the discourse here:

FaveteLinguis- I'll definitely add that book to my reading list. Interest definitely is a variable thing, and for all the fretting over creative blocks and days of complete apathy, it's definitely important to understand how things fit into your life over the longer term rather than just thinking that what you want to do in the present has now overwritten everything preceding it.

ineffipy- Thanks, that makes it somewhat more clear. I've only studied the MBTI attributes at their most face value and not their interplay with one another. I definitely have noticed that my enthusiasm for many things is largely circumstantive, especially in college classes. I imagine that it's this way with most people, it's just that I think I have difficulty getting over myself and realizing that it's alright to, incidentally, on occasion, find something interesting without having to try and incorporate it into my entire being. I'm not having particularly swimming results identifying what continues to make itself manifest among my interests in the longer term, though.

infpblog- That's a rather tidy way of looking at it. A difficulty of mine has always been in prioritization of what I ought to do with the intention of moving my circumstances forward to some future state. I have (or at least, have been trying to develop) a somewhat zen/Taoist stance on my own personal interests, and have come to get over doubting myself so much as to what I feel like doing. I used to be very impulsive and quick to start new projects as a kid, but over the past few years I've by and large very aimless and apprehensive in starting anything for inability to see any greater unity or purpose behind any of it. I realized that I often defined my ideas more in terms of pre-existing ones and chalked that up to their being completely sentimental and unsound, but then began thinking I ought to simply do things because I've said that they interest me. It's led to a realization that as one develops more familiarity and momentum with what they're doing, they start to think less in terms of precedents, kind of like learning a language, one initially is mostly taking rules and literal translations of words at face value, but over time they become more inclined towards the general flow, nuance and natural style present in the way they work. I know I'm sounding really vague here, that's because I'm recounting an experience with getting back into level design for games and not wanting to use very particular, technical examples.

That's great for personal projects. But in school one's expected to sort of go through the motions, towards some ideal end, and there's always the talk of networking, acquiring internships, and all of these other things that I feel won't serve any purpose whatsoever except in the future, when you're looking in hindsight and creating a linear narrative of causation as to how you've arrived at your current position in life. Firstly, I don't know what my position in the future will be, so it all feels like blind, irrational actions and measures rather than a "means to an end" which I can convince myself is something I've chosen voluntarily to accept and move forward with. Ultimately I suppose I could tell myself that no differently from how I tell myself to finish a personal project because I simply said I'd do so. My dad (an INFJ) has had a very serendipidous life himself, from studying architecture -> art -> repo man and assorted other temp jobs -> photo retouching -> graphic design, and we've talked at length about this sort of thing and he says that all I have to really be concerned with at the moment is what I'm going to do next. That college is the "means to an end" for, in the short term, having a fair amount of options open and a means to make a living initially.

Alright, I can work with that for a while. But when I contrast that with any other possible path I could've taken, it's sort of like "for what reason should I expend any more money and energy in something I might not intend to stick with?" If my agenda right now is to have enough money to not-die-of-starvation, I may as well join the army or something.

I continue to work on websites and game levels because I enjoy doing so, though I could never be consistent from one day to the next in telling you what is exactly that makes me feel so engaged and accomplished. But the working world is just on this entirely separate level of consideration that has never really crossed my mind. But life never ends - you could make a choice with something as arbitrary as a coin toss or the I Ching, but it doesn't really matter, you have no idea of knowing whether you'd objectively be better off had you taken the other path. There will probably never be a point in my life where I'll say "I've finally arrived" - so again - why do anything, or make any distinction between choices beyond personal or pragmatic considerations?

I'm probably not making a lot of sense at the moment, but I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm having difficulty maintaining a work ethic with anything in the longer term. I'm taking some classes this semester that interest me, but what honestly are they representative of? Is it really good enough to just say "this is a way to pass the time completing requirements for my minor while simultaneously being enthusiastic about the nature of the work?" If that's really all it is, why am I even taking classes in the first place when I could find equal contentment in sleeping under a tree? My anxiety seems to stem from overlooking the sovereign existence of actions in the present and instead wanting to link them with my perceptions of them in the future, and how I could/ought to instead be shaping those perceptions now instead, or attempting to find some redundancy in them.

So some higher level of personal aspiration and prioritzation is needed. My difficulty is that I've never really imbued my own, purposefully driven interests and hobbies with any kind of noble intentions or manifestos aboout mankind. It's just all fun to me. But for the world of work and commerce, I feel as though I'm supposed to make peace on some level above "you give me money so that I can continue to exist." Maybe I'm just thinking too much about the metaphysical ramifications of my transactions with the world rather than just letting go...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
"Sometimes I feel as though I don't even have a determinate identity. I'm just sort of...there. Existing. It's unusual. In the company of friends I feel as though I'm not as valued as the others are - they seem to blend in so well. When they can't make it to a social gathering, people appear to be more inconvenienced than they would be if I told them I couldn't make it. They seem to laugh with one another with a greater sense of kinship than I feel when I'm a part of it."


This is definitely something I can relate to, and I'm sure others have experienced this kind of thing. Its likely one of two things: you're not opening up enough for them to get to know you, thus they literally can't experience that kinship feeling with you. Its probably not that they don't want to. And the second thing that could be going on (at the same time) is that your simply around the wrong people. You may not relate to them and thus that empty feeling will always arise. In that case the only thing you can do is try to branch out and find other people. Also sometimes it helps to just be honest, you could even go to these people and say something casual that shows you want to be more involved.

Also you said "there are no pillars" in your life. That reminded me of something some popular psychologist said (I forget his name but he's well known), which was that self esteem= achievements/self expectations. So it could be that you have very high expectations of yourself and what you want to do but you haven't done anything yet, which is leaving you feeling like shit. So as for picking a major, try not to overthink. Lots of majors are interesting but you need to choose the one that resonates with you as more than just a hobby or interest. Make a pros and cons list, or disregard every minor doubt and think about the original reasons you wanted to do some of those majors. When you actually get on track and start working towards a concrete goal, you will probably start feeling better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So it could be that you have very high expectations of yourself and what you want to do but you haven't done anything yet, which is leaving you feeling like shit. So as for picking a major, try not to overthink. Lots of majors are interesting but you need to choose the one that resonates with you as more than just a hobby or interest.
I know we shouldn't divide things so dualistically, but I feel as though I have two sets of interests. "Applied" interests such as design, writing and photography, which are all so whimsical and personal that I could never subject myself to the institutionalized way in which they're taught in preparation for providing them as services on others' terms for money. I don't read design blogs or play around in Illustrator, it's just that I enjoy these things on occasion for myself and myself alone.

I also really enjoy philosophy, history and spirituality, but again I feel myself to be less than sufficiently devoted to these to study in school. I don't spend a great deal of studying these things in a proper fashion, I just like the idea of them, what they encompass and the aspects of the world that they recognize and appeal to. I try to imagine myself actually doing one of these for a living, and it fills me, again, with utter revulsion. I have virtually no interest in teaching or academia in general. Perhaps the creative in me simply isn't keen on the idea of treading in a territory where there's very much a sense that everything's already been identified and written about. The sense of "presence" as I call it resonates with me greatly in these fields, but again it's a very whimsical thing, easily initiated by the painted backgrounds of an old cartoon or the illustrations of Tolkien or some instrumental music on YouTube, and then the enture thing just as readily subsides as I come upon the next fancy of the day.

Today I've been thinking about Medieval Studies as a minor - it's not its own department but rather the minor is completed by taking courses in others. A mixture of history, religion, philosophy and literature seems ideal to me. But that too already leaves me feeling guilty, that (1) I've not the willpower to instead minor in one of these more assuring, specialized disciplines and (2) that it's not really representative of anything.

I think about most everything that's open for study in college, and as soon as I tell myself the class sounds interesting I also begin thinking about how I'd weave it into the BS-laden narrative of my cover letter as to how it's representative of my greater nature and interest in culture, ideas, and humanity at large. One shouldn't have to rationalize these things. Suddenly my program of study is no longer for myself but damage control for how I go about pitching myself to employers. I don't like that one bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,801 Posts
There's an idea that all humans have 6 Critical Needs: Certainty, Uncertainty, Connection, Significance, Growth and Contribution.
In case anyone wants to explore the above in more depth, watch this video (Those 6 human needs are Tony Robbins hypothesis)...

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,960 Posts
I know we shouldn't divide things so dualistically, but I feel as though I have two sets of interests. "Applied" interests such as design, writing and photography, which are all so whimsical and personal that I could never subject myself to the institutionalized way in which they're taught in preparation for providing them as services on others' terms for money. I don't read design blogs or play around in Illustrator, it's just that I enjoy these things on occasion for myself and myself alone.

I also really enjoy philosophy, history and spirituality, but again I feel myself to be less than sufficiently devoted to these to study in school. I don't spend a great deal of studying these things in a proper fashion, I just like the idea of them, what they encompass and the aspects of the world that they recognize and appeal to. I try to imagine myself actually doing one of these for a living, and it fills me, again, with utter revulsion. I have virtually no interest in teaching or academia in general. Perhaps the creative in me simply isn't keen on the idea of treading in a territory where there's very much a sense that everything's already been identified and written about. The sense of "presence" as I call it resonates with me greatly in these fields, but again it's a very whimsical thing, easily initiated by the painted backgrounds of an old cartoon or the illustrations of Tolkien or some instrumental music on YouTube, and then the enture thing just as readily subsides as I come upon the next fancy of the day.

Today I've been thinking about Medieval Studies as a minor - it's not its own department but rather the minor is completed by taking courses in others. A mixture of history, religion, philosophy and literature seems ideal to me. But that too already leaves me feeling guilty, that (1) I've not the willpower to instead minor in one of these more assuring, specialized disciplines and (2) that it's not really representative of anything.

I think about most everything that's open for study in college, and as soon as I tell myself the class sounds interesting I also begin thinking about how I'd weave it into the BS-laden narrative of my cover letter as to how it's representative of my greater nature and interest in culture, ideas, and humanity at large. One shouldn't have to rationalize these things. Suddenly my program of study is no longer for myself but damage control for how I go about pitching myself to employers. I don't like that one bit.
If you like design, then why do you not pursue this ?

Then do not do it for money. Do it for yourself ? Put a piece of yourself into these and find like-minded people who will appreciate them. Some people may appreciate them by wanting to pay for them and own them, but it does not mean you want to paint something for them for money, but that they want something of yours for money. You need to get this right in your own mind...

That "presence" is your inner spirit... This is Fi. In the INFP. I never understood this peacefulness until I was without it. Then I realised what is "passion". It is when I am about to lose this peace !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
I also really enjoy philosophy, history and spirituality, but again I feel myself to be less than sufficiently devoted to these to study in school. I don't spend a great deal of studying these things in a proper fashion, I just like the idea of them, what they encompass and the aspects of the world that they recognize and appeal to. I try to imagine myself actually doing one of these for a living, and it fills me, again, with utter revulsion. I have virtually no interest in teaching or academia in general. Perhaps the creative in me simply isn't keen on the idea of treading in a territory where there's very much a sense that everything's already been identified and written about. The sense of "presence" as I call it resonates with me greatly in these fields, but again it's a very whimsical thing, easily initiated by the painted backgrounds of an old cartoon or the illustrations of Tolkien or some instrumental music on YouTube, and then the enture thing just as readily subsides as I come upon the next fancy of the day.

Today I've been thinking about Medieval Studies as a minor - it's not its own department but rather the minor is completed by taking courses in others. A mixture of history, religion, philosophy and literature seems ideal to me. But that too already leaves me feeling guilty, that (1) I've not the willpower to instead minor in one of these more assuring, specialized disciplines and (2) that it's not really representative of anything.
It seems like your kinda scattered with all those different things. Like you said, its whimsical and you grow out of wanting to do things quickly. I think that might just mean that you haven't found your permanent goal yet. I personally think that people should have an idea of how they are going to apply their major practically. Like you said, you "just like the idea" of things, so be careful not to choose one of those things. Maybe just do that stuff in your spare time or as a minor or something. I think thats probably a common infp thing, to like the idea of something but not wanna follow through with complete mastery/study of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It seems like your kinda scattered with all those different things. Like you said, its whimsical and you grow out of wanting to do things quickly. I think that might just mean that you haven't found your permanent goal yet.
Not sure if I ever will. I don't really ascribe to the notion of there being a "permanent" goal. If memory serves it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote of how we remember "great" men such as Napoleon, and how no one particular campaign or accomplishment in their lifetimes comes to our mind in appraising how great they were. In hindsight, they just seem to have emerged on the world stage as these entirely self-assured figures who had the clearest motive and intention behind everything they had done and set out to do, well before it had even occurred.

I personally think that people should have an idea of how they are going to apply their major practically. Like you said, you "just like the idea" of things, so be careful not to choose one of those things. Maybe just do that stuff in your spare time or as a minor or something. I think thats probably a common infp thing, to like the idea of something but not wanna follow through with complete mastery/study of it.
Work ethic has definitely always been a problem of mine. In high school it was easy enough to simply drift through classes contentedly, but everybody has different pretensions for going to college. I suppose it simply hasn't entirely registered with me yet that I want to direct my program of study towards some end. My problem is that I never know how it is exactly that I want to design my studies. For example:

-Studying things I have pre-existing skills in, although only whimsically and incidentally (i.e. graphic/web design) and attempting to carve a straight path into the professional world. A benefit to this is that I'd probably not feel as existential/lost about what I was studying, but it's also a very specialized and tunnel vision-y path to take.
-Studying things I have general interest in and which I feel are representative of my nature. For instance, philosophy or history because I like postulating about culture and ideas. The disadvantage to this, especially in liberal arts world, is that it doesn't give you a very strong idea as to what you'd be doing in the real world, especially if you don't clamp down and go to graduate school (I don't plan to).
-Studying something in which I'd find all the courses interesting, and applied. This was my original idea with Journalism and Media Studies. But then I started to think, while photography and design and copy editing might be a fun way to spend 4 years, the actual channels of employment for this field might not interest me. Is it more efficient to supplement these pre-existing skills of mine with a completely unrelated degree (this would be doing the opposite of the first thing)? Or will employers not care about anything other than what I got a degree in? Again, why ultimately do anything if I don't know with absolute certainty that I want to pursue the career enthusiastically beyond the entry level? Because I have to do something in the meantime, and ambition is always good for opening up opportunities in your life.
-But then what if the English major is more versatile, because journalism might imply boring codes of ethics and institutionalized routine? Do employers even think this hard about it?

I'm torn between sorting out my negotiations between myself and with some hypothetical, highly one dimensional and antagonistic type of the corporate world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Oh wow. Your posts really resonate with me. I think I'm in more or less the same position as you are: I'm in 3rd year, majoring in physics (due to some quasi-philosophical reasons), and wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. I'm a week in and I already have an incomplete, overdue homework assignment. Last year I was extremely unprepared for the increased workload (I have awful work ethic), burned out in the middle of the first semester (but somehow made it to winter break anyway), and ended up dropping all of my courses one month into the second semester.

I also have a strong aversion to the idea of working for some greater organization. I simply can't imagine myself working for a company. Research seemed like a better fit, but then I realized I'd have to do all this networking with my professors and whatnot, when all I really want to do is sit quietly and learn. Plus, I don't think I could handle grad school.

In fact, I'm pretty much hellbent on being self-employed at this point. As for taking courses... well, I'm merely following my curriculum, but I took psychology and Latin for electives, both of which were quite fun (and quite easy). If you think you have the drive to make your way in life, financially speaking, without relying on standard methods, then college suddenly becomes a lot less daunting. It's nice to have the freedom to take classes you're interested in (even if homework will always be awful).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm not sure what to do. I met with a career counselor last Wednesday, and mostly just ranted to him as I've done here, covering all of the different methods in which I might proceed and my ultimate lack of even the vaguest notion as to how any of this is supposed to come together. I was quick to tell him that I was already an INFP as he reached for the Myers-Briggs booklet, and I was surprised to hear that he was an INFJ. He seemed to understand and was interested in many of my philosophical considerations as to the entire matter, and wants to help me in refocusing myself somewhat. Unfortunately, my next appointment isn't until two weeks from now and in the meantime there hasn't been any tangible direction to roll with.

One thing I've been attempting to do, as much as it's easier to avoid definite barriers and to continually invoke my Taoist sentiment that words and narratives are largely insufficient in plumbing the full depth of my problems, sentiments and aspirations, is creating a kind of manifesto for myself, about what I enjoyed about each interest I've had over the years, what it is exactly that I find interesting about/look forward to doing in classes, and the like. Some fragments:

In a job I'd most want:

-To be able to realize a vision, even if not my own, it should be accommodating of NUANCE & personal style
-Compassion & understanding, a playful work environment
-A way to grow organically, FOR MYSELF
-Projects, each day like a new "production" we work towards

In this job I'd be able to:

-Jump around & perform many tasks, I don't think I'd want to be an "expert" in one field; rather I should always be repurposing
-Work on a bit of everything as needed, in pieces that can be freely moved around
-Focus, but with an end project in mind, unique, unlike how a historian might champion one thing for its own sake - if I did that, alongg this lienar progression I'd stop myself and be like "why?" - more layers and an ability to step outside the grind are welcome

Unfortunately it seems as though much of my errant learning across a variety of random topics in literature, the arts, history and the like are more to satisfy inspiration and instill in my mind sentiments about things which feel "right", but I feel as though I'd get bored by going to graduate school, plunging into one of the fields and suddenly having to become married to a particular field of interest and continually writing papers about it. Even my English minor, the courses are no longer consistently interesting to me - the only thing that keeps me going is telling myself that, if nothing else, what an English minor/major is representative of vaguely lines up with things I think I'd like to do someday.

What do you guys think about my thoughts? Are they so vague as to provide no clear direction or end in sight? I've been feeling really crummy again over the past few days...

Oh wow. Your posts really resonate with me. I think I'm in more or less the same position as you are: I'm in 3rd year, majoring in physics (due to some quasi-philosophical reasons), and wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. I'm a week in and I already have an incomplete, overdue homework assignment. Last year I was extremely unprepared for the increased workload (I have awful work ethic), burned out in the middle of the first semester (but somehow made it to winter break anyway), and ended up dropping all of my courses one month into the second semester.
I'm glad to hear that my sentiments don't go entirely unreciprocated. I feel as though the only way to remain motivated in college is to remember that there is a purpose for it (even if it's as petty as to say that you want to acquire a degree), but to simultaneously to only cross each bridge as you come to it. I've noticed that I tend to work harder in the spring semester, probably because by then I sort of just think "welp, I'm here now and have to do this work" whereas in the fall there is still very much a sense that I'm not actually engaged in the rigors of schooling.

The problem is at the rate I'm going I'll probably need to take another semester as it is, so I wouldn't necessarily even consider myself at the halfway mark yet. Were I more grounded in relationships, more understanding friends and work, I'd probably not mind as much, but for me it's as though the entire world is at a standstill while I'm trapped in college.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
Were I more grounded in relationships, more understanding friends and work, I'd probably not mind as much, but for me it's as though the entire world is at a standstill while I'm trapped in college.
Welcome to my life lol. I'll be graduating in December if all goes well though and if theres one thing I can tell u that might help its to just get it done. don't drop out, fail classes & waste time like I did. Just finish with something since you already started, regardless of your hesitance about it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Welcome to my life lol. I'll be graduating in December if all goes well though and if theres one thing I can tell u that might help its to just get it done. don't drop out, fail classes & waste time like I did. Just finish with something since you already started, regardless of your hesitance about it all.
I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling this way, I really am. I just wish we'd all collectively admit how we all know what a joke higher education is, rather than continuing this defeatist admonition of "yeah, but the economy/society/companies these days..."

I don't know what I'd be doing if I wasn't in school, and that's what scares me because I have an even vaguer idea as to what I'll do in the working world.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top