I am going to put it out there right now, before I even get into this can of worms, that after what I have learned- I wish I could go back and realize that I was more than able to go to college to get that pshycology degree, and that I would have been able to finish all those years and actually realized that I was smarter than I knew! But 3 1/2 year later finishing up a bachelor degree in business adminisration is what I ended up with after realizing that a graphic design degree was going to give me less oppourtunities that I had originally thought.

A little background so you understand my history and what has led me to the postition that I am in today, reflecting on my past to figure out why the world hates me when I am trying to become a mature successful adult? I must have been super bad somewhere, but I apologized to my parents already- at least I realize that I have made a LOT of stupid decisions in my past, they have always been there to lecture and teach me what was wrong and what was right- I guess it was my nature to assume they were just old and wrong and that I always knew best. Man, i wish I realized sooner that I would eventually have to go out on my own and become wise and mature as well. I just didn't worry about it until it kicked me in the but, I procrastinated at anything I didn't want to do- but boy, when I liked something nothing could have stopped me from working hard to be the best. I avoided what I knew (or thought) I couldn't do, and when I knew I could do something I made sure I was the best and got recognized! Well that was in school, when being awesome at basketball was like being a celebrity who got special treatment and could do know wrong! Oh how I thought high school was the end all be all, they talked to us about college and what we wanted to do, how was I was I suppose to know what I wanted to do when I couldn't even decide if it was imperitave to finish my homework or if I could rush through it in study hall,boy if I knew then what I know now... but I digress.

I am sure anyone reading this who is out of highschool and does not have a trust fund, is a super genious, or already got lucky enough to come into a legit money making oppourtunity, will relate to the confusing time during college and shortly after when you know it's time to start acting like an adult, yet you are so use to adolescent thinking, behaviors, and consequences, that you quickly make mistakes that effect your life on a grander scale! You really screw things up like your first real job with a boss that you just have to listen to because you HAD to have that new car that came with a payment that only a stead job and self-control will pay for. Most of us have to deal with these repercussions alone in a new place, and most of all- without mom and dad. Now, some take comfort in knowin that there are other people, who are the same age, who are going to the same thing- it's not just you and your total lack of understanding of just how drastically of a change your life has taken. Eventually, with much reminder from the experienced elders,you know that you are in a whole new situation and that school doesn't teach common sense, maturity, and what to expect, kids would be terrified of growing up if they knew what know one tells them about growing up. You don' t immediately get a job anymore, you aren't respected, and you make more bad decisions than you even realize you are making until you are stuck with no idea of what to do next because this isn't like doing a homewok assignment, people are counting on you to get things done and on time. This is about the time you realize that you have to change, you start to freak out, and the thought of failure is a constant reminder in the back of your head. You may start to wonder how in theworld your parents got started and became responsible and were able to keep jobs for years while raising you as well as they did. You may doubt that you are capable or that you will be rejected by the real world and for the first time not only have a grade in a class on the line- you have a job and a paycheck that you have to choice but to make to earn a living.

Well, I am in that spot, I have had a great challenging job for the past 3+ years, and I learned a lot of really important skills and practices of interacting, acting professional, and how others will act. I have found that co-workers act like the kids in high school, they are all different, they will gossip, and that they are not all respectful of eachother even though we were taught otherwise. I came to a harsh realiztion at my job because I was the only job in my entire department that did not have at least a 4 year degree, so I already knew that I was not as educated as my co workers. Next, I was 18 when I started that job, I felt so proud for landing such an important job right out of high school in an office doing work that I liked because it was challenging to me. I was quickly and breifly trained and then turned loose on my own, They told me what to do and I was suppose to finish tasks by certain deadlines and perform my daily duties. I caught on quick enough and soon came to the conclusion that no matter how well I knew my job already, some of the older more skeptical employees viewed me in light of my age and demenor and treated me with little to no respect, let alone treat me like I had any intelligence at all. I was already fighting an uphill battle. Soon I was given more responsibility and my boss was away on trips more often so I was left to do my job on my own and know how to handle any issue that arose first hand. There were also occasions where I would have ot designate work to co workers that had nothing to do while it was slow, and every person I worked with was older, and was married- most with kids- so they didn't respond well to me giving them things to do, telling them how it was done, and then discussing any issues when they messed my projects up. I just was taught to respect adult figures, so I had no confidence in addressing my other co workers in a leading way. Finally, my amazing boss who pointed out so many lessons and helped me grow as a professional worker, just sat me down and said, " look, it is your responsibility to have them help you when they are free and you need help. They will listen and do what you tell them, but if they mess up you have to make sure they know and understand, if you have any issues send them to me. " She was there to help me become a leader and supervise my peers and if I had trouble earning there respect or attention, she was in a high enough executive position to have it handled and back my choices up. I must say, I got lucky, because my boss became my mentor and example figure- she started where I was at 15 years ago and had managed to work all the way up to the Vice President of Marketing, she knew about every product and handled all the things that were apart of my job. She slowly gave me more responsibility and freedom as I succeded and excelled, and always set me straight when I wasn't performing as well. She also made sure that I was always professional, with my attire, my attitude, and the way I interacted with co workers and the occasional client or affiliate. I learned more valuable skills that I realized I would ever need in the best environment that a young, inexperienced, unorganized, and oblivious newbie like me could ask for! After I had gotten to the last year of college, of course the home work was at its most challenging, and at this point in my life I had been working fulltime and completeing college courses, all year around full time as well, it made me feel so proud to say that I was succeding in both aspects of my new life and never thought that I would be in that position or handling as many important things as I was. I was handling large amounts of money that I was trusted to document and pay correctly, and I was also asked to prepare reports comparing aspects of my job, along with the occasional extra credit work of me finding a way for my company to save money in my department- I was good at that because I realized that no one cared enough about this job I was in to invest into it and use it to build skills and knowledge.

I just recently quit there, and just like the theme of this whole article, my age played a factor in that decision. I wish I had more maturity, paitience, and the ability to quit being so impulsive so often, because I am good at not making the easier choice or making things a lot harder than they needed to be because I rushed into situations that I had to experience in. Man, that day that I quit, I almost just walked out and never went back because I felt to mush pressure that I just wanted to give up and try something else because I wasn't going to be able to do it. Well, I felt like I made the right choice. I even called my mom and fiance to make sure they weren't going to talk me out of it and tell me that i could do it- they knew how tough it had become, and while I learned alot and was very professional, there were some executives that used extrememe pressure and unexpected firing of their best AND worst employees, just to make an example. Time off was frown upon and strict rules had to be followed or your job was at stake. No one talked, everyone was at eachothers throats until break or lunch, and I just figured that being mature wasn''t about being happy or feeling good at work. But it got so bad that I was forgetting some of the now numerous things I had to do, and I was getting scolded for more things that I could rememeber. At this point i was asked to work overtime while only keeping that to a minimum, just enough to get evrything thing assigned done in very short time spans. I had little energy left for my school work and began to do poorly, only doing well and loads of homework on the occasional day off from work- it is the only time I had to do it without making mistakes from fatigue. My relationship with my new fiance (soon to be husband) was strained as we barely saw eachother let alone talked and spent time toghether, but there was nothing I could do. I felt trapped and because I had responsibilities like bills, I had a melt down realizing that this will not end for a long long time, if I am lucky enough to retire before the big bad real world kills me off! When I got an unusually high amount of work and an extra short deadline as punishment for taking a half personal day for a doctors appointment, I about broke down crying... why couldn't those work-a-holic executives realize that not everyone has alienated their family and do have lives outside of this strict office?! It wasn't like I took the day off for no reason, I really did go to the doctor!! So I got all impulsive and arrogant and said, "okay I will just quit and let them realize how much I did that went unnoticed." Because it had been pretty intense at work for a while, my mom and fiance both said that they supported me, but to put in two weeks notice- becase that is what is considered right. That was about the only thing that I thought of that was right that day. I don't regret quiting, I feel much more sane now and I have been able to regather myself, however I realize that in today's economy, I may pay for that mistake because of the lack of jobs, let alone my lack of a degree and a well-rounded work history. Employers won't know me personally, they won't know that I am a quick learner, or that I can do anything that they ask, not just what my resume says. But I can't tell them because my history and self marketing skills that no one teaches you how to market are what speak for me now.

I am just 22 by a couple of months, and while I have had to work since I graduated high school to pay for my truck that dad so generously purchased and then told me to make payments for, and I got started in college later than my peers with less than a slight clue of what I was suppose to do- which lead me to a lot of debt that makes me regret going to college at all now!! Ugh. I feel like I am pretty grown up for how I acted before I had responsibilities, and how I handled the 180 degree change that was so quickly bestowed upon my oh-so-smart and talented self, boy did I get knocked down and kicked in the gut, but I tell you what, I have learned lessons that some don't figure out until after college or even later because out of all the stupid immature decisions I have made, I got some pretty good chances to reverse and sometimes avoid the really bad things that would have made me think I would never amount to anything! Heck I am suprised more people don't decide to just life with their parents until something easy falls into their lap- I mean everyone has to start somewhere, but with all of the wrong things that I can do as an adult that effect not only me, but now my soon-to-be husband (who just happens to be a lot more intelligent then me when it comes to impulses and stress- thank god he can deal with my still immature at times personality, all while helping me grow and even committing his life to me while knowing that I very well may screw his choices up too- ah true love, it makes this part of life easy if it is someone who is mature and very calm!

Everyone wants to be successfull, but I really think there should be a strong push to let the younger generation know that they basically will make every wrong decision and be almost broke down before they can become the individual that they are to become, and act the way they should act before continuing on with the other exciting challenges of life- like raising their own kids to be successfull and watch them do the opposite of right everytime just like you once did, life is a learning process- we can learn early and prosper or we can chose to make quick decisions that make dealing with the consequences harder and more costly in the end. It is up to each of us personally to grow and evolve as individuals who can set good examples and lead a life of happiness and success. Because if you really think about it, it is easier than we make itout to be. You don't always need what you think, you only need what you have to have to survive comfortably, and while things might feel like the end of the world, that will not happen and the problems we have created will not go away, they are there for us to deal with or be burdened by.

I know I am young, and I may sound like my head is in the clounds now that I have no job to make me feel like a grown up, I miss the consistency, and the challenge, and the way I feel after knowing that I did a good job and made the best choices. For those of you who read this and have wiser knowledge to add to this, please feel free. I am still growing, and Iove to hear others opinions, lessons, and encouragements.

Happy Living!!