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I don't know why this is happening, but I've really been in the pits for the last few years. While my undergraduate college years went by relatively smoothly, I didn't do as well as I could've and found myself put along a different path where I was left to pick up the pieces. And it's pretty much gone down from there...


The first year after, I finally managed to obtain a job to cover my expenses and keep me busy, however it turned out to be a complete bust since it involved door-to-door sales which I completely didn't like and promptly quit, but not before receiving a berating from the boss for "wasting their time." Upon returning to redo my failed courses, I had my bag stolen during the worse possible time - days away from an exam.


The following year, I was frightened beyond belief when I was caught by security for a moment of impulse shoplifting, who proceeded to intimidate me more than I could've imagined. Midway through the year, I had my bike stolen when I left it briefly unattended - again just days before I had an exam. At the end of the year, I managed to total my dad's car quite severely when I accidentally accelerated into the side of a utility vehicle.


And just the other day, I've had my second bike stolen from me, this time while I was with a friend (and whose adjacent bike was completely intact).


I'd also just recently posted in the Career forum about my concerns for my independent future.


This just feels like a little too much bad luck than I can care to endure, and I'm finding it really hard to cling onto some hope. I've had my self-esteem, enthusiasm and motivation cut down so many times by these events and my parents a similarly disappointed. The only thing that seems to give me any kind of solace is my solitary enjoyment of passive entertainment (movies, music, reading, etc.).


I feel like I'm having to deal with misfortune after misfortune, as if a bad charm spirit hangs over me, but I need to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, it's pitch black and I don't know where to turn...



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It sounds like you've had a rough time Expression, but a few of the things you have mentioned don't sound like bad luck to me. Pardon me but this will be a slightly long post.


Not doing so well on your course means that your job selection may be limited. Why do you feel you did poorly at university, what course did you do and grade did you leave with?


Could you perhaps study part time to improve your grades or go to school in the evenings while working? Maybe short courses could also add to your curriculum? It may be hard for a while but it would be worst if you found yourself stuck. Sometimes even taking part time, temporary or charity jobs can build your curriculum and help you along gaining a bit of cash which could go towards your studies.


The bag being stolen was unfortunate, did you leave it unattended? As for the bicycles, did you lock them? Did you invest in a good lock? Very good locks are expensive but worth the money if they really prevent you from losing the bike. And you can use them on every other bike afterward. link removed offer an OnGuard Brute LS lock which is very heavy, very good and at a lower price than I've found elsewhere. I think the best lock I've seen however is the Kryptonite New York lock, but it's more expensive, and I think the shackle is shorter.


I'm not sure where you're living, but in some countries there are schemes under which you can register your bike and you can also purchase a permanent mark which deters thieves. It does cost money, however, it also deters thieves from robbing you of your investment. If you live in the UK link removed provides this service at different levels. I'd recommend their Silver option which allows you to leave a permanent marked number on your bike and stickers which discourage thieves from stealing it.


Shoplifting is obviously not something you should've been doing, it's illegal and you got caught for it. Why did you have the urge to shoplift?


As for your dads car, how fast were you accelerating? Did your father's car have full insurance? Will the insurance company be able to pay for the damage or get your father a new car? Are you normally accident prone? We have to be extremely careful when we drive. As a motorcyclist with friends who also ride bikes, I've learned all too quickly what a moment's distraction can do on the road. Being in a car may be safer, but distraction can be just as dangerous. It's okay that you made a mistake, just make sure you are careful when you're next in a car.


As with all things in life it is we that are responsible for our own experience of it. The means that whatever happens, it is up to you to handle it. It isn't pleasant and it isn't easy, but only we are responsible for our well being and happiness at the end of the day. If we are in an unpleasant position or place, it is up to us to change our attitude and/or remove ourselves from it. That comes with a lot of hard work, but staying where you are can be worse in the long run.


Saying that these events are a result of bad luck or 'karma' you are in effect really saying you have no power over what happens in your life, which isn't true. Yes unfortunate events do happen in our lives, some avoidable, some not, but at the end of the day, it is how you handle those problems and learn from them that really makes the difference.


As the old saying goes, it isn't how many times you fall that matters, it's how many times you get back up - and you can do it. However, it doesn't mean that you have to do it alone, you can get help and it is available. Tap into your own strength todaY.

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Thanks for the response, Pocket Rocket.


I am doing science-related courses, which generally require high level of qualifications and experience for an easy job acquisition. This is still achievable, but being that I've had to pick up the slack due to lower grades, it would take considerably longer and I'm reaching a point where I need work rather than simply study.


While my bag was unattended, it was in a public library, where I and many others have done so, whilst taking a breather to stretch, visit the restroom, etc. I had no mind to suspect that it would be taken. Needless to say it was big downer and really interrupted my state of mind which needed to be focussed on an exam.


My impulse to steal something was brought on by a wave of selfishness and greed. Since I didn't have a continual income, I was naturally reluctant to spend, simply because I thought I could get away with it. It was a momentary lapse in judgment for which I am very regretful of.


I'm a fairly careful driver, however the accident was just unexplainable. It had nothing to do with speeding; I was simply behind another vehicle waiting to merge into another road. The other vehicle was ahead but in an adjacent lane. When I saw that the road was clear, I accelerated... and somehow directly into the vehicle. It seemed that we were closer than I had assumed. And yet I have been down that particularly merging road countless times, and I was doing the same things I always did - which is why I couldn't begin to understand how that happened.


I was careless with my bicycle the first time around and assumed it would be fine, since I left it briefly in an open space with not a person in sight. The consequences obviously taught me otherwise. The second time, I was with a friend and we had locked our bikes to a chainlink fence near the shops. We had done so for more than 5 years in that place, and often for much longer periods. I honestly had no reason to believe that it would be stolen, so when that happened, it truly left me shocked and extremely upset.


That was the final nail, since I couldn't fathom the same bad event happening to me twice. I just stared at my friend's bike nearby, and thought, why me? It was the first big downer for 2008, which I had hoped would be positive compared to the numerous downers of 2007.


It just feels like this string of bad events are occurring too often and while some are of my own carelessness, the rest seem to happen in situations where I'm not doing anything drastically different to how I've always been. That's where it feels like I'm receiving more misfortune than I can handle.


I've been extremely put down by all of this and it's a huge shame for me and my parents, considering our extended family consists of successful peers who are all doing something with their lives; starting a career, starting a family, etc. Being an only child, leaves them doubly concerned, since all their efforts have been put on me and I've yet to have something to show for it. I'm finding it tough to get my life on a steady track as it is, without the bad events knocking down any motivation I can muster.

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Hi again Expression,


Thank you for giving me a clearer picture on things, bear with me as I go through each point.


Are you re-doing your undergraduate course or are you doing further studies? Some universities allow you to do courses part time, but I think that mainly applies to post-graduate courses. If you are worried about finances there are jobs where you can earn some extra cash. If you graduated from your initial course you can apply to become a tutor with a tutoring company. They pay very well however, you must make an initial payment to get a criminal background check (again, this applies to the UK). Don't put yourself down for having to take another go at it - you have been given the opportunity to try again and you will reap the rewards for it in the end. Some people would have just given up altogether, but you haven't, give yourself credit for that. Hang in there, you can make it!


As for the bag, it was unfortunate, yes, but you mustn't dwell on it forever. As for the bicycle, well you'd be surprised to see the lengths bike thieves go through to steal - it's a low risk crime with great rewards. A friend of mine had his bike locked inside his flat and chained to the banister of the stairs. Not only did the thief break into the property, he also managed to dismantle part of the banister to remove the chain and made away with the bike (and it was a very expensive racing bike). Another one of my friends also had 3 bikes stolen from him, one of which cost over 600 pounds. It happens to a lot of people here, the only thing you can really do is try to prevent it from happening as best as possible. Also insure any other bicycles you may purchase in future.


I do have a question for you - how do unfortunate events such as getting items stolen or totaling your father's car have anything to do with being successful (i.e. career and kids)? Bad events happen to successful people too, and success really is about how many times you get back up and face adversity. The most successful people and wisest people I know have been those who have had to face some of life's most difficult situations, and usually through not fault of their own. It was because they faced so much adversity that they were able to become the amazing people they are today.


The things I do see there that could be holding you back (at least for now) are your finances (from having to replace for lost items) and re-doing your course. These are things that can be mended with time. It will be hard work and you will need to be patient, but it is do-able.


Where you have suffered from bad luck, you need to get back on your feet and not dwell on these events or they will drag you down. For the events that you had some part in, you have the chance to turn things around, don't let misfortune break you or you will end up in a very bad (and powerless) position.


Try focus more on the positives in life. Keep a journal everyday and vent about your frustrations, fears and worries. At the end of each entry, make a list of things you are thankful for. You say you've received more misfortune than you can handle but it sounds to me like you are already trying to handle it. What is the alternative - to just give up? What would you do if one more bad event happened?


You sounds really defeated to me, which is sad because you do have the power to turn this around - and it is up to you to do that. Take things one step at a time and you can get there. Do not be so afraid of life or it will hold you back - that would be an even greater tragedy.


I wish you the best of luck Expression. You have had to go through quite a bit over the last couple of years, but I guarantee that if you put the effort in and never give up you will become a better and wiser person for it. You have a lot of power in your hands, don't settle for less when you are capable of so much more!

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I am enrolled in further studies, since after finishing my undergraduate degree, I didn't have a clue what career I could pursue, being that my qualification was just too minimal. With my stagnant situation at this point, I am now actively searching for work more persistently than I have in the past - if I can finally get a decent job to occupy my time productively, it would alleviate a lot of my woes. The only significant dilemma is overcoming the catch-22 situation of nobody willing to hire me due to lack of experiences, and the inability to get experience because nobody will hire me.


I guess it's not so much that I think my streak of unfortunate events directly affects my life pursuits - it's more to do with the close succession to which they've been occurring, the relative severity compared to anything that's happened to me prior, and the fact that none of my peers/family have to had to encounter anything as bad or as frequent. The nature and type of person I am is just not used to this kind of combination at all, so I find it very hard to deal with, much less having to sense the strain it puts on my family.


It's these factors which really affect my state-of-mind and inevitably lower my self-esteem for everything else. I know I have to look past what's happened, but it's simply unavoidable to feel the extreme shock and disappointment each time. When my bike was stolen the second time, the moment was almost surreal, because I just could not even believe it had happened again. It's one thing for me to lose a small item - my bag was the worse up to that point. But then I managed to lose a big investment, twice, in less than a year.


The added unspoken expectations/anxiousness from my parents through it all makes me even more unsettled. I've been feeling like every time I manage to climb up and get over the previous situation, another one is waiting right on the mark to knock me all the way down again, before I get a chance to get some firm footing. It's this back-and-forth endurance test of my wills that has me really demoralized most of the time.


I appreciate you taking the time to address my concerns; your words have been exactly the kind of consoling, constructive comments I need to hear. I will admit that much of it is natural positive-thinking vs. dwelling on the bad, but nevertheless I really needed to hear it in order to maintain some faith and assurance that I have not been completely defeated.


I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that the misfortune has finally had its fill and that something auspicious is due, no matter how small it may be.

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Ah indeed the issue of finding work without experience. This is definitely a challenge a lot of students face but what kind of jobs have you been searching for? Although they aren't exactly the best available, there are jobs where you are trained and don't require experience. Have you tried the career service at the university? If so, were you completely honest about your concerns and did they offer to help?


Even volunteering is considered work experience. It may not bring in tonnes of cash (there are some paid volunteer positions) but it will keep you occupied as you say. Your local government may also be able to help, and there may be local job centres that could offer some guidance. I don't believe even with your results, that you are wholly unemployable, but you may have to lower your expectations a little for a while until you gain more experience and open up your opportunities.


With all these unfortunate events, have you taken time off to be good to yourself? At least once a week you should try have an evening or day to yourself to relax and rest completely. It might help you let go a little and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. It sounds like you are coming down quite hard on yourself especially with your parents' expectations. You need to detach from that at least once in a while. We usually are our own worst critics and tell ourselves off of put ourselves down for a lot of things. Could you imagine saying the things you say to yourself (when disappointed or upset with yourself) to another person in a similar situation? Probably not.


Acknowledge what you have achieved so far and congratulate yourself for trying again and again, and refusing to fall back down. You haven't given up yet, so any success you are capable of is merely delayed, not lost forever. Your energy is much better spent on boosting your self esteem (which I think would be a good idea for you to work on) and working towards your goals than berating yourself.


I am not saying you won't experience any more knocks in life, but attitude makes all the difference. You certainly don't sound like someone who has been entirely defeated, you're still trying and that makes all the difference, keep fighting and you'll get there. You need to really believe that you will succeed and keep telling yourself that, over and over! I wish you all the strength and (better) luck in the world Expression, you haven't lost the war yet!

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