I am 17 years old and a senior in highschool. i feel like im not prepared for the future, because i can hardly do anything on my own as it is. i am the most incompetant person i know. i feel like im destined to have a dead end job for the rest of my life and it makes me sad. any advice?

A: Sure. At 17, you have your whole life ahead of you. Stop with the self-pity and get busy. I don’t know how it is that you got to your senior year without developing skills but here’s the thing: You’re 17, not 90. You have time on your side. Make a list of what you need to know: managing money, basic skills for taking care of yourself (shopping, cooking, cleaning), and getting a job. Any job that gets you a paycheck will do for now.

If your parents are willing to have you stay at home for awhile, negotiate a clear contract with them. You don’t want to sink back into babyhood. You want to use the time to grow.

The best way to keep you and your parents feeling good about the project is to create a plan and stick to it as best you can. An article that appeared on PsychCentral has some specific pointers. Although written for parents, the tips there may help you and your folks figure out how to help you gain the skills you need to get out on your own.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie