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by Abigail Van Buren

Man With Two Lovers Faces Double Trouble

DEAR ABBY: I look at myself and wonder how I got here. I am almost 23 and feel like a blank slate. When I was in high school, I had a 3.8 GPA. I had drive and purpose and knew exactly where I was headed.

Now I am tired all the time. College has taken a toll on me. I am overweight, a "C" student, and completely burned out. I've held a couple of part-time jobs, but nothing that excites me. I am at a crossroads. I have no idea where to go from here.

I have a few acquaintances, but no close friends. Boredom and loneliness fill my days. What do I do? Start over and try to fix things? I don't know whether to take time off from college or continue to grin and bear it. Maybe I should just lie down and die.

All I know is I'm tired of feeling like I have nothing to offer anyone. I am not happy with the road I've chosen, but don't know what other avenue to take. Abby, what can I do to feel alive again? -- CO-ED IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

DEAR CO-ED: You are exhibiting signs of depression. Go to the student health center and tell them exactly how you are feeling. Once you are treated -- medically and/or psychologically -- find out if your school offers career counseling. It will help you to understand where your strongest attributes lie and what your alternatives are.

You are clearly bright and success-oriented. Many people have more than one career in a lifetime. Select something you enjoy -- something that stimulates your creativity and makes you feel good about yourself. I guarantee you'll discover you have much to contribute -- and much to live for. Let me hear from you in three months. I care.