Dear Abby: Student terrified of bleak future

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Dear Abby: I’m frightened that I will become homeless and won’t be able to pay my bills. I’m afraid of getting older and ending up a homeless woman, freezing to death on the streets. I worry that the college degree I’m working toward will be useless.

I see the challenges older people go through: house bills, medical bills, student loans, car bills, trying to save for retirement. I’m accused of being a cheapskate, but I’m terrified I will never have enough. Sometimes the future seems bleak. While other people see possibilities and adventure, all I can see is a homeless death on the streets.

I struggle every day to find a reason to get up. I distract myself with simple goals: go to class, finish homework, get a college degree, and then get some kind of job. But there are so many bills to pay just to live — so many problems in the future that are right around the corner.

When you’re a single gal alone in this world, the melancholy begins to seep in. I ask myself, is this life worth it? What is the point of getting up day after day knowing that when I graduate from college there’s nothing ahead of me but a life of constant bills and misery?

— Everyday Struggle

Dear Everyday Struggle: It has been some time since I have seen a letter filled with as much negativity and depression as the one you have written. One of the benefits of being in school is you have access to the student health center. I URGE you to go there and talk to a counselor who can help you cope with your fears before they become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Decades ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” This applies to you. We all have moments of doubt about what’s to come, but when fear about the future destroys the present, it’s time to seek professional help and an attitude adjustment. Please do it, because if you do, I’m confident you will feel better.

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