Just got done with high school, when does life start getting complicated?

<p>Hey, my high school graduation was last night, and as soon as i got my diploma in my hand my mom told me that she's done paying my weight (except for college and car insurance). I live in Florida and I plan on going to my local cc then transferring to ucf,usf or fau to study advertising/mass communications (I've taken high school courses and liked it). I have also been working a legitimate job (at Winn-dixie) since the very first day of high-school. i never had plans on going to college until I started working that terrible job (which im still employed), it has open my eyes a little about the importance of education. My grades in high school weren't great, my gpa is like a 2.8, I've been through some things through out hs, I dropped 70 pounds from freshmen to senior year, I had depression (my best friend was shot and killed like right in front of me -_-). My mother has a masters and is a teacher and my father is in prison, my step has a doctorates and is a professor at our local community college. I come from a very pro black, conservative, christian family, yet I am the complete opposite( long dreads and lots of tattoos and piercings). My plans after college are to join the peace corps and then do non profit work as a career, I don't really care about making a bunch of money (like at all really), enough to just be able have a decent apartment, pay bills and have a little left over for myself. My mother dosent really like the path i plan on taking, she wants me to be a engineer (or some s&^% like that), she tells me that I will have a complicated life if I don't "act normal". In all honesty I just want to be myself and make a livable income. However, being so young I don't really understand whats to come in life so I don't really know if just "being myself" is even an option when it comes to being a responsible adult? (</p>

<p>I'm reading much self awareness in between your words. You have a plan. You know how to get there. Go to CC and transfer. Work for the Peace Corps. You've discovered what you enjoy: mass communications and advertising. I see nothing "wrong" with your plan. I tell my kids to follow their hearts and passions and lead their lives. "Acting normal" is a relative expressions. One person's acting normal is not another person's acting normal. Be a law abiding, aware, productive, caring citizen of this world, support yourself and those you love. That kind of "normal" would make me extremely proud if it described my boys.</p>

<p>You have a good start. You have graduated from high school. You have held a part time job for 4 years. You have a plan, even if your mother doesn't like it. And it's a reasonable plan. My only advice in this area is do not limit yourself. Think big. Sky's the limit. That sort of thing.</p>

<p>I think, and I am guessing, that what your mother is referring to as complications for not 'acting normal' is code for engaging in behaviors that get you involved in the criminal justice system. Stay far far away from that stuff. </p>

<p>In addition, she is probably suggesting (and I concur) that you do not start a family unless you are in a committed, permanent relationship. That sort of thing -- child support, paternity issues, can complicate your life pretty quickly. Could be categorized as "don't engage in behaviors that will take you to family court."</p>

<p>By the sounds of things, your life has already been complicated! It sounds like you're on the right track. I aspire to do non-profit work as well, but it's hard right now because I owe so much for school. You say you don't need a lot of money, and I'm sure you don't, but take the time to look up how much that decent apartment is a month, and how much it will cost for phone bill, internet, car, whatever you intend to have just so you're walking in to whatever you choose to do with eyes wide open. That is what I wish I had done. Keep yourself informed and get an education, and you'll be fine.</p>

<p>Congratulations on your graduation. Sounds like getting there required over-coming some big challenges. Good for you! Your future plans also sound realistic and attainable. Next steps:</p>

<p>1) Find a few supportive adults who can help mentor and guide you through the next few years at a minimum. Parents can only take you so far on this particular journey. Go to your professors' office hours and talk to them. Find a coach or spiritual leader who you like and trust. Get to know the guidance staff at your CC. Find some former peace corp volunteers who can tell you how best to prepare. Look for role models and ask how they got where they are. Finding adults who know the ropes, and ideally are looking out for you, will make your path a lot easier.</p>

<p>2) Set up a budget and stick to it. You need to know what things cost and how you will pay for them. It's not about being rich-it's about being independent. You don't get to claim full independence as an adult until you are financially independent. Once you've achieved that, you can say to your mom, "I love you. I know you care. But I'm finding my own way just fine so please respect my choices." </p>

<p>3) Choose friends whose aspirations mirror your own: Those who have goals and are working towards them will be supportive of you doing the same. Friends who are on a different track will distract and divert you. </p>

<p>4) The hardest part is not losing perspective when things occasionally go wrong: It's easy to get down on yourself for mistakes, but everyone screws up once in a while. Find ways to make yourself feel better that aren't destructive. </p>

<p>There is nothing like a dead end job to convince someone that it's worth it to work for something better. Sounds like you've been there, done that. Good luck.</p>