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The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World - How to Become a Successful Adult

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2007 … It is a new year filled with possibilities and resolutions. School just started last week for all of the students in San Antonio. It’s especially going to be an exciting year for high school seniors. There’s one girl at my church who continues to say, “It’s my last semester! Yay!” This is the time of the year when senioritis reaches epidemic proportions. This is high school seniors’ last spring semester before making it to “the end,” before becoming an adult … before arriving to THE REAL WORLD!



Concerns
The Teenager\'s Guide to the Real WorldExciting? Not for me when I was a senior. Who wants the real world? I sure was not looking forward to it when I graduated. In the “real world” people have more responsibilities and the majority are forced to go to work everyday from 9-5 often at a crummy, boring job while kissing up to a jerk boss. Thankfully, that is not the case with me. :) No, I was not looking forward to THAT life. In fact, like many high school seniors, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. What was my next step? Typically, the next step would be college. But what classes would I take and what major should I pursue? More importantly, what would be my livelihood after college. My goals, to what would I devote my time? People just assumed that Allan had it all together and planned out. I was voted the most likely to succeed and be famous … yet I didn’t even have a plan or a clue. Sadly, not just seniors, but many older people these days don’t have any direction in life or a clue about life.

College
howstuff.gifI ended up becoming an undeclared-major, “taking my basics,” university student. At the end of my first semester, I still didn’t have a clue. I searched online taking personality tests and career tests. I read through articles citing the most lucrative jobs or the fastest growing industries. When I thought I had nothing, I discovered The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World Online. The site contained a lot of good articles, which I later learned were anecdotes of an actual book The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World. It was written by Marshall Brain, the genius who started the popular (and interestingly informative) How Stuff Works website.

The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World
I bought the actual book and read the entire paperback in a week. I learned so many important lessons from this book. There are more things to worry about in real world than just a job. Think of money management, love, recreation, religion, laws etc. Brain explains things that seem obvious - like the negative impact of drugs, teen pregnancies and television - in a different light. It made avoiding those mistakes easier and logical. While the title states that it is the “teenager’s guide,” so many other people can benefit from this book. It’s amazing how people who have “braved” the real world for years still do not know a clue about how to live in it. Marshall Brain says,

This is the book I wish someone had handed me when I was a teenager. It explains the game of life and how you why adults do the tings they do. It will help you become a successful adult yourself.

I can’t fully describe why this book is so great. It is actually one of the best books I’ve ever read … and I like to read. But as LeVar Burton from the Reading Rainbow says, “Don’t take my word for it!”

So, the New Year just began. I don’t even like New Year’s Resolutions or self-help book (which this genre borderlines). But if any, I recommend finishing this book and applying its principles to be your New Year’s Resolution.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

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