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TW bratty life story but I've made some dire mistakes and I need honesty.
5 months ago · · Need Advice,
I've been very privileged throughout my whole life but I've not been grateful. My parents have always kept a very close eye on my upbringing, especially on my education and mental wellbeing. I've been allowed many opportunities, like piano, and tuition since I started preschool, despite some financial tightness - but my parents have never held back on my education so they've never complained. My extended family and my family's social circle are highly educated, well-esteemed and positive. Most impactful of all, my parents have always patiently explained to me their wisdom of the real adult world, to develop good character traits in me like diligence and respect not by rigorous discipline but through understanding.
None of the following is to brag, btw; they're all obvious outcomes from my careful upbringing. Everything mentioned above clearly led me to becoming a golden child. It was easy for me to be the "top" student throughout my whole life because I had a very solid educational foundation and I was a chill and compliant kid. My teachers and peers believed in me more than they should've: they thought I was really organised and really trusted in my capabilities. They excused me when they wouldn't excuse others. Basically people had a better impression of me than I actually was, or at least I think they did, and I don't think that's imposter syndrome at all because I think I really ought to have been better given my upbringing.
The truth is, I think I've coasted for almost the whole of my life, and it's really glaringly obvious now. I was better as a child. In my later teens I rolled with the momentum of a good impression and I still got the best marks with what felt like no effort to me (but it was probably good habits built by my parents) but I neglected to tackle the feeling of guilt for not committing to my goals. I basically had no initiative. I actually did have a lot of time but I squandered it because I was doing decently compared to others, but really I should've compared to my own standards and used up my opportunities.
Come the last two years of high school and my God, eventually I plummeted in performance and reputation to mortifying lows, but my cowardly, stubborn attitude held me back from taking any chances for redemption, which my parents and teachers offered me time, and time, and time again. I missed out on offers for Medicine because I failed 3 interviews because I didn't bother to prepare well, despite passing the entrance exam well (what was the point). I dropped my extra subject and I didn't do an extra research project so I was coasting literally on the bare minimum. Now my final grades are enough to move forward with my life, but compared to the peers who used to ask me for what my "secret for success" was, I have one grade lower. Tbf the grades I got were very much God-given because I had to learn everything within the exam month because I wasn't emotionally regulated enough to revise earlier. I said and did a lot of dumb things so I absolutely wrecked my reputation at school too. Then I had the audacity to be depressed and anxious and not even ashamed of everything I did for about a year. My parents have been ashamed and disappointed for more than 2 years now, and they try to avoid conversations about academics with others because I've achieved a grade less than perfect while everyone else has achieved straight A*s, but it's completely understandable; they've brought me up unfathomably well and I didn't even operate at the bare minimum in the most important years of my life. I've also been forced to take a gap year since I failed my interviews for Medicine, so I'm now going to be a year later than my peers. I try to avoid my friends now and my parents avoid social situations too.
Basically, my life is a mess because of me and since I've been neglecting my life for a while, I don't even know where to begin to tidy things up. I've broken my parents' trust and hope, let alone everyone else. I keep doing things I regret, like basically shouting at my parents out of frustration for myself but then I immediately apologise because well wth am I shouting at them for? I'm kind of lost because now I have to manage myself but a more disorganised version of me than I've ever been.