I don’t know what to do with my life. I’m in my early 20s and I’ve dedicated my life to skateboarding, but this has left me with serious injuries and no real career to speak of. Now I fear I’ve wasted my life. I feel lost and alone and all I want to do is get a job and repair my body. I’m fairly intelligent, but I have no education to back it up so no one will give me a chance. I’m so scared that if I don’t get a break soon I never will. What can I do?
Going through a difficult time like this and feeling lost and alone can be extremely upsetting and overwhelming. But there are still options for you to explore.
Feeling very lonely may lead to feelings of unhappiness and even depression. Emotions may seem overwhelming. It may feel difficult to see how to move forward, and it can be hard to express these feelings to others. But, it may be worth considering if there’s someone you could talk to, for example, a friend or a family member.
Talking to people you know about how you feel will help them to understand what you’re going through, and may enable them to support you more effectively. But as you say, you feel you have nowhere to turn, and sometimes people find it easier to speak to someone they don’t know. If you’d like to talk to someone else about how you’ve been feeling in confidence, Youth2youth has a telephone counselling helpline on 020 8896 3675.
Having medical problems can become a real burden, so it’s understandable that this is making you feel low, too. Have you spoken to your doctor (GP) or a specialist to get their advice on whether you would be able to be treated on the NHS? If not, this would be a very positive first step for you to take.
It’s possible for adults to take or re-take their GCSEs if they have not attained them through schooling. You can then progress on to A-levels or other equivalent qualifications and on to university, if this were the route you’d like to take. There are a number of course options open to you, such as NVQs or vocational training.
Vocational courses are more likely to lead directly into employment, teach you new skills and allow you to start making a living for yourself, as you’ve said you want to do. You still have time to complete new training and get into work that you will enjoy. Many people study as mature students and an apprenticeship or vocational course may allow you to earn as you train.