Expectations vs Reality; Life Then & Now

Expectations vs Reality - four family polaroidsRemember back when you were in secondary school & thought being 25 was old…

Adulthood seemed so easy; as if it was a smooth transition from our teen years. You would be hanging around town with your mates doing absolutely nothing & watching said adults go about their day. Turns out the reality is far from our expectations, life isn’t such a easy transition & well 25 is definitely not old!!

Back when I was 12, 14 or even 16 I thought life would follow a pattern or at least follow the plan I had set out for myself. Well it turns out a few of my expectations really didn’t match up with the reality of adult life. My life has taken a lot of twists & turns that I didn’t expect. I’m in a very different place now, probably in a place I would never have thought possible for someone like me. I’m a fully fledged adult who doesn’t feel very much like an adult so lets take a look at a few of my teen expectations vs reality of life in the here & now.

Expectations vs Reality || Life then & now

My educational path would be as follows; GCSEs, College, Uni. I think this one most of us thought would be ideal thanks to the fact is pretty much shoved down our throats by everyone at that age. Turns out I did one out of three of those steps correctly. I did pretty well on my GCSEs but then I flopped at college. Not too much of a flop cause I did get into uni but that turned out to not be me. My course wasn’t ideal, the people weren’t as nice as expected & my mental health reached a critical low. I said bye bye to uni & was much happier. Later on I did go back to college, did private courses & I am planning to go back to uni but on my own terms. Bugger the plan set out for us at such a vulnerable age!

I would be working in a skilled job. Thanks to my teen goals of achieving my uni degree I also planned to be in a skilled type job by now. Y’no the one that I worked so hard to get & would easily find after uni….. Well technically I am in a skilled job but its not the kind I imagined. My expectation was to be a marriage counsellor whereas I am now working as a dispenser in a pharmacy instead. I’ve also done a few crappy jobs along the way & dipped my toe in a bunch of different skills.

I would own a house by 25. This one makes me chuckle because in reality I could have achieved this is I was smarter with money & chose to live in Wales earlier. House prices in Wales are way more achievable than in England so I could potentially own a house by now. Turns out I spent a bunch of my late teens & early 20s spending stupid money, not saving & moving around like an idiot. My life took different turns with meant I just didn’t have the stability to save or earn the money I needed. Plus house prices aren’t achievable everywhere so this was one of those silly expectations vs reality I think most of us teens had.

I would be married by 25 & kids to follow. I honestly thought 25 was a fully fledged adult age so I always expected to have found the one & married him by now. Granted I was in a very long term relationship for most of my late teens by still marriage by 25 is a big of a steep goal. The reality is I’m 25 in a very happy relationship; saving for a house & expecting my first child very soon. Definitely different to how I expected things to happen.

I would know what I want & be happy. Life as a teenager felt like a maze. I was trying to work out what I wanted from life, who I wanted to be & how to be happy. It’s not blooming easy that’s for sure but you do expect it to get easier as you get older. Well it turns out life doesn’t fall into place as you get older & you’re still in that maze trying to work out where you want to go. I am much happier now but that has been a slow process. I still get worked up & I still have days where I hate life but hey I’m in a much better place now then I was then

So there’s a few of my life expectations vs reality that my lovely teen self planned in her very confused head. I can’t deny that even though my life didn’t take the path I imagined I am pleased with how it turned out. I’m 25 & working towards goals that seem much more achievable & well fitted for me.

I still feel too young to really class myself as an adult but hey I’m trying my best over here!

Shelley xx

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