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Exclamation Lost in the future. Advice? - July 7th 2011, 02:23 AM

As the thought of the nearing end of high school and the beginning of a new life continues to run through my mind, I find my self constantly remembering that every second I spend idle will never be made up. I feel as if I'm invincible and can take the world by storm, but I realize that my continued habits of lethargy are doing nothing but slowly eating away at my potential. It's summer break and I've done nothing to get closer to my long term goals. I sleep until 10 and spend all my time on the internet or watching movies. The few friends I have are growing increasingly annoying as I realize I am maturing at a faster rate and my limited social skills have put me on the edge of strictly adhering to a life of solitude for the remainder of my teen years. I am slowly wasting my time as I retract further into my shell. My major concerns at hand are:
How do I reach out to find new friends without putting on a facade?
How do I find friends that share the same interests as I do?
How do I spend every second at this moment towards perfecting my future self?
I realize my small concerns at the moment such as fitting in are pointless. I refuse to dumb my self down to blend in with a crowd that will have no effect on my life in 5 years. I want to be able to find my identity as I fulfill my full potential by making the most of every second. The scariest thing about the future is looking back on the past and realizing I haven't done a damn thing.
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Re: Lost in the future. Advice? - July 7th 2011, 06:24 PM

First of all, welcome to TeenHelp! =)

Secondly, I can relate to what you're saying. I'm an "idea" person - I spend a lot of time coming up with ideas, but I only implement a small number of them. When I was younger, this used to frustrate me, and as a result, I simply stopped trying. I would think about all the things I wanted to accomplish, but at the end of the day, I didn't do anything meaningful. I think I was frustrated by my inability to implement some of my plans (ex. too young to be hired, not enough money in savings, couldn't get permission from my mom, couldn't drive anywhere)... but to a certain degree, I was also afraid of committing to an idea and failing. So you may want to ask yourself if that's one reason why you're holding yourself back - are you afraid of failing?

Something else you may want to do this summer is come up with short-term goals, not just long-term goals. For example, deciding you want to work toward a particular career is great, but that could be years in the future. You may not be able to apply to schools for a while, or apply for financial aid, or obtain a meaningful internship/job in preparation for your future career. The inability to see results can slowly chip away at your motivation, so it's important to have goals you can work toward on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. That could be anything from cleaning your room by the end of the day, to deciding you're going to learn a new hobby by the end of the week, to looking at a list of recreational activities offered near your home and choosing several to try out throughout the month.

As you are working toward these short-term goals, you may find yourself spending time around other people. For example, if you're going to learn a new hobby or attend an athletic class for beginners, you'll be around people who have a similar desire to learn something new. You'll already have something in common! From there, you can strike up casual conversations. Why are they taking that class? What else do they like to do in their free time? Can they recommend anything to you (ex. related hobbies or other classes offered nearby)? Eventually, you can work your way toward having more meaningful conversations, or at least talking about mutual interests outside of the hobby/class (ex. favorite music/movies/books). If you are meeting people within this context, it shouldn't feel "fake" (like it probably does when you're talking to people in your high school classes).

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