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HeatedChocolate

Is it normal to be afraid/anxious about my future?

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I'm not the most optimistic person, admittedly, my future, currently attempting to enter the workforce, looking at various colleges, is it normal for me to be dreading it all? This isn't some "Where do I go in life after this" question as I already have plans for that (Architecture, urban planning), this is more just raw anxiety. All I'm asking is: Is it normal for me to feel this way?

Edited by HeatedChocolate

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Like many people, I put my faith in the system and trusted the adults ushering me along the established path, and this led to years of bitterness and disappointment. I wish I'd had a little more dread when I was leaving high school.

 

You're into architecture and urban planning? Try to look at the world through an engineer's eyes. What are the knowns, the knowables, and the un-knowables. The human mind is a boiling kettle of random thoughts, heavily biased toward avoiding danger. We can make up as many scenarios as we want, but that doesn't mean they are coherent testable hypotheses or concrete plans worth investing in. I wish I'd had something like a mentor and a counselor at that age, to help me figure out a direction to go toward instead of just moving away from this or that.

 

Also, on top of life being difficult and scary, and big transitions vastly moreso, neoliberalism is making everyone more isolated and anxious as time goes on.

 

So, yes, extremely normal.

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Yes it's normal, nothing to be afraid of, but it's not something to be dwelling in. 

 

Technological development and socioeconomic development are infinitely faster than our biological evolution as a result of that phenomenon Modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens are no different than Stone Age Homo Sapiens Sapiens in their fundamental brain architecture, we feel anxiety for the future because that's what our ancestors needed for survival against predators and in desperate times of food scarcity and disease. Nowadays anxiety while still useful it can be kind of a burden because of the toil it takes on our mental and physical health due to the stress it inflicts on our organism.

 

You said you have things sorted for your future, but you still feel anxiety about it, maybe you're doubting yourself or the system you're part of deep down on subconscious level, so it triggers this instinctive anxiety reaction.

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I think it can be pretty normal. I had a hard time even imagining what my future after high school would be like, despite having a concrete plan. It was stressful to realize the shift to being an "adult" was racing towards me with no clear idea on how "I" would be an "adult", if that makes sense. I saw myself as "me, the teenager/highschooler/kid" and I just couldn't even visualize how the other side would be.

 

In the end, the line between high school and college really wasn't so extreme and now as a 30-something adult I can't imagine being a highschooler again lol. In general, I prefer it on this side, and it also is not as much of an immediate crossover as you might fear. You don't just wake up being "an adult" after high school.

 

Like someone else said, if you feel crushing anxiety regularly, talk to a doctor not an internet forum. This reply is just assuming its low-level anxiety about unknowns, not something more clinical.

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Welcome to the club! I came of age during a global recession and it hasn't really gotten better. The world is a more uncertain place than its been in my lifetime. We're seeing words like "nuclear war" being thrown around, which just half a decade ago was almost unthinkable. It terrifies me. When I said I wished I'd been around in the 80s, that wasn't what I meant! To say nothing of the state of society at large in the West, the late stage capitalism circling the drain and what feels like a race to the bottom in many respects, when we should be doing so much better. 

 

That said, its not entirely hopeless. I think the best advice I can give you is to worry about things you can control. Things outside of your control tend to be bigger causes of anxieties, the big existential stuff. You can't do anything about that. Recognise what you can control, and try to make positive steps in those areas. Part of being human is learning to live with these feelings and not being consumed by them. Its not always easy. On an actionable day-to-day basis, the best things you can do are making sure you sleep right, exercise, and as healthy a diet you can manage. It took me way too long to learn this because I thought that stuff was lame. I was wrong. There's also meditation.

 

Its funny, because I struggled with depression and crippling anxiety for much of my teens and 20s. Now I'm in my 30s, and I can't shake the feeling of wondering what those years took from me, whether it was the cage I built around myself, or the doors that global events and their consequences closed in my face. I think a lot of millennials have this feeling, whether they are conscious of it or not, so I can see it being tougher on younger generations. They call us a "lost generation" for a reason. However, I'm ultimately the kind of person who finds an inner strength of sorts, in being the product of their experiences, for better or worse. 

 

If you're really struggling, there are other solutions. I recommend a more holistic approach first, before you get to thinking about therapy and stuff. If that's what you need, its your call. There's no shame in admitting you need help, another lesson I took my time to learn. 

 

TL;DR - its normal to feel that way, there are things you can do to help yourself

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You know what I do? Take valerian root tablets known as Kalms every day. Apparently they work, I don't know if they do but I like to think they do.

 

They've improved my mood 10 fold, I haven't quite felt like murdering customers since, only maiming, so an improvement.

 

I jest... Of course...

 

But the pills are pretty good.

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Yeah, specially for the generation born in the 90s and onwards.
The Economy is mess.
Edit: If youre having symptoms such as, chest thighness, shortness of breath and tingling in your hands, feet and face.
Youre definitely having anxiety attacks, which should be adressed Medically.

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I'm looking outside, there is a thick coat of forest fire smoke. If there is even just one building that caught on fire the smoke outside is 10x more poisonous than without. Forest fires that are this large and this late into October are certainly from global warming intensifying. My question is, why wait? You can be anxious and afraid about the present, right now!

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Embrace nihilism

Qy56fJ6.jpg

You can't be anxious about the future if there's no future

 

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17 hours ago, HeatedChocolate said:

I'm not the most optimistic person, admittedly, my future, currently attempting to enter the workforce, looking at various colleges, is it normal for me to be dreading it all? This isn't some "Where do I go in life after this" question as I already have plans for that (Architecture, urban planning), this is more just raw anxiety. All I'm asking is: Is it normal for me to feel this way?

 

I'd substitute the word "normal" with "common". Normal is a very hard thing to define, but a general form of anxiety is extremely common worldwide. You're absolutely not alone in feeling this way.

 

If the anxiety is 'raw', and it seems to affect how you feel about pretty much anything, it's considered generalised anxiety. In regards to generalised anxiety, it's very normal to feel this way under a variety of circumstances. Generalised Anxiety has a heap of causes ranging from stress, diet, environmental factor, genetics, etc.

 

If you feel that the generalised anxiety may be becoming excessive or way too frequent without a cause, the first thing I'd examine is everything you consume, overall physical fitness, etc. For one example, regular or high caffeine intake is a surefire way for some people with specific genetics and physiology (but certainly not all people) to develop some pretty significant underlying anxiety. Everyone is different, and you can get anxiety from even the smallest things such as certain chemical compounds in food or environment. Usually it's an indicator that the body is trying to tell you it's unhappy in someway, but it's purely a reactive response, and sadly our body is very poor at telling you -what- has made you feel this way. I've found it's helped me immensely to ask these questions when I notice anxiety kicking in:

What have I eaten / drunk / consumed in the last 12 hours?

What kinds of physical activities have I undertaken, or not undertaken?
Have I encountered, or been in contact with negative people who are toxic or miserable (This is a big one! Humans are social creatures, and as such we're very dependent on social interactions as a need, just as we need water and oxygen. Toxic or bitter people can be infectiously negative. You might not realise it until later, but if you find that you walk away from a conversation with someone feeling worse than when you entered, it's a sign that person is bad business.)

 

If you can find a good diet that works for you, and build a friendbase of good, supportive friends, you'll notice your problems with anxiety get -a lot- better, I guarantee it. :)

 

At the same time, keep your chin up! The world has good and bad to offer, and things are always capable of getting better for you if you're willing to give it a serious shot. You got this!

Edited by Jasper Carmack : Added a bit more support

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It’s normal to feel that way every now and then, but if you keep finding yourself back to thinking this way again and again and whatever you do to get your mind off it becomes ineffective to the point this is all you ever think about, then it is not normal and you would be better going to talk with a professional about these feelings. 

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Society, as it is, is a perfectly good reason to be anxious about your future. Beware the political economy.

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5 hours ago, HeatedChocolate said:

I'm not the most optimistic person, admittedly, my future, currently attempting to enter the workforce, looking at various colleges, is it normal for me to be dreading it all? This isn't some "Where do I go in life after this" question as I already have plans for that (Architecture, urban planning), this is more just raw anxiety. All I'm asking is: Is it normal for me to feel this way?

No... I'm almost to finish the university and i'm scared AF about my future.

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I mean yeah. Although if it starts to consume the majority of your waking hours, you might want to consult a therapist because most people simply aren't equipped to have the proper mental management techniques.

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Of course it's perfectly normal. Tons of things fly through my mind and cause worry, more than I'll ever count. Part of living is knowing there are things out of my control, things I can't change. It's hard, real hard, but you can teach yourself to not worry about things you can't effect. And when you learn that, you realize the bigger problems that do matter are more manageable with a clearer mind. Best of luck to you op.

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You appear to be suffering from a severe case of being human. There's no cure for it. Sorry. But yes, it will get easier. Try to not to let things get on top of you and don't be ashamed to ask for help.

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I'd wager almost every human who's ever lived has felt anxiety about their future or the future. People have always worried about the economy, about war, about politics, about the weather, and so on and so forth. So yeah, especially at such a transitional stage of your life, it's totally normal. That being said, if you're finding it debilitating it's probably a good idea to see a professional who can help you develop coping mechanisms.

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We're all scared, fam. It's called the human condition!

 

Jokes aside, no, it's perfectly normal. Nothing is ever certain and considering how chaotic things seem these days, I don't blame you at all. As for your immediate future, all you can do is try your best. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity you come across and whenever you feel stuck, do your best to recognise the cause of those feelings and what you can do within your own circumstances to address them. Even when things feel exceedingly stagnant and you feel no progress is being made, I can assure you as someone who was in such a position, change is inevitable. Also, to echo Murdoch, never be afraid to ask for help.

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Story of my life right here.

 

All joking aside, yes, I'd say it's generally pretty normal to have feelings like this from time to time. I'm entering a similar point in my life right now too, in regard to school and planning for life outside home. The pressure is immense, but I feel almost certain that the work I am doing now will help me prepare for a more comfortable future. The time you're in right now is serves as one of the largest transitional periods you'll undergo within your life, so even just the mere thought of moving out on your own can be daunting.

 

It's important to try and keep your chin up during times like these. I am not nearly as wise as the others on this board, so I cannot speak from any particular experience. Just be sure to always ask for help when you need it, and know that your efforts are not going unnoticed.

 

Best of luck as always, I'm positive you'll get through this!

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I can't offer any more advice than what's already been stated by all these lovely people. Yes, it's totally normal because the world is a big and scary place; yes, that's exacerbated by having a device in our pocket that makes us aware of every single thing that's happening in the entire world at every second of the day; and yes, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you should definitely reach out to those around you or a professional.

 

As someone who had dick all of shit idea what they were doing with their life until they hit thirty, I'm definitely jelly that you've got your prospective career on lock. If you're ever beat down by coursework and/or bureaucratic drudgery in that line, please give this blog a spin: https://www.bldgblog.com/. I think I came across it when looking for stuff for D&D, but the author's boundless enthusiasm for thinking about how architecture can and does influence our lives is always revitalizing and inspiring in equal measure. Remembering that those kind of people and ideas exist is also a great way of kicking anxiety square in the dick.

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On 10/13/2022 at 7:57 PM, Jasper Carmack said:

You might not realise it until later, but if you find that you walk away from a conversation with someone feeling worse than when you entered, it's a sign that person is bad business.

 

 

 

Errm...when it's everyone you ever communicate with in real life, but not on interwebs, there can be more than one underlying problems...

 

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On 10/13/2022 at 10:49 AM, HeatedChocolate said:

I'm not the most optimistic person, admittedly, my future, currently attempting to enter the workforce, looking at various colleges, is it normal for me to be dreading it all? This isn't some "Where do I go in life after this" question as I already have plans for that (Architecture, urban planning), this is more just raw anxiety. All I'm asking is: Is it normal for me to feel this way?

I do not know about it being "normal", but I definitely experienced it myself. Maybe it is because of my neurodivergence, but it is only after the beginning of the pandemic and the subsequent increase in people working from home that I have been able to find a job that I am relatively comfortable in. As I like to tell myself jokingly, before the pandemic, I had to adapt to everyone else's lifestyle (i.e. commuting, working in an office), but now, it seems like everyone else has to adapt to mine. :P

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There's little I can tell you without touching on the condition of the world around us. Without touching on politics, culture, economics ... I don't feel like getting banned so I'll try and keep it short.

Yeah. It's "normal". In the same way as people committing suicide in a certain country because they're welded shut in their own homes. In the same way as many people succumbing to hatred and depression out of loneliness. In the same way as debt and arrested development causes paranoia, lashing out and further mental problems.

Some are going to be more stoic than others. But the further we go, the further people become aggressive. Radicalization and violence across political and cultural lines does that. What then happens, is observers watching the more unhinged elements of society go nuts ... And that transmits. Fear is contagious. Panic is contagious. Dread and gloom is contagious.

Far from me the wish to doomsay, however. It's not that the apocalypse is coming, it's that the world has never been a nice place in the first place. There's a saying which goes like so: "Bad times make strong men, strong men make good times, good times make weak men, weak men make bad times". I don't know your specific circumstances ... But in most parts of the world as it stands today, social, economic and political pressure is going to affect the citizenry, regardless of which side they find themselves on.

Conflict and strife is ultimately human nature. Bravery is not a lack of fear but the ability to overcome it. Being scared and anxious is normal. Allowing it to break you is where it gets bad. And once it does break you, you'll keep sinking. The lower you sink, the harder it is to climb out of it on your own. Some people never come back at all.

Don't forget to get your Rest & Recreation. Eat properly. Exercise regularly. These things will help with your basic brain chemistry. Avoid stimulants and medicines unless you absolutely have to use them (coffee, sugar, drugs ...) as those will alter your brain chemistry and, in the long term, might get your brain to "forget" how to function without the supplements anymore.

TL;DR: You're not insane. At least no more insane than the rest of the world. Hang in there and do your best. Or at the very least, do what makes you feel right.

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It's extremely normal: look how popular horoscopes are!

 

But if the anxiety is getting between you and your day-by-day, consult a therapist.

 

Best of luck!

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