The real world is a scary place. Some think it begins when you graduate high school, and some think it begins when you graduate college and get a “real job.” I personally believe you get thrown into the real world when you graduate high school. Whether you decide to go to a traditional 4-year university, or decide to skip college all together, big changes are happening. You start to make more decisions for yourself and do a lot of things for yourself. The scary thing is that no one really prepares you for this time of your life. Getting thrown into the world of “adulting” is beyond anything that someone can teach you.
Friendships can be harder to maintain.
As a teen, you saw most of your friends just about every day at school, and then hung out with them on the weekends. When you get thrown into the real world some of your friends may move away for college or have conflicting school and work schedules. Don’t even get me started on weekends. Those are now reserved for catching up on the schoolwork you fell behind on during the week. You need to put more effort into making time for your friends, and you can’t take those moments for granted.
You won’t figure everything out right away.
Whether you know what you want to do with your life or not, I’m sure you’ll either change your major or try a job in a new field at one point or another in your life. It stinks that society makes it seem like we need to figure everything out at eighteen but we don’t, so don’t worry too much if you’re lost in this world, because most of us are.
Your parents aren’t your personal bank anymore.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have your parents still completely financially support you, you’re gonna have to use your own money. I’m lucky that my parents are able to pay for most of my undergraduate degree, but any spending money comes completely from my wallet. Working a summer job when you’re a teen is a great plus, because you can save majority of that to use when you’re in college and may not want a part time job for a bit. Spend wisely, and save as much as you can!
Finding a boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t that easy, but it’s okay to be single.
When you’re younger, it may seem that when you go off to college and grow up, you find a boyfriend or girlfriend and then marry them. I’ll be the first to tell you it’s not that easy. Most of us will date around, or even have trouble with that for years before finding someone you want to spend your life with. An important part of this to remember is you are not defined by your relationship, and it is okay to be alone. Single people are some of the happiest people, so don’t feel pressured to seek out a relationship if you don’t want to.
Life is not going to be easy.
There are so many new things happening in your life and I’m sure you’ll be overwhelmed from time to time. Life is really freaking hard. It’s okay to call your parents and cry on the phone with them. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. It’s okay to live your life how you want it, even if others don’t agree with it. It will get better. It might take awhile, but you’ll eventually reach a point of content and life won’t be so hard anymore.