I'm not sure that I know why I'm doing this. I would say that I'm not here to complain about my life and pull attention-getting stunts so that strangers will rush to my aid, but if that were true I wouldn't be writing this. What I will say is this: I've looked through these forums, and I'm beginning to realize that things could be a lot worse, and I should be thankful for what life has given me. But of course, I'm not. If I were, I wouldn't be here. So let me start by describing my life. This will probably get long, I apologize. I'm an engineering student. I go to a good school, and I come from a loving family. I'm in my early 20's and, by anyone's measure, I should be enjoying the prime years of my life. Most of my peers spend their time partying and living it up, creating memories that will last them a lifetime. Those who don't are usually very academically accomplished, and will no doubt find themselves saddled with a great career in the very near future. But then there's me. I don't party because I don't drink. I don't make friends because I'm very socially stunted. I live in a single room, all by myself. You would think, then, that I would be one of those who excels academically. But I'm not. I went straight from getting all A's in high school to barely making through the engineering program here. I'm a junior now, and I'm surprised I've made it this far. For the first time in my life, I feel stupid. My professors look at me like one of the dumb kids and it tears me apart inside because in this case, they're right. My parents are so proud of me because I'm doing so well and I have such direction and focus in my life, but IT'S ALL A LIE. I'm not doing well. I'm not succeeding, I'm not making it, and I'm not even compensating by creating a series of inebriated memories that I can look back fondly on. The truth is that I can feel the years slipping away from me, feel my youth sliding out from under me before I've even had a chance to enjoy it. I don't have any joy in my life. I don't have friends here at school. I'm so lonely, I sit in my room and talk to myself because I don't have anyone else to talk to. The pressure to succeed is enormous, and every day is a new failure. God, I would give anything to just get all this pressure off of me. But I can't. I can't tell my parents that I failed at engineering. I can't back down now and live the rest of my life knowing that I blew my one chance to make something of myself. I look forward and all I see is a gauntlet of horribly difficult classes, lined with professors and employers looking at me like some kind of invalid. But I look back and I see my parents, so proud, so happy that their son is making a mark on the world. I can't fail them. I can't look them in the eye and tell them "I wasn't good enough". This is all compounded by a lifetime of insecurity about my body. There's no getting around it, I'm fat. I just am. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, I've also been blessed with bright scarlet cheeks. Thanks, god. Thanks for that. I'm so unbelievably insecure about how I look that I have to bury my feelings under multiple layers of denial just to keep from holing up in my room and crying. But that's not the really messed up part. No, the truly strange part is that I love engineering. I love technology and I love the field I'm in. I'm just not smart enough. I can't even imagine what else I would do. It's always been my dream to be an engineer, how can I live with the shame of having failed at the one thing I was ever good at? So here I am looking at the coward's way out. I have no illusions about what this is. If I end my own life, it will be the ultimate failure. I will be admitting to the whole world that I couldn't cut it, that I wasn't even brave enough to look my inadequacies in the eye. The only difference is that I don't have to live with the shame after this failure. I can tell you that the only reason I'm still alive to write this is because I don't want to put my parents through the loss of a child.