There’s this weird culture of telling kids when they stress about school “u ain’t seen nothin yet hun! Wait till u do tax returns! Hahaha adulthood is fucking hell!” And i hate it b/c
1) it’s flat out untrue. Adulthood is a breeze compared to school. I have time to myself to do what I find fun and can make my own choices. Like, yeah, I’m poor and have to take care of myself, but the central activity of my life– work – is waaaaaay easier than school, mentally and emotionally.
2) Part of the reason school made me anxious to the point of considering suicide is that I had this wrong idea, drilled into my head by YEARS of people saying this, that if I didn’t do well in school, I would be a useless member of society, unable to be productive or do anything meaningful. Failing a class meant I might as well be dead. That’s the false equivalence this culture creates. But grades don’t mean SHIT in the workforce unless you’re trying to become a college professor or do something that requires a hella advanced degree.
3) it helps no one to say this! All it does is give mentally ill children, most of whom are already struggling to get through the DAY, the idea that it will only get much, much worse. I know I couldn’t cope with that thought. Any future planning past my 20s was blocked out in a haze of terror at the thought of having to persevere that long, only to get a shittier situation at the end. But it’s not shittier. I have to be more responsible, but this is a piece of goddamn cake compared to even High School. The only reason to say this to a teenager is to inflate your own sense of superiority over someone who is still learning how the world works.
So like. Can we kill this culture? Please?
Honestly, all of this. Being a teenager comes with far more restrictions and expectations than being an adult. There is nothing to fear from adulthood. There are people and programs to help you with things like taxes, housing, and managing your finances. You will no longer have a set time you have to be in bed. You can eat whatever you want for breakfast. You can leave the house at 2 a.m. to buy candy. Go out and adopt a pet. Fill the living room with styrofoam packing peanuts. No one can tell you not to.
And you know what? IT’S OKAY TO FAIL SOMETIMES. It’s okay to lose a job: Most of the people you’ll meet in life have lost a job at least once before. It doesn’t make you any less of a person–or even a bad worker–and you CAN move past it.
Your future is up to you, but pursue it at whatever speed feels the most comfortable for you. Just remember never to lose your sense of wonder and adventure.
For me, being an adult has been way easier, so to anyone younger reading this who’s having a rough time, hang in there! xxx