Life Is Scary

Hi, i have no clue if i’m actually allowed to ask questions like this here, but i’m giving it a shot anyway.

I’m 17 and only couple weeks away from doing my GCSEs, i’m feeling nervous about my life after School. It makes me really uncomfortable that once GCSEs are over, i’ll never be able to experience something with a similar peer structure or anything alike (maybe college perhaps). Ive never known life without the structure and the ‘personality’ of school. I’m scared that i’ll no longer be eligible for things like cadets and similar peer groups like the big standard school classes.

I’ve came out of school with a few friends, but not ones that i think a relationship outside of a school workplace would last. I know that there’s obviously clubs for adults and things alike, but in view it will never be the same as when you’re a kid or a teenager. I’ve always been incredibly socially anxious and nervous and am honestly terrified that i’ll just die alone.

I have absolutely no clue what i want to do or be when i’m older or what to study in my future years. I’m honestly really put off things like the military or RAF (etc) since i have a crippling toilet anxiety (no clue what to call it) and honestly terrified at thought thought of wars like WW3.

Im not sure if i’m just in a depressive phase right now, but i’m hoping the air cadets will help change my outlook. If it helps, i have undiagnosed anxiety, we feel like i’m pretty much guaranteed to have it since the majority of my family have problems with it and i share the same symptoms.

No pressure to reply to this post, but if you feel like you’re opinions or views could help me it would be appreciated! :slight_smile:


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Sat GCSE’s last year so i get where you’re coming from. People our age join cadets all the time, youre still going to find a place in the squadron if you do decide to join, and i wholly recommend you do. Leaving secondary has its pros and cons as does anything, so i’d say make the most of it while its lasting and enjoy the summer you’ve got ahead, but don’t think everything’s going to get worse after because it wont. If you’re going to college then you’ll have loads of downtime for yourself, to work or go to the gym or do literally anything. If you go to a sixth form you’ll still generally find it to be more relaxed than secondary. things will be okay for you moving forwards.

Obviously joining cadets right before exams may or may not be a good decision depending on how much revision you plan to do, or how much you stress about your exams. Personally, i didn’t take time away from cadets for my exams, but i also didn’t do any revision. only you can decide what the best way to balance those two are.

if you do decide to pursue cadets, i hope you enjoy it and get as much as you can out of it. And either way, good luck with your exams.

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Well done for trying to reach out, that cant have been easy for you. It is daunting when your considering your future, have you spoken with a careers person about your concerns about your future plans? They can help and guide you about possible options - the good news is whatever happens in your GCSE’s that cadets is helping you develop some important life skills that can help you in the future for jobs or courses. It’s not always a given that you have to progress to the military just because your in cadets , you can also enjoy it for its own sake.

There are lots of options to meet new people when you leave school, in fact you can potentially stay with cadets till your 20 - that might ease the transition and make things easier. I think based on what you have said that reaching out to a freind or family or even a counsellor to talk about your fears would be a good idea

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Thanks, i’ll look into those options. Have a good night!

There’s a lot to unpack in your comment, but there’s one thing I want to pick up on in particular.

Let’s make the response to this crystal clear. It is only a very small percentage of people who actually know what they want to do with themselves; even in adulthood. Most of the CFAVs on here will be in the same position as myself; a very vague idea of where we want to go and what we want to achieve, but no actual set goal.

There’s a quote I want you to remember; “the journey is better than the destination”

Through the fact that I’ve had no idea what I’ve wanted to do with my life, and through following the above quote and taking on every opportunity that’s presented itself, I’ve had the following experiences:

-Carried the flag for England at Twickenham (x6)
-Trekked the Central American rainforests
-Hiked temperate glaciers in New Zealand
-Made Belgian TV news
-Invited to Lucy Lawless’s house (and said yes!)
-Worked with impoverished children globally
-Made London’s political leaders change policy
-Managed part of a Rugby World Cup
-Ran the London Marathon twice

All of the above excludes everything I achieved with the cadets too.

Other people on this forum will have similar experiences they can share. The moral, from my perspective, is a simple one; you don’t need to know where you’re going and you don’t need to have a fixed destination in mind - just follow the opportunities as they come up and you’ll have an amazing time.

Sometimes, when we’re so fixated on achieving a single goal, we have to become blinkered to the other opportunities around us. So do understand that you’re in a privileged position to be able to be open to the opportunities that will present themselves to you. The pressure is to make sure you recognise those opportunities when they arise and take them.


Im nearly 35 and still dont know what i want to do!!

Not knowing is fine!


Thanks for all of the comments, you’re all so kind! this has really helped me.

Maybe try a profiling quiz like Myers Briggs? Can be helpful in understanding what “floats your boat”! A mix of networks like clubs at college (sports, music or whatever) helps too - no one gang has got everything… What sort of people do you enjoy being around? Some stuff you try won’t work, and that’s fine, honest! And things will change as you get older anyway :slight_smile: thanks for a great post!