July 18, 2013

What's The "Real World" Like?

What Mandy Thinks: "Words Of Advice" post
What does this daunting term mean?  I'd rather call it "the world of real" instead because it sounds less scary and slightly Shakespearean.

The "real world" is a seemingly attainable period in everyone's life that is reached after high school and/or college when all responsibility and "being a grown-up" is supposed to start and continue for the rest of adulthood.  It's a time when you should have a job(s), bills, housing, and all the rest of adulthood managed.  The worry-less kid life is over so expect your blood pressure heightened and the fun to end.

Personally, I hate this "real world" term.  It makes me feel like I have to conform to a fun-less, overloaded reality of never-ending bills, stress, and anxiety where all my friends leave me and my stomach is never filled with enough food.  Through growing up, school is supposed to prepare you for the adult life with knowledge of our history, how 2+2=4, running around a track field keeps you active somehow, and the worlds we speak used in books in certain ways change their meaning.  Yet a lot of what the "real world" is all about isn't covered in school or isn't required to be like money management, how to do taxes, etc while all those Revolutionary War lessons fall by the way side (unless you end up in a history-based field so congrats to you).  Life knowledge seems to be something we need to figure out on our own or from somewhere else because the "real world" is all about diving into the unknown and figuring it out as you go along.

I call BS.

One of my favorite authors John Green has a video on his vlogbrothers channel about the real world.  It's not just the video that introduced me to the vlogbrothers but is also my all-time favorite vlogbrothers video appropriately shown to me weeks before graduating college myself.  It's called "How to Become An Adult:"

"Find someone who's doing something you want to do better than you can do it and listen to them."

This wonderfully fantastic advice seems to go against the "you're on your own" reality that the "real world" hovers over you like an anvil about to drop.  The whole growing up thing has prepared you to finding out what you really want to do with this world of real of which you dive into.  If you're not prepared by then, you've got the rest of this world of real to figure it out while wading through the less-fulfilling stuff to survive.  Either way you discover your passion is completely normal and totally up to you because everybody is different.

What is completely the same for everybody is that life has chapters, not end-all-be-all acts.  The world of real is not even one of them but ALL OF THEM.  Your world is as real as it always has been no matter how old you are or where you are in life.  Every day you gather life knowledge and use it for each future chapter to come which you can either plan for or let happen or both because life is gloriously hard to predict.  Go forth through your world of real as you see fit whether you're in the "crushing monotony and paralyzing terror" chapter or somewhere around it.  Your chapters come at your own time, so enjoy your world of real at your pace.

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