It’s unrealistic to think that you should know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 18 years old. You’re putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Anyone who held these self-imposed, rigid standards about their life and career would feel equally as stressed.
You have placed an arbitrary deadline on yourself. You should be open-minded and mentally flexible in your approach to deciding your career. You should be taking classes and talking to people who work in different fields to see what interests you. Job shadowing would be a good idea. You should be meeting with career counselors and even a therapist to discuss these issues.
A therapist could be especially useful because of the pressure you feel to make these decisions. He or she could help you think through the logic of your decision-making process. It’s unhealthy for you to be thinking in such black and white terms.
It’s also concerning that you are planning to commit suicide by the age of 30. It’s a very unnatural way of thinking. It would suggest a high degree of unhappiness.
The bottom line is this: the pressure you’re feeling is self-imposed. It is unnecessary and unhealthy and psychotherapy could help you change your attitude and thus improve your life. The fact that you’re considering suicide would suggest you might be depressed, but this is something that would be determined by your therapist. I hope you will consider counseling. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle