I’m failing at teen life because I’m stressed about my future

Dear Amy: I’ll be a junior in high school in the fall. So far, high school has been bland. The only excitement for me is the fact that I’m going to Japan on a school trip soon.

I want to attend an out-of-state college because I want to have a fresh start.

I want to have some kind of friend group (since I’m an introvert), to have a boyfriend, and to attend parties (but I don’t only want to party in college).

I have a hard time making decisions because I’m so worried that whatever I choose will be a bad decision and affect my future.

I tend to dwell on the future rather than the present.

I also tend to be very hard on myself, which makes me feel like I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to this stuff.

I’m always worrying about things instead of just relaxing and “being a teenager.” I feel like I’m behind in everything that should happen to teenagers.

Sometimes, I just want to stop trying because nothing is going right for me. But other times, I want to keep going and try and see what happens.

What should I do?

– Doubting Everything in Life

Dear Doubting Everything: Let me start by assuring you that what you are going through is very much within the norm, not only for teenagers, but for people at every stage of life.

As a former anxious and doubting teenager, I’ll pass along my own hard-earned wisdom: Life unfolds in fits and starts, and anxiety doesn’t seem to change the outcome. Looking back, the only regrets I have are those things I was too scared or anxious to try.

Many teens are saddled with a very short view of their own futures; this is why the teen years tend to be experimental, but aside from times when poor judgment leads to accidents, injury, or pregnancy, very few decisions you make now will change the course of the rest of your life.

College isn’t really the experience you see portrayed in the media. It will definitely broaden your choices, but you’ll still be yourself, with many of the same questions, concerns, and insecurities. That’s why it is important for you to understand that the only person locking you into a specific future is you.

My advice for you is to deliberately shorten your view. For the rest of the summer, promise yourself not to look beyond the summer.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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