“I am not ready for the real world…”

Anonymous: I am 21 years old, and I have literally had everything handed to me and done for me throughout my entire life. My parents have babied me so much to where I am not equipped to do anything for myself, and I do not think that I am ready for the real world. Help!

Honestly, the only thing that you can do is put yourself out there. You have to start somewhere and no matter where you start, it will be scary, very scary. But you just have to trust in yourself and acknowledge that you are taking the first steps to be independent, to being a grown-up and to taking care of yourself, physically, financially, mentally and emotionally.

And trust me, you are not that far behind the pack. I have met so many college juniors and seniors whose parents have stepped in and taken care of everything for them. So, know that you may have a learning curve when it comes to others your age who can go out into the real world and stand on their own two feet, but again, you are not that much of an outlier in comparison to the average 21-year-old.

And I am 24 years old and sometimes I do not even feel ready for the real world and I have been in it for the past 4 yours, so it is okay! Do not worry, you got this. Just believe in yourself and take it one step at a time. But you have to erect boundaries with your parents and let them know that you are choosing to take on this chapter without their physical support, but that you are accepting of their emotional and mental support.

And do not let your fears stop you from taking those first steps and changing your circumstances. You can, and will, become more independent, but it will take time. And you could start your journey off by being grateful to your parents for protecting you and for providing you will all that you desired. And I know you may not want to hear this, but some people have had to enter the adult world as young as 14, 15 years old, so again, be grateful that your circumstances allowed you to maintain your adolescence for as long as you could.

But also, just acknowledge that only you are responsible for your life. So only you have the power to change it. And start believing in yourself! I know how anxiety-ridden and crazy it feels to enter into the real world, but you get used to it, and it is a rite of passage that we all have experienced.

So instead of being fearful, look to this as a new opportunity to conquer the world. Release your fears, or at least look your fear in the eyes and tell it that you are here to stay and that you are a conqueror. So again, trust in yourself, believe in yourself, and just know that all of us that have passed this rite of passage are rooting for you! Wishing you peace, love, and happiness.