Life after high school is no walk in the park. Leaving high school and going into the world of responsibilities has been one of my worst experiences so far. 0 out of 10, would not recommend.
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating just a little – but it hasn’t been fun.
Maybe a week after leaving high school a harsh reality hit me.
‘I’m a proper adult now that has to do adult things’.
Even if I didn’t have to do those adult things right away, I needed a plan. I couldn’t sit around and wait for things to happen. I needed to start knowing what I was going to do next.
It was hard leaving high school, where I barely even took exams seriously, to have to plan the next steps of my life. It felt like I was being thrown into the deep end of a pool. And please bear in mind, I can’t swim.
I’m not sure if everyone had a plan for what they wanted to do or who they wanted to be while in high school, but I didn’t. That didn’t change the week after I left high school, or even the week after I left university for that matter. Not everyone has the luxury of ‘knowing where they’ll be in five years’. And personally I’m having a hard time even planning my day.
I knew life after high school wouldn’t have been easy, but I wish I knew exactly how easy it wouldn’t be.
High school gave you a space to make mistakes, and gave you time to learn from them. Now, it feels like you don’t have time to learn anything. Things move so quickly that you feel like if you take even a second to look back you won’t be able to catch up with what’s in front of you.
How rushed or pressured you feel to succeed
The pressure to make it is real.
Social media and unrealistic expectations have most of us in a chokehold. You kinda feel like a failure at age 21 for not being a millionaire and owning your second mansion. Seeing people your age getting congratulated after posting their new house or car keys doesn’t feel great when the only thing you’ve accomplished this year is buying a new pair of Crocs.
Not being able to do spectacular things at a young age is an easier pill to swallow when you think it’s impossible. So, you’re crushed when you see someone else doing the ‘impossible’.
Life after high school comes at you fast
Time is another thing.
The pressure doesn’t get easier when you feel like time is running out. You feel like you’re on borrowed time and need to be planning your next big move.
You could literally be minding your business watching Netflix and you keep hearing a voice asking ‘Why don’t you have a nice job yet?’, ‘shouldn’t you be making six figures by now?’, ‘why don’t you have a nice car?’, ‘why do you still live with your parents?’. Now you can’t even finish binging the latest season of Money Heist.
You constantly feel like time is running out for you to do great things, even when you’re barely old enough to vote.
If someone sat me down and showed me a detailed PowerPoint presentation on how pressured you would feel to be a millionaire by 25, maybe I would’ve repeated a few grades.
How expensive things are
The next thing I can’t wrap my head around is how expensive everything is. I wish I knew that you had to constantly watch what you spend. Maybe I would’ve started saving when I was two.
Adulting has you asking ‘why does everything cost this much?’; ‘what’s in it?’, ‘can I make it myself?’.
All of a sudden you realize why your parents were so upset when you took too long to close the fridge door. You’re finally realizing why your mother said ‘put it back’ almost every time you asked ‘can you buy this?’. Back then you felt like they hated you for not getting what you though was the simplest snack.
Now look at you, in the supermarket looking at your budget, deciding whether you should buy bread or lucky charms. Checking your bank balance before, and after, you swipe so you don’t have to pray before you buy fast food.
As a 20-something-year-old who isn’t a millionaire with a couple of Porsches and mansions in my name, it hasn’t been easy. I mean I didn’t realistically think I would be flying to the Maldives every other weekend at my age, but I didn’t think saying small prayers for a meal at KFC would be in my cards either.