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I Have No Idea How to Start Thinking about My Future

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I am 17, currently living in Australia. All my life I have never had any passion for anything. I do have many fleeting interests, but when I try to pursue them I tend to lose interest very quickly. I don’t have much experience with real-world issues either; I’ve never had a job, can’t drive, and never done any extracurricular activities or even had any real hobbies. Up to this point, my life has been comprised of studying and maintaining grades at school.

After graduating high school, I immediately started university but am now regretting my choice of degree, yet I also don’t want to switch into another degree only to waste time and money after realising I don’t like it either. As a result, I am feeling at a loss as to where to go from here.

I Have No Idea How to Start Thinking about My Future

Answered by on -

A.

It’s not at all surprising to me that at 17 you don’t know what you want to do with your life. That is typical and normal. Far too many young people go to university rather than face their uncertainty about what to do next. The result is often what you are experiencing. I suggest you finish out the semester and then take a year or two off from school. You need some life experience if you are to make a positive decision about your studies or your future.

It’s instructive to me that you don’t know how to drive. You quite literally are not in the “driver’s seat” for your life. I encourage you to take charge. Learn to drive. Take a job and stick with it for at least 6 months so you get past being new at it and get some real experience. Try out some hobbies by finding groups of people who share an interest in something worthwhile that you just might be interested in. Again, give each one at least 6 months of honest effort. Connect with the people. Really involve yourself. Even if you don’t find a lifetime hobby, you might make some new friends.

This is the time in life where you are free to experiment and to try out many different things. You are responsible for no one but yourself. Many people your age try out being independent by sharing an apartment and living simply. I hope you have the courage to try it. It can be a very powerful way to develop positive self-esteem and direction.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Have No Idea How to Start Thinking about My Future

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Have No Idea How to Start Thinking about My Future. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/11/i-have-no-idea-how-to-start-thinking-about-my-future/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.