Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

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I am behind the eight ball. I`ll start from the beginning. Last year I decided to go to the university. I already have a medical education, but it was done to humor my parents. To be honest, I hate medicine at all, and it was so terrible to work at the pharmacy. Then I completely changed my life by working abroad. I started to learn English and fall in love with that. I`ve had the best English teacher ever. Once she asked whether I`d been thinking about having a high education. I found that idea incredible, that was exactly what I wanted, I could obtain education for free. This was what I had my heart set on. I hit the books, worked a lot and finally passed the exams very well. I chose German to study as a second language, but I failed it. I didn`t get it for free. I am so disappointed in myself. If I had chosen French or Spanish, I would have got it. That idea drives me crazy. I can`t even study this year: there are 1700 applications and 200 positions. Only one university offered me to study there, but it costs an arm and a leg.It goes without saying I can`t sponge off my parents. I live with them now, so…However, I can wait a year and try it again. But I am already 23 years old, I am a kind of old to be an interpreter. My friends from school are graduating this year. Everyone asks me where I am going to study. I feel so humiliated and disappointed by my debacle that I don`t want to do anything, see or talk to anyone. I barely force myself to do sports. But I didn`t stop to learn English. I just don`t know what to do the whole year. I may work abroad again as a last resort, but I don`t really like that idea. Please, give me a piece of advice.

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    First of all, congratulations on picking up English so quickly. It's a tough language, but you are handling it quite well!

    Next item: don't spend time worrying about your friends. They are all scared out of their minds right now, too! Sure, they may project a certain air of confidence, but they have no idea what they are doing now that they're 23, AND THEY ARE JUST AS SCARED AS YOU ARE THAT SOMEONE WILL FIGURE THAT OUT. Remember that! Don't look at them thinking "how come they know what they are doing and I don't?" They don't -- not really. They're just muddling along, like you....

    Next up: What to do for the year? Why, anything you can think of! Use the time to take a night class in a subject you've always wanted to try. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Learn to make your own clothes. Start that novel you've always wanted to write. Go on hikes in the country. Bake the perfect strawberry-rhubarb pie. And if you need money, there's nothing wrong with working as an interpreter at 23. Believe me, your clients will be glad of someone with a little life experience under her belt! Or find another job, one that you know you won't have to keep for the rest of your life ... just until you apply to university again next year and get in.

    (Next year, you'll choose French or Spanish as your second language, of course!)

    Look at this year as an opportunity to branch out and explore some passions you would not otherwise have had time for. This could wind up being the best year you've ever had ... you just need to commit to making it a year of exploration!

    Good luck, and let us know how you are doing!

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