Entering The Real World

By Gabby Redpath 

Welcome to the real world — a cliché that really starts to hit home senior year. As adolescents turn to teens and teens turn to young adults, bank accounts fall and stress rises. Senior year is when high school students really begin to feel the pressures of the real world.

By senior year, most high schoolers are driving. Instead of leaning back in the passenger seat, taking a nap while Mom drives to soccer practice, seniors have to stay awake and fully aware. Their lives, and the lives of those around them, are in their own hands. That’s an awful lot of responsibility to put in a pair of hands that just a few years ago were holding on to their mother’s. Between car payments, car insurance, car repairs, and filling up the tank, driving takes a great deal of weight out of a teen’s wallet as well.

As their parents abandon their childhood allowances, most high schoolers are in desperate need of money. Cars themselves are expensive, but so are the places they take you. Going out to eat, to concerts, the movies, sports games, and senior week cost more than just Christmas and birthday money. Social affairs turn from hanging out in a best friend’s basement watching Netflix to more expensive ordeals, and in order for a teenager to keep up their friendships they need money.

If a person wants money, they need a job. It’s difficult just to find a place who will hire a high schooler; then, it’s nearly impossible to fight for enough hours to receive a decent paycheck. Once they’ve gotten the job, they then have to endure the stresses of the workplace. From the difficulties of training to unpleasant coworkers, with whom they’re forced to spend hours on end, it’s almost too much to handle.

Before and after work, seniors are busy filling out college applications. The stressful process of sitting in front of a computer for hours attempting to sell themselves to college admissions officers is only the beginning. Seniors then have to wait for months on end to hear back. Getting accepted is obviously the ultimate goal, but when they’re accepted into more than one school, they have to decide which one to attend.

“I honestly can’t wait until we enter ‘the real world;’ I feel like that’ll be less stressful,” Senior Haley Schuman jokes about the threat of the real world. She, like most seniors, is trying her hardest to laugh through the pain this year.

“When I’m feeling stressed, I listen to music and just try to forget about it,” explains Senior Emily Jerez. There are plenty of ways to cope with the stresses of growing up, and it’s about time seniors learn which ways suit them. We’re going to need some strong methods of stress relief if this is what the real life is going to be like.