Dear Nedlam,

 

I’ve been feeling a lot more recently like I don’t fit in with the other people at school. A lot of them are focused on things that don’t really matter to me, and are so caught up in drama. I already know what I want to do with my life, and I want to be able to be in a position where I can work towards my future goals, but I feel like the social aspects of highschool keep getting in the way of that. Not that I don’t want friends, I just want to be around more people like me, who want to really be around me and be friends with who I feel like I really am. I don’t know… What should I do about this, or this feeling?

 

-Different

 

Dear Different,

 

I know it might not seem like it, but I think most kids in highschool feel like they don’t exactly fit in with everyone else. That being said, sometimes some kids are focused on different things than others. You seem to be very career and future driven, so I can see why it may be hard for you to be around others who might not yet know what they want to do with their lives when you are already so sure. The hard thing about high school is that its purpose is to prepare you for an array of possible futures, so for a person who already knows what direction they want their life to take, like you, it’s hard to focus on things that are not related to the direction you want to go in. However, unless someone makes a major change to the education system there is little I can say about working on your career in high school except to try and take classes related to the subject and to work hard to hone your talents so that way when the time comes you’ll already be great at what you want to do. On the social aspect I think it is important to realize that yes, not everyone is like you, but the world is full of people and you will have to work with people who are and who are not like you no matter what you do. Even if a person shares your professional interests, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will like other things you enjoy, or be a person you’ll get along with. I’m not saying that you won't find people like you, of course you are more likely to find close friends in people who share your interests, but you shouldn’t discount the experiences that high school social settings give you, which is your first taste of working with people from all sorts of backgrounds, with all sorts of mindsets, and all sorts of goals. Sure, there might be an unusually high amount of drama in high school, but that doesn't mean you have to get involved, there will always be people in life who will be like that, and the best thing that you can do is to learn how to deal with it now so you can bring that knowledge with you into the future. I know I seem a little forceful at the moment, but I just want to be adamant that although you might not be completely satisfied in your current situation, that doesn't mean you can’t learn important things that you will take with you in your future, and possibly in your career. However, I do encourage you to do what you can to pursue your dreams, I personally think that age doesn't matter when it comes to hard work and passion and if you are determined to work toward your career then don’t stop working towards that. Just don’t forget that the social aspects of school and of life are important and are not completely  in your control, you just have to learn how be in all sorts of situations and make the most of wherever you are in life. It might seem hard, and school might not be the place where you make lifelong friends, but it will benefit you in the long run and might help you view your high school experience  as a usable tool in your life/career and not just as a roadblock to your future.

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