[Discussion] Where are all the young adults at?

Great question to ask. I feel that this is unfortunately a prevalent thing that most people don't talk about. Most of middle school and high school has people "settled in" with their group of friends because of activities and common classes. Unfortunately, people don't like change and they are not as open to making new friends. At least this is the case around myself and my schools.

I sort of am in the same situation, partially by choice, and partially due to unfortunate circumstances. I deal with domestic violence among my parents, infidelity with both of them (mostly from my cheating father), and I have had an awful high school experience.

I wanted to please my parents by involving myself in academically-inclined activities.I used to play sports when I was younger but lost my fitness and I wasn't as good as others as everyone got older. I had always kept my grades up until this year. I also dealt almost solely with friends who turned out to be toxic and not on my side. I only have maybe 1 close friend of mine who I can trust and a few others who just are never mean to me. It made me not even want to bother with people anymore. Just got tired of people treating me like trash, so I pretty much shut off all communication except for what was necessary.

My parents struggled financially throughout most of my high school life. Really since the crash in 2008. That left them with no money to buy me a car and that hurts a lot when you live where I do. Stuff is far away. My school is like a 10 minute drive and isn't practical to walk to. Not having a car sucks in high school. I understand why it is extremely important for a parent to be able to provide one to a student whether they work or not in places like where I live. Unfortunately, doing clubs that I now have no motivation for and find pointless left me no time to get and keep a job. I had one summer job where I was discriminated against and quit before school resumed. Saved up almost all my money too. Wish I had gotten a job instead and focused on less activities and sports instead since they are seasonal.

Looking back, I probably should have done sports. I would have made more friends and had lasting interactions and relationships. There's a ton of kids here who do sports, but none have the brains like me. We have one girl who got a soccer scholarship to Clemson. I would have been willing to play basketball myself if only I had built up the confidence. With the grades I had and maybe keeping one academic activity instead of 5, I think I would have had easily gotten full rides to some of the best programs for baseball in the country.

As for school, I really am stuck. I focused a lot on academics for my first 3 years of high school. You need a car to dual enroll and attend the community college instead of high school for equivalent credits, and obviously I didn't have one as previously mentioned. I took a ton of AP Classes instead. 6 last year and another 6 this year. Didn't get the scores I wanted :( I think high school just doesn't have enough maturity attached to it unfortunately. People just don't develop as fast as people like myself mentally. I was a late physical bloomer but was always one to think about careers and plans for school (which have mostly gone to waste now) since I started like middle school. I was never a party animal or one to ever even make it to any social events due to resistance to alcohol and people here just seeming to gorge it so often. I felt that if I had put myself at those events, people just would not be mature enough to understand that I don't drink it because I've seen what is does to people (including my parents) and that it just is not fun to me. It's expensive too. People have different ways of coping with stuff is the common argument for it, but to me, I didn't see how drugs and alcohol would have made my life any better and wasn't willing to take any chances.

For friends and stuff, high school to me just didn't have that vibe of most of people "always being on your side" for some reason. I sort of had a prejudice in myself for thinking this way, but in a way I dealt with too many people who were nasty to me, so I guess I was right. As a senior now with almost no friends who I can always count on and even not really thinking I belong anymore, I can just tell you that people are much more on your side. Yes, you will always have people who are enemies or just are indifferent and could care less, but I've taken a few lower level classes than previous years and the students are completely harmless. Even the ones that give the teacher a hard time wish that they weren't and wish that they had tried harder. I guess it's the maturity that finally settles in and makes people realize having friends is good because you never know what connections and opportunities they can provide to you. Being a more intellectual person sort of has made people cling a bit more to me in these lower tier classes, not as friends, but just my presence I feel it much more valued than in years past with super competitive people all around who were mostly indifferent. I have no problem with helping people out some times with like borrowing paper and pencils, etc anymore like I once did.

I'm a bit like you and don't even know where to go. I am unfortunately unable to go away to school due to my parent's divorce not making me feel safe either away from home debting myself or in home, but at least I won't be debting myself here at home. This past year has really made me feel lonely and more depressed at times over just not feeling like I have a place in this world. I was being a person to satisfy my parents instead of being a person who actually showed my true colors to put it simply. Expressed wrong interests, wound up with wrong people, dealt with issues at home, and the rest is history as they say. I feel like I don't even know how to put myself in the social scene really anymore because I never had to. I know I don't want to come off as desperate or clingy either because of how I really haven't had friends to hang out with. I'm a dude too and I feel that when I try to start dating or just making any sort of female friends in general, stuff will be too sensual or I'll try to do things too fast in addition to showing obvious signs of inexperience. I have older college friends who will be back this summer who I am looking forward to hanging out with, but that's it.

In college, I'm just going to try to become a new person who is open to meeting others. Meeting malicious people is less common at the higher education scene because everybody wants to be there and is not being forced. More people like I said before seem on your side by default in college and are not so indifferent as they are in high school. You can probably attest to that considering you spent a lot of your time at college programs while in high school ages. I'm going to get a non-dead end job while in college that way I can start making connections and a better class of people all around. Working a dead end restaurant job leaves you with a lot of indifferent co-workers, especially if it is more franchised and if your management is clearly there to make money or impress the corporate people. I'm going to try to work for my local hockey club as a ticket taker or some other sort of game staff. It demonstrates a passion that I want to bridge with for my major. People who go to hockey games are generally relaxed, feeling good, not so run down like restaurant customers who just had awful days at work and are there to just pick up a cheap meal so they don't have to cook themselves.

If there's anything else I can say, try to join some sort of professional group or activity in college. Join a group of people with the right head on their shoulders. Whether it be a charity group, a study group, a sports team, or a church group, just try to surround yourself with a group of people who you all share the same cause. That way you have a good bond and it can give you a good start with social skills. If you need to work like me, try to work at a place where the staff is not so much there for paychecks and can tell you more about what they appreciate about their workplace instead of their complaints.

/r/teenagers Thread