Ask Jigsaw:I feel so lost right now | Advice for Young People

Ask Jigsaw: I feel so lost right now

Hi, I would really like some advice. I just feel so lost right now. I have very little motivation for studying and am so confused about my future and what course to do in college. It feels like something is missing in my life but I’m not sure what it is. To be honest I feel like there is something missing in my life and something wrong with me (health wise). What do I do?

-LeavingCert20

Hi LeavingCert20,

Things sound really tough for you at the moment. It can be hard to find the motivation to study when you are unsure what it is leading to. It can also feel overwhelming thinking about the future and feeling pressure to make choices about college right now.

Feeling under pressure

Although you may feel under pressure to make decisions about college, many people change their mind, their course and their career at different points in their life. Once you make a choice, if it turns out to be the wrong one for you, trust yourself that you can find a way to deal with it. It’s easy to get caught up in  feeling stressed about the decisions we make, however, it is unlikely to make the outcome any different.

Trust yourself that you can find a way to deal with it

James, Jigsaw Clinician

Leaving Cert can be a really hard year. Whatever your thoughts were about school, love or loath it, it is something familiar that is coming to an end. The future feels uncertain and we can struggle to get a sense of where we belong. Although it’s uncomfortable, it might be that the feeling of being lost won’t resolve until you’re through the exam period and the next steps are a bit clearer.

Acknowledge how you feel

Experiencing things like feeling lost, confusion or emptiness are not necessarily signs that there is something seriously wrong. They can be indicators that we are going through a challenging time. If you can take a step back and accept that things aren’t going to feel settled for a while, rather than trying to fight the feelings, it might help a little. Acknowledging how you feel and talking about it to someone that you trust is a good thing to do. Some people also find it helpful to write down how they are feeling to help them make sense of things.

Try to be compassionate and patient with yourself. Talk to yourself and encourage yourself as you would do with a friend who was going through a tough time. Perhaps think back to whether you have had similar feelings before and try to remember what helped then.

Hopefully reading this may be of some reassurance or use.  If you are still worried that there might be something wrong with your mental health, you can read more about when to get help here.

Best wishes,

James, Jigsaw Clinician