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I'm 17 years old and I finally think that I will never be a useful and competent member of our society. Everybody in my age around me is so organized and knows how to deal with life, I don't. I'm in my summer holidays at the moment, but in a week I will start my last year at highschool, and I'm completely overwhelmed with everything. I am so scared because of the stuff I have to do for school and the exams at the end of the 12th grade. I am also very afraid of the time after school. I will go to college, but I feel so helpless (looking for a flat, all the organization stuff) and I'm afraid of being left to my own devices without the help of anyone I know. I am so shy that I fear being alone in public,I even avoid going to the library or using public transportation in bigger cities.


My parents and all the adults around me tell me that I should do this and should do that, for example that I should look after an internship, but I am so afraid of talking to unknown adults that I just can't do it. I'm putting myself under such pressure in this case so that when someone just gives the tiniest hint of what I should do I feel totally inferior, incompeten tand start to cry in the most cases. All these shoulds make me sick.


Does anyone feel the same? Can anyone help me?


Thank you very much.
 

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Welcome to being an adult. Life is a journey, there is no "right" way to live it, you just need to discover the path that works for you. Everyone will have an opinion on the right way to do things, but ultimately you have to decide what is best for you. You will be fine.

If you have specific things you want advice on I'd be happy to help, I've been through a lot of things.

The best advice I've ever gotten was from Tony Horton..."Do your best, and forget the rest". That's all anyone can do. We learn from our mistakes, and everyone makes them, so don't be afraid to make them. No one learned to walk without falling down a few times on the way, it's the same with venturing into the world as an adult.

This is a good book I'd encourage anyone to read that is unsure about how to develop their talents. The Talent Code
 

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Seconding everything @bluekitdon said. It sounds like, more than anything, you're putting too much pressure on yourself to be like everyone else. Start small and don't be ashamed if you mess up sometimes--or, in the beginning, if you mess up a lot. That's totally normal. The difference between you and everyone who's "organized" is that they've already started, made all the beginner's mistakes and found the methods that worked for them. Also, I'm willing to bet a lot of them are bouncing ideas off friends and family for added support. Doesn't sound like you're getting much of that, just people telling you what THEY think you should be doing.

Just keep your goals in mind and set out to accomplish them without telling yourself you need to know everything already. You'll figure it out in less time than you think. :)
 

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Hi there, I am 18 years old and I feel almost the same.
How did I deal with it? Hope and getting used to cycle.
What cycle? Here is mine:
1. Get a lot of hope in yourself
2. Think, you can do anything in your life
3. Start doing what you enjoy
4. Plan big
5. Get support
6. Find out, that most of your support is just plain lazy and don't give a fudge about you
7. Loose hope and let your dreams go
1. Get a lot of hope in yourself
...

What do I try to do with it? Well, right now nothing. Thing isn't that I don't want to make my dreams come true. My personal problem is, that I feel like I need social support to do so - encouragement from others. My parents think my dreams are plain dumb and not worth the time and effort, my friends as I mentioned don't usually give a fudge, and that's all support I can think of.

I am afraid of college too, mainly because I am so far indecisive. I know that I want to study IT, but I can't decide which school...

So here I am, I will try to help you as much as I can.
-> if you're feeling lack of organisation in your life, get a notebook. I have got two already filled. And if you're too lazy for notebook, well... I don't have any better advice.
-> don't worry about your last year on high school, everything will go fine :)
-> you must get used to being alone in public. What's wrong with that? You feel like all the people on street are watching you? Don't be afraid of that, they have their own things to care about. Maximum social interaction I get when I am alone in a city is random eye contact or "sorry" when we accidentaly bump into each other somehow.

If this didn't help you, well... I apologise. I will try to do better next time.
Just don't forget, that you're not only one. ;) If you want to talk some more, feel free
 

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What do I try to do with it? Well, right now nothing. Thing isn't that I don't want to make my dreams come true. My personal problem is, that I feel like I need social support to do so - encouragement from others. My parents think my dreams are plain dumb and not worth the time and effort, my friends as I mentioned don't usually give a fudge, and that's all support I can think of.
That isn't likely to change. Ultimately unless you are driven to achieve your own goals for personal reasons, no one else will achieve them for you or even help for too long is my experience. So when you write down a goal, also ask yourself why you want to achieve it and write that down too. If you can't think of a good reason why you should hit the goal, then maybe it isn't that great of a goal.
 

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I think I can relate to your situation. I used to have trouble coping with stress and new responsibilities when I went to university for the first time. It was quite a change to live on my own and organize everything by myself. Part of the problem was that I too was very shy, and I was often nervous when talking to strangers.

I'm not particularly organized now either, but I deal with challenges much easier now, simply because I deal with stress much better now than I used to. When you are stressed everything is more difficult. Being stressed means that you take more time getting things done. The key is to be more relaxed, but that is not something that comes on it's own. At least from my experience, I can tell that I had to go through the stress and fight my shyness in order to become comfortable with living an independent life. I think that this is something that most people go through, we just don't go through it all at the same age. Once you get comfortable you'll realize that most of the problems you were worried about, weren't nearly as problematic as you thought they would be.

I'm 17 years old and I finally think that I will never be a useful and competent member of our society.
You shouldn't be worried about this. I'm sure everyone has doubted their abilities at some point, but the truth is that anyone can be competent at something.
 
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Hmm, I too have felt incapable of many things. I don't have the highest self esteem, but too often, I doubt myself and don't give myself enough credit.

Think of it this way, you've already gotten to your senior year of high school. That's farther than some people have ever gotten. As incapable as you may feel, there has to be some goal or desire for what you want to do with your life. If this desire involves a career that you need to go to college for, go right ahead. I felt incapable of making it through my first year at college as engineering student (one of the harder fields to study for), but I managed to get through it and turned out fine! So did a lot of other people in my class. Honestly, if any college student thinks that they know everything and feel capable of changing the world, that person just has an oversized ego and is more than likely an idiot (the more you know, the more you don't know).

As for the internship suggestion, I think it would be nice to at least give it a try and see how things go. This upcoming Fall, I am going to intern at a company I have been interested in and as anxious as I am about going into a professional workplace for the first time in my life, I know that I will be able to somehow get through the 4 months of staying there. I wasn't even sure I would be able to get an internship for the Fall in the first place since interviews really freak me out and I'm generally awkward around new people. I am shy and feel nervous talking to adults too, but I have never felt as nervous as my first time around.

In the real world, problems and issues will always be present in life and you'll just have to push through to solve them and make the best with things. The real world is scary and you will have to step out of your comfort zone.
 

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What do I try to do with it? Well, right now nothing. Thing isn't that I don't want to make my dreams come true. My personal problem is, that I feel like I need social support to do so - encouragement from others. My parents think my dreams are plain dumb and not worth the time and effort, my friends as I mentioned don't usually give a fudge, and that's all support I can think of.
I didn't even really have friends by the time I graduated high school. Social support may be helpful, but I think its overrated. As far as I am concerned, if you know that you are capable of reaching those dreams you have, what other people think is of no importance.

I am afraid of college too, mainly because I am so far indecisive. I know that I want to study IT, but I can't decide which school...
That was my problem too. I couldn't figure out where I wanted to study, but then I found out about a college nearby that I never even heard of from researching. Financial aid and the quality of the program I wanted to study in were the two big factors I took into account.

So here I am, I will try to help you as much as I can.
-> if you're feeling lack of organisation in your life, get a notebook. I have got two already filled. And if you're too lazy for notebook, well... I don't have any better advice.
-> don't worry about your last year on high school, everything will go fine :)
-> you must get used to being alone in public. What's wrong with that? You feel like all the people on street are watching you? Don't be afraid of that, they have their own things to care about. Maximum social interaction I get when I am alone in a city is random eye contact or "sorry" when we accidentaly bump into each other somehow.
@GentleBlossom

In my first year at college, I had to use a student planner to organize everything I needed to do in my hectic student lifestyle. Without that thing, I would have missed deadlines, events, etc and chaos would've ensued upon my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions, I really appreciate that. You're right, I've got to square up to my problems, and since I spoke about this with my mother yesterday, she wants to help me in terms of the internship. I hope that it will turn out in the end like it did for you, that these big insecurities won't be such a big part of my life anymore.

Maybe when I get older, I just worry too much.. When I was in the 6th class, I decided on my own to go to a boarding school where I didn't know anyone and I am still very happy today I did this. I just didn't worry about what might go wrong.
 

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Just 2 cents.

Do not think in terms of being an useful member of the society. Think about your life and your well being. The well being of a society is just the sum of the well being of its individuals. Take care of yourself and the society will follow.

You are not alone. It is normal to see the best elements in a group, and ignore all the others. But there are a lot of people coping with problems similar to yours as you read in the previous comments.

Start slowly. For example you can go around with some friends in public transportation, after that, going alone will be easier.
 

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Have you considered that you might be suffering from social anxiety disorder? Check out some of the anxiety forums on the internet and look for dietary or nutritional approaches to treating the problem. Best of luck. Oh, the best way to overcome a fear is to face the fear. I used to fear driving on the freeways due to inexperience merging onto traffic, but I had to do it and each time it became easier and easier. Now, it's no longer a fear.
 

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Look for a sign perhaps. I know what I want to do with my life. The only reason I know is because I watched Breaking Bad and realized how much I'd love to be a chemistry teacher. Don't stop looking.
 

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Just 2 cents.

Do not think in terms of being an useful member of the society. Think about your life and your well being. The well being of a society is just the sum of the well being of its individuals. Take care of yourself and the society will follow.

You are not alone. It is normal to see the best elements in a group, and ignore all the others. But there are a lot of people coping with problems similar to yours as you read in the previous comments.

Start slowly. For example you can go around with some friends in public transportation, after that, going alone will be easier.
This. Don't do what makes society happy, because it will be helpful for no one in the long run. Do what you enjoy. Keep it noted that your profession doesn't even have to be the thing you enjoy. My uncle works a dead end post office job, but in his free time he plays with his band at local bars and couldn't be happier.
 

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"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

I'll just let you know this. Me at 17 and me at 20 were two entirely different people. In between, there was a LOT of personal growth and enlightenment that took place.
Amen to this.

@GentleBlossom The "existential crisis" that you are describing is common to us all, especially during our teenagers, and can even be a healthy sign. You are trying to find your place in the world.

So have patience, and have faith. As the saying goes, not all those who wander are lost. At the end of high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do, what I wanted from life, or even what my values and ideals were. For a few years, I wandered, trying to challenge myself, grow, and learn. I am in my early 20's now, and some pieces are falling into place. Rest assured, it can happen for you too. The dots are always easier to connect in retrospect ;)

For now, take care of the basics -- stay healthy, finish high school and make it to college (or don't go straight to college. Take a gap year and explore life, if that's an option and if that's something you want to do.), challenge yourself. As the wonderful, late Steve Jobs said, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
 

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I feel as though part of the reason that you feel the way you do is because you haven't experienced being on your own or attending college before. Being anxious about such major life transitions is a natural thing that, believe it or not, even your most well organized friends feel. In my walk of life, I found that the only way I could make the transtion was to go forth and do the best I could, learning as I went. After awhile, I found that things that seemed so big an unachievable in hindsight turned out not to be that big of an issue. I have complete faith in your ability to succeed; even if you take a few hits, stumble, and fall from time to time. Bright lights that have reached their full capacity to shine can only fade, while dim lights have the potential to become brighter-go forth and shine your light!
 
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