Luise (1995): German, Trade and commerce student
1- What do you understand under feeling lost?
To me, feeling lost represents those times when you start asking all sort of existential questions.
At that point, you fall into a dark hole where you don’t only doubt everything you have done so far, but also your current goals. Your thoughts are like:
- Why am I doing all of this?
- Does it even make sense?
2- Please, describe a specific situation when you felt that way?
A few years ago I moved to Berlin. It started off being an absolute dream. I was constantly on the go, meeting friends, living new experience and enjoying the sun.
Then, I even got accepted at the university to study a degree I always wanted to do. As soon as I began the first semester I made plenty of lifelong friends and I was super happy.
However, as the semesters kept on passing by, I realized that this degree was absolutely not meant for me. It was not practical at all and I saw that everybody else was so much more disciplined than me.
I sat down alone at home and asked myself, why I wanted to study this in the first place. In this instant, I completely lost myself.
I knew that I don’t want to continue studying my degree. Still, time would keep on passing by, I wouldn’t get younger and I want to make something out of my life.
What should I do?
Luckily, I had great friends which reminded me that I deserve to do something that makes me happy and that I did not waste my time.
So… I quit university.
At first, my family didn’t know about my decision. I kept telling my parents that I was doing great and that I am super happy.
But of course, mum and dad will always notice when something is not right. Furthermore, sooner or later I would have to show a diploma to them.
One day, I went to visit my hometown. My parents and I were sitting at the table eating lunch when my father asked me:
“Luli, shouldn’t you be studying for your exams? How can you allow yourself to be here right now?”
At this instant, I dropped my cutlery and started to cry. I began to explain everything to them, that I simply hated that degree and that I didn’t want to continue doing that.
Here comes the worst part, my parents were just looking at each other without saying anything.
I begged them to say something. At least I wanted them to tell me that they hate me or that they will never talk to me again.
But then, they stopped me in the middle of my sentence:
“Luli, what are you even talking about? We are your parents and everything we want is you to be happy.”
3- What helped you to overcome or to deal with the situation?
Everything happens for a reason as long as you tighten up and take action. Self-pity and complaining wouldn’t have served me at all.
They showed me that the most important goal in life is being happy.
They reminded me of how I feel when I am sharing my love and laughter.
4- Which main lesson or result did you get out of this challenging time?
- Feeling lost is nothing to be ashamed. Indeed, it’s nothing to be afraid of as it will make a hell of a lot stronger.
- Only I could get myself out of this situation.
- Everything happens for a reason.
- Feeling lost showed me what I don’t want.
5- What could be done to help somebody who is feeling lost?
My favorite remedy to help somebody who is feeling lost is through spreading laughter. It’s highly contagious and it can change your mood in an instance.
Being open to the topic of feeling lost
When you think that somebody might feel lost, talk to him about it and listen to what that person has to say.
When feeling lost, we believe that there is something “wrong” with us. In other words, we are not normal. Redefining our concept of normal in our society would be a big step.
6- Why did feeling lost become such a common experience nowadays?
I believe that feeling lost nowadays is different from previous generations.
After the war, feeling lost originated from desperation to provide basic needs. Nowadays, the problem is that we can basically have whatever we want. However, choosing between all the different options is what challenges us.