Seeking advice on how to move my life forward

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi There, 

My name is Elliot and I'm 22 years old.

I'll start my story from the beginning, I apologise in advance for the length of my post. 

For most of my life I've been relatively happy, I was raised by two loving parents and never had any problems at home. I was also pretty happy throughout my school years and thankfully never really had any issues with bullying. I made some good friends at school who are still some of my closest friends to this day. I've always been a quiet and shy sort of person but this never really caused me any problem, I realise now that my problems started during my final years of high school. A lot of my closest friends had left school before A levels and my remaining friends were in different classes so started to isolate myself a lot more, often going home in free periods and eating lunch by myself. I did fairly well with my GCSE's and A levels but I was absolutely clueless about what to do with my life. The school and lots of my friends were advising me to go to university, but in the back of my mind I was questioning whether it was really what I wanted to do.

So I went to university to study electronic engineering. This was the start of the darkest periods of my life. I never hit it off with my flatmates and went to extreme measure to avoid them. I realise now that I suffered from social anxiety very badly which lead me to become heavily depressed. During my second year I sought help through the counselling service, I will admit this helped as much as it could and did lead me to meet one of the few friends I made at university. However I think the best advice someone could have given me would have to been leave that place and try something else. In short I wasn't eating properly, sleeping problem and I felt absolutely terrible. This ultimately lead me to only achieve a third class degree which is very poor and in the right frame of mind things could have been different. 

In the most recent part of my life a lot of progress has been made. I am currently on the antidepressant citalopram 20mg and having given it a while it seems to be helping somewhat. I am also currently volunteering at a local heritage railway and training to eventually become a guard which has been a big step for me. Whenever my dad has two man jobs I help him out and I'm always much happier when I'm working. Really the reason I have come to this forum is to ask for advice on the best way to move my life forward. I am currently unemployed and have been looking for work for some time. At this point I would be willing to apply for dead end type jobs. My father thinks that I should get some training in a hands on trade like an electrician, but it's not that easy having got no car and very little confidence. It's also hard to find training given that I am 22 and already been to university. Ultimately being something like an electrician is something I'd like to do but I personally feel I should just get some employment somewhere, anywhere even places like Tesco just to develop my confidence and get enough money to get a car would be beneficial and then from there look at getting some extra training but my dad disagrees. So really I want some advice on what you think would be best thing for me to do right now, try to put yourself in my shoes if you can. 

Thank you very much for reading and any advice you can give me,


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  • Posted

    Hey Elliot, I think building your confidence up like you said would be very beneficial for you because I'm the exact same I have no confidence it dropped in high school but I've been going to clubs and classes to interact with more and different people which helps a lot. 

    I also think if you could get the extra training it would be brilliant for you surely someone will take you on it doesnt matter about your age as long as your willing to learn and by the sounds of it you are willing. 

    Baby steps is the key part of this like do some work anything you want but as long as your happy doing that job then earn money to get a car, just focus on one thing at a time its what you want to do not anyone else

    Lauren smile 

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  • Posted

    Hi Elliott - Keep up the meds, keep volunteering at the local heritage railway, and keep your chin up. Get on the end of  pen or the computer and apply for every job you think you can do to achieve the first goal of owning a car. Issue your application everywhere - even places that are not hiring. You'd be amazed how that works - a manager gets your application just as he's wondering what to do with so-and-so who is always late and disrespects everyone, and hey presto, there's young Elliot ready and willing like a gift delivered. Forget what others might think - we tend to believe others are looking down on us when in fact they're just wondering what to have for dinner. Worry about what you will train for later when you have achieved the first goal. Who knows, that just-for-the-hell-of-it application could be the career you yearn for. Try not to stress about any rejection, that's all part of the journey and we all have to deal with it in life - it's no reflection on your worth as a person. 

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  • Posted

    Hulo Elliot! ur post touched me a lot!  but lets talk bizness! what do u ACTUALLY like to do? manual work, office work, ? u are socially challenged, i was for most of my life and totallyyyy lacked confidence. nevertheless to learn english, imy language being french, at 19 i got to the uk. i will not go further about this little 30years adventure! my point is, u speak english, u are obviously a very intelligent young man. what work do u feel comfortable in? without people? electronic engineer, i do not really know what it intails but cant make rockets, for example? im joking, one must lift one’s mood! what i mean is , cant u use it in a another english speaking country, there many internationals agencies for young people like u ! plizzzz be adventurous, get out, go and pick fruit in Europe!!! i had  child at ur age. u r free, do not fear, u r capable of many things u dont even know about! think Australia, New Zealand...ah ah ah ! Big Hug Elliot,


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  • Posted

    Hello again, sorry for my late response.

    Thank you all very much for your replies, I wasn't expecting so many.

    I think ultimately my choice for a career would be something that involves a balance of using my hands but also requires a certain amount of thinking/problem solving. Becoming an electrician is definitely something I'd be interested in, If not that then some other ideas would be things like a cabinet maker or maybe a locksmith. The problem really is getting into said career and sometimes nowadays it seems to be more who you know than what you know. I just feel like a need a stepping stone in getting there and something that gains me some confidence and social skills would be massively beneficial, "baby steps" as Lauren put it. Something which I've been avoiding which I think I should do is have a proper discussion with my parents about how I feel and what would be best for me.

    Thank you again for your help,


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