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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
I would appreciate some worldly advice by ilikelaughs on 10 April 2012 4:57am
Oh god, I haven't been on here in ages, (hence the 7th grade username).
I don't know what's struck me recently, but now more than ever I really need help from, well, absolute strangers from all over the world.

Here's the deal: I'm less than three months away from graduating high school now and I'm worried that with all of my anxiousness to leave and travel, I'm going to mess everything up and have a nervous breakdown before I actually graduate.
I would really like some advice from people who've actually been through it, how do I survive these last couple months?

I feel like I've tried everything. I know that my grades are going to make me a lot happier in the long run, but as soon as I start fantasizing about "the long run" - aka "life" - it just makes it even harder to focus on school.
In theory I have all the right motivation to to work through it, but I can't stop cursing my situation. It feels pathetic. Why can't I just embrace it? Or even just stick it out?

It's nice to be able to talk to a community of travelers and not just a bunch of stuck-up old farts who've lived in the same place their whole lives.
Pardon my anger,
Re: I would appreciate some worldly advice by outbasket on 10 April 2012 6:53pm
You are lucky that you are thinking about traveling at a young age. I was nearly twice your age before I thought about it. The 80 days series provided some motivation. Just get the degree and don't think so much. Also consider teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) if you need to make money as you travel. Perhaps you can focus your excess energy on getting a TEFL online which takes 2 to 3 months. I have friends that taught in Chiang Mai Thailand. They had a great time visiting the surrounding countries during their time off.

You have so much to look forward too. There are so many opportunities beyond our borders. Just finish off that degree as it will build your confidence and open doors.
Re: I would appreciate some worldly advice by Loretto on 10 April 2012 7:00pm
Hi Ella,

You are graduating from High School? So you are about 18/19? If you haven't booked your travel tickets yet, don't do it until the middle or end of the summer. Work in a job, part time or full time if you can find one prior to leaving. You'll have some extra money for your travels and also, because you are not travelling the day after graduation, you'll focus more on the books.

The world isn't going to go anywhere, it will still be there for you to explore but, in my opinion, your education is the priority right now.

You'll want to go to college after High School I imagine? So keep those grades up, do your SATs and get all of that out of the way, then go travelling.

Hope that helps,
Best to you, and safe travels! And good look with the exams.

Re: I would appreciate some worldly advice by Ken Dunn on 10 April 2012 10:50pm
Be patient and daydream about your travel plans for a break from your work to graduation. Try not to daydream while doing homework/assignments/exams/classes as you may miss something that would get higher marks. It is possible to do things unrelated to your studies which you enjoy, and still get good grades, so be sure to get a fair balance between the two.
Re: I would appreciate some worldly advice by tucsonmike on 11 April 2012 2:06am
Hi Ella,
I can hear the other Palinites, "Oh dear, Mike is gonna ask questions again, and be philosophical.":)

First of all Ella, what do you enjoy doing? That will certainly determine where you travel.

Second: How much money do you have to invest in traveling?

Third: Where do you live now? (No point in me finding out you live in AZ and telling you to travel here). :)

Fourth: I am going to add to something Loretto said. Put off your trip until later. Depending on where you go, you might be able to use it for resume experience later.

Re: I would appreciate some worldly advice by ilikelaughs on 11 April 2012 5:31am
WOW I did not expect such positive, thoughtful responses. Thank you, all of you.

outbasket: Yes, Michael Palin's travels only fueled my desire even more! I would actually love to learn more about TEFL! I always thought I would have to get that certification in university, but is there some way I can do it online during a gap year, say?

Loretto: Yes, high school. I'm 17, 18 next February, (abnormal for my grade, most of my friends are 18) I never thought of that but yes that's definitely wise not to travel right after school/exams or else I wouldn't be able to focus at all! I have a small trip planned for August (haven't bought tix yet) to visit friends in New Orleans, Venezuela & Trinidad. Yes I'm planning on working very hard before the trip. I must say, when I read, "The world isn't going to go anywhere, it will still be there for you to explore" it felt as though a big chunk of my anxiety was lifted. I think other people in my life have tried to say that but didn't say it right. They've told me "you've got your whole life ahead of you" - that just makes me think that I won't travel until I'm very, very old, or "you'll probably have lots of opportunities to travel in your life" - well, that "probably" is determined by me, not fate. And yes, I must keep my goals in mind. Although I'm not going to university right away, I still want to in the next couple years. I have a Math diploma at the end of June (Canada's equivalent to an SAT). That helped very much. Thanks for the luck.

Ken: I definitely like your advice on daydreaming. I fear I may have been carried away by it, (in math class when I should've been learning logarithms). I concur it can get distracting. Thank you for the advice to still find something I enjoy. I think I forgot about that. Only recently I picked up a good novel for the first time in ages. I haven't felt like I'm allowing myself much personal time, which I need. Like you say "a fair balance".

Mike: Oh but where would we be without philosophical thought? I'm glad to have the opportunity to think about it.
What do I like doing?
I'm a writer. I do improv comedy in and outside school and I write funny songs, so as you may have guessed I became a Palin fan from Python. I know some people call it a crazy pursuit but I'm going to go after it as long as I can. I'm also interested in communication studies and history so when I do go to university I'll be getting into those. The trip I have planned this August is mostly to visit friends and to have a break, then in the winter or spring 2013 I was going to go to London with a friend and try to pursue my funny songs with stand-up.

That's all a matter of working after I graduate. I'll only have a little bit set out for my trip to Trinidad etc. and then I'll have to keep working.

I live in Calgary, Canada right now. I love Canada but Calgary is a conservative town and doesn't have much in the department of trying to pursue entertainment.

I will be figuring out work-exchanges for most of my traveling in the next year since I won't have much money. Also I've been researching house sitting - a good job for me since I have experience with cats and dogs. I am trying to make my way to London both for a vacation and to try to make it as a "funny Canadian" there or something.

What a great community there is on this site. I guess it says a lot about MP that he has such thoughtful, intelligent fans.
Also I wanted to say that my mood has definitely changed. I felt exasperated when I posted this, but with all of your help, my future feels brighter.

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