Do you think college was/is useful?

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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Mel on Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:25 am

Aggrax wrote:I'm not depressed. In the past, I've believed differently, but I was wrong. I was using depression as an excuse instead of owning up to the real problem. That fact that I was, and very much still am, very lazy and irresponsible.

I don't believe in internet diagnosing, but I will say that your description of yourself did ping as possible depression for me too, and that depression can make you believe you have no excuse and are simply a [insert negative attribute here] person. I'm not sure what led you to determine that depression isn't an issue and that treatment for it definitely wouldn't help with the motivational difficulties, but if you came to this conclusion on your own or because of comments from untrained outsiders (family members etc.), then it might be worth getting a professional's opinion just in case.

I also don't actually believe that any person is inherently and irrevocably lazy or irresponsible--I think people can train themselves to become more engaged, especially if they can find the right motivating factor. It doesn't sound as though you like feeling that you're very lazy and irresponsible. Have you taken any steps to attempt to shift those inclinations? This is something where, even if you're not depressed or anything else clinically definable, the help of something like CBT could be helpful in developing a different mindset and strategies for combating the sorts of thoughts that get in the way of being more active.
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Aggrax on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:15 am

Mel wrote:I don't believe in internet diagnosing, but I will say that your description of yourself did ping as possible depression for me too, and that depression can make you believe you have no excuse and are simply a [insert negative attribute here] person.  I'm not sure what led you to determine that depression isn't an issue and that treatment for it definitely wouldn't help with the motivational difficulties, but if you came to this conclusion on your own or because of comments from untrained outsiders (family members etc.), then it might be worth getting a professional's opinion just in case.

I also don't actually believe that any person is inherently and irrevocably lazy or irresponsible--I think people can train themselves to become more engaged, especially if they can find the right motivating factor.  It doesn't sound as though you like feeling that you're very lazy and irresponsible.  Have you taken any steps to attempt to shift those inclinations?  This is something where, even if you're not depressed or anything else clinically definable, the help of something like CBT could be helpful in developing a different mindset and strategies for combating the sorts of thoughts that get in the way of being more active.

It just feels too much like an excuse, letting me dismiss the problematic decisions that I made in the past as "depression." Instead of confronting my failings, I'm sweeping them under a rug. I know that isn't true for everyone who has depression, I'm speaking strictly for me.

I'll admit that I haven't really tried much to change things. I've always had very poor self control. I've gone out and spent money on food I didn't need to eat or frivolous items that weren't of any use but that I liked and wanted. I can barely follow any kind of regimented plan for more than a week. Even knowing that I shouldn't be acting a certain way, I always fall back into familiar, terrible habits.

Every time it would always come up the same. Why aren't you trying? Try harder next time. You need to start putting effort into things. But I never started trying because I was lazy and content to condemn myself to death at age 30 rather than make the slightest effort.
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by The Wisp on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:56 am

Aggrax wrote:
Mel wrote:I don't believe in internet diagnosing, but I will say that your description of yourself did ping as possible depression for me too, and that depression can make you believe you have no excuse and are simply a [insert negative attribute here] person.  I'm not sure what led you to determine that depression isn't an issue and that treatment for it definitely wouldn't help with the motivational difficulties, but if you came to this conclusion on your own or because of comments from untrained outsiders (family members etc.), then it might be worth getting a professional's opinion just in case.

I also don't actually believe that any person is inherently and irrevocably lazy or irresponsible--I think people can train themselves to become more engaged, especially if they can find the right motivating factor.  It doesn't sound as though you like feeling that you're very lazy and irresponsible.  Have you taken any steps to attempt to shift those inclinations?  This is something where, even if you're not depressed or anything else clinically definable, the help of something like CBT could be helpful in developing a different mindset and strategies for combating the sorts of thoughts that get in the way of being more active.

It just feels too much like an excuse, letting me dismiss the problematic decisions that I made in the past as "depression." Instead of confronting my failings, I'm sweeping them under a rug. I know that isn't true for everyone who has depression, I'm speaking strictly for me.

I'll admit that I haven't really tried much to change things. I've always had very poor self control. I've gone out and spent money on food I didn't need to eat or frivolous items that weren't of any use but that I liked and wanted. I can barely follow any kind of regimented plan for more than a week. Even knowing that I shouldn't be acting a certain way, I always fall back into familiar, terrible habits.

Every time it would always come up the same. Why aren't you trying? Try harder next time. You need to start putting effort into things. But I never started trying because I was lazy and content to condemn myself to death at age 30 rather than make the slightest effort.

Okay, let's say you're not depressed. As mel said, if you are lazy and have poor self-control, then don't you think a professional third party, like a therapist, could help?
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Aggrax on Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:17 am

The Wisp wrote:Okay, let's say you're not depressed. As mel said, if you are lazy and have poor self-control, then don't you think a professional third party, like a therapist, could help?

I don't really know. I was seeing a psychiatrist for about a year. I liked the doctor, but I'm not entirely sure it helped any. Even if I really wanted to, I don't have the income to start seeing another doctor. My parents are willing to help with medication, but said when I started seeing a therapist that anything of that nature would have to come out of my own pocket. With the meager hours I'm getting, I just can't afford it.

*Edit* I do want to say that I appreciate everything said and all advice given in this thread. I don't want to come off as overly dismissive of anyone's attempt to help.
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by kleenestar on Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:49 am

I have three very strong opinions about your situation, Aggrax. Tell me if any of them are useful and I can elaborate.

1) As other folks have already said, I wouldn't worry about college until you are in a better place to take advantage of it. It may turn out to be useful for you in the future, but not right now.

2) I would strongly suggest you shift from a focus on motivations to behavior. At some level it doesn't really matter if the "reason" is depression or laziness. You can (and should!) draw tools from both toolkits in order to change the behaviors you want to change. I have some low-impact behavior change tips, as well as some pointers to books and websites, if you are interested.

3) I would strongly suggest you focus on skills rather than interests when you are figuring out what to do. Interest-based work tends to be a) very competitive and b) much less interest-based than it looks like from the outside. Starting from a skill, on the other hand, not only gives you a much broader base of meaningful work you can do, but also gives you immediate ways to make yourself a more attractive candidate. I have some thoughts about this, too, if you are interested.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you luck!
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Werel on Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:51 pm

In addition to kleenestar's excellent advice (especially #3-- wise words!), you might think about whether thinking in punitive and negative terms is actually motivating to you. It seems like you're trying to tough-love/negative-reinforcement yourself into doing better, by framing things as "I need to do X so I won't be such a crappy person," rather than doing X because you expect positive reinforcement for doing it. I know I work much better, and feel more motivated, when there's a chance that somebody might tell me "good job!"; would it be helpful to you if this thread (or another one, like the joys and good news thread) were a place you could post your small victories and get virtual high-fives from people here who are rooting for you to succeed?
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Aggrax on Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:50 am

kleenestar wrote:I have three very strong opinions about your situation, Aggrax. Tell me if any of them are useful and I can elaborate.

1) As other folks have already said, I wouldn't worry about college until you are in a better place to take advantage of it. It may turn out to be useful for you in the future, but not right now.

2) I would strongly suggest you shift from a focus on motivations to behavior. At some level it doesn't really matter if the "reason" is depression or laziness. You can (and should!) draw tools from both toolkits in order to change the behaviors you want to change. I have some low-impact behavior change tips, as well as some pointers to books and websites, if you are interested.

3) I would strongly suggest you focus on skills rather than interests when you are figuring out what to do. Interest-based work tends to be a) very competitive and b) much less interest-based than it looks like from the outside. Starting from a skill, on the other hand, not only gives you a much broader base of meaningful work you can do, but also gives you immediate ways to make yourself a more attractive candidate. I have some thoughts about this, too, if you are interested.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you luck!

Thank you for your response Kleenstar. I would great appreciate any advice you have on behavioral change. As for focusing on skills, I don't really feel like I have a whole lot of useful/marketable skills at the moment, but any thoughts you have on this would also be welcome.

Werel wrote:In addition to kleenestar's excellent advice (especially #3-- wise words!), you might think about whether thinking in punitive and negative terms is actually motivating to you. It seems like you're trying to tough-love/negative-reinforcement yourself into doing better, by framing things as "I need to do X so I won't be such a crappy person," rather than doing X because you expect positive reinforcement for doing it. I know I work much better, and feel more motivated, when there's a chance that somebody might tell me "good job!"; would it be helpful to you if this thread (or another one, like the joys and good news thread) were a place you could post your small victories and get virtual high-fives from people here who are rooting for you to succeed?

I'm honestly having a hard time sorting out my feelings about this sort of thing. I'm apprehensive about it, but that might just be because I don't tend to be a very positive thinker about a lot of things. In order to keep this thread at least marginally on topic though, I think I'll try limiting myself to the thread you linked instead of here. Though I suppose I can do one here, since I have it on my mind.

I don't usually finish projects that I set for myself, often leaving them half finished for a long time. One thing I wanted to start doing more for fun is blogging about anime and live action shows I like. With that in mind I've launched a Tumblr blog with the purpose of covering 4 shows that recently started airing with the Fall TV season. My goal is to try and keep up with blogging about these shows at least once a week per show. I've got two posts up now and hope I can keep the momentum going, just for the sake of actually following through with something. Hopefully that turns out well.
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by Werel on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:30 am

Aggrax wrote:
I'm honestly having a hard time sorting out my feelings about this sort of thing. I'm apprehensive about it, but that might just be because I don't tend to be a very positive thinker about a lot of things. In order to keep this thread at least marginally on topic though, I think I'll try limiting myself to the thread you linked instead of here. Though I suppose I can do one here, since I have it on my mind.

I don't usually finish projects that I set for myself, often leaving them half finished for a long time. One thing I wanted to start doing more for fun is blogging about anime and live action shows I like. With that in mind I've launched a Tumblr blog with the purpose of covering 4 shows that recently started airing with the Fall TV season. My goal is to try and keep up with blogging about these shows at least once a week per show. I've got two posts up now and hope I can keep the momentum going, just for the sake of actually following through with something. Hopefully that turns out well.

That's great! Writing a certain amount per week is an awesome thing to commit to, since you can do it anywhere, anytime, with minimal tools. Sending you good vibes to maintain that momentum, and if it's a blog you want to share, someone around here has probably seen at least one of the 4 shows and might enjoy your posts. Smile

And trust me, if having a bunch of unfinished projects means you're a lazy failure of a human, I am right there in the Lazy Failure boat with you*, if my huge bin of abandoned beading and needlepoint and screenprinting projects are any measure.  



*Note that I don't actually think either of us belong in a boat which is so labeled. Razz
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by kleenestar on Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:30 pm

So, rather than type out my personal method for behavior change, I'm going to point you toward an existing resource. Take a look, tell me what you think, and we can iterate from there. Fogg is a brilliant researcher and I've applied his methods with great success in my own life.

Here is the site:
http://tinyhabits.com/
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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by nolorn on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:43 pm

So if and when you do get to college here is some advice from a guy who has been given a second shot at college

1) stay out of your dorm as much as possible
2) get a group of friends and go out to bars and more every Friday and Saturday night
3) Go to the gym regularly- you are young now and as time goes you will inevitably get fatter, uglier and feeble try to look your best because unless you are George Clooney YOU WILL BECOME OLD AND WRINKLED- Everybody ages like milk and there is nothing more pathetic than a 40 year old trying to date a 20 something girl to try to get something he never had in his youth.
4) Get to know your professors, unless you are in some degree mill they will be indispensable guides
5) your classmates can be real life savers get to know them and don't be afraid to share homework and notes.
6) Join a club- and stay involved in that club; alternatively, start one
7) Study hard- you will have to use that piece of paper called a degree to feed yourself
8 ) look for internships and take advantage of the career office to better your professional and interview skills
9) If you begin to fail, seriously consider cutting that subject out/dropping a major- fuck those who say you should fail harder because it is your/your parents money that you are blowing
10) Fiance/mathematics/accounting/engineering/computer stuff give you the most bang for your BS/BA in terms of monetary gains- everything else is less useful unless you plan to get a graduate degree.



Last edited by nolorn on Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clean ups reccomended by mod)

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Re: Do you think college was/is useful?

Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:37 am

<mod hat on>Hey nolorn! There's some great advice in your post, but this is a gentle reminder we ask people giving advice to be careful not to let their own venting creep into their suggestions for others. Frustrations about having little time and opportunity to date while being a slightly older student or regrets about past decisions would be better taken to a different thread! I'd also note that attacks on groups aren't okay here, and that both women who are past their college years and people over the age of 40 in general count as groups.</mod hat off>
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