No life experience; I’m failing

A sheltered upbringing, a controlling family, a learning difficulty… How can I be an adult?

Look outside the family, says our elder. A career counselor will help you find a path that makes you feel happy about yourself.


Dear EWC

I am currently a 20-year-old second year uni student. First of all, I have come from a very sheltered family and have always felt controlled and never had any independence. Both of my parents are qualified doctors and I have two brothers both training to be doctors (all have gone to very academic high ranking medical school e.g. London, Imperial etc). I have a learning difficulty which affects my ability to hold information, and therefore I failed school and sixth form. I have always felt very insecure about how people look at me and perceive me, and I attempted to prove myself when I was 18 by enlisting in the Royal Marine Commandos. I was one of the youngest (not the youngest) and performed to a standard lower than everyone else on the training course. Therefore, I was advised by officers and NCOs to leave and come back later on in life. I ended up leaving and now I am failing my university work/assignments and am on the verge of dropping out. I am just jumping from failure to failure and I just don’t know what to do with myself or where to go. I want to be a responsible adult but I am anything but that. I vastly lack emotional maturity and self-discipline due to my lack of life experiences. Is there any helpful advice on how I can improve and turn things around? I’d be very grateful.


SavtaP replies

Not everyone in this world is destined to be a university scholar or a doctor. If that were the case, who would do all the other jobs that need doing on this planet?

You sound like a bright young man, in spite of whatever your particular learning disability is. And it sounds to me like you need someone other than your family, with their limited ideas about your options, to guide you onto the right course. I don’t know what resources there are in the UK but I suspect, like in the US, there are professionals who can do just that. They might be called vocational counselors or career counselors. They can give you testing to find out your strengths and weaknesses and thereby help you focus on the best choices for your own success and happiness. Your university might be able to help you find such a person. If not there, try Googling a vocational counselor near you.

I’m sure your family would like you to succeed and be happy, and that is clearly not going to happen by trying to do things that make you feel bad about yourself. So, get yourself some help to find the things that make you feel good about yourself. 

Let me know how it goes. I expect you will find a satisfying path ahead.

Article #: 474094

Category: Self-Improvement


  1. I am poor. Someone help me so that I can open my own small business

    1. Administration Reply
      October 20, 2021

      Hello. Our volunteer elders are unable to give any kind of professional advice but can give you some practical advice you may find helpful.If you’d like to connect with an elder for some advice on this, please go to our website and an elder will respond. They do not respond to posts on Facebook in order to maintain confidentiality.

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