Scotty McCreery quickly went from typical high-school student to household name after winning the tenth season of "American Idol" last year. The North Carolina native celebrated his win by crossing the country on the American Idols Live tour, and then kicked off 2012 by serving as an opening act on Brad Paisley's Virtual Reality world tour. It was a lot for the teenager to absorb.

"It was tough at first," the former grocery-store clerk tells CMT. "For 17 years of your life, you live every day at home -- and you see your friends every single day -- and then all of a sudden, poof, you're on the road and don't see them for five months at a time.

"I'm in a catch-22," continues the upcoming college freshman. "Sometimes I miss my friends, but then when I'm with my friends I miss the performing. We are still trying to find that balance."

The "Water Tower Town" singer, who typically catches a flight home after each Saturday night show so he can make it to church on Sunday, says his grueling schedule is his way of saying thanks to his loyal followers. "I love getting in front of the fans," Scotty notes. "Especially the ones who voted me through on 'Idol.'"

Scotty will add even more to his schedule in the fall, when he heads to North Carolina State University, but he's already plotting ways to make it all go smoothly. "We're not going to take a full week's load of classes," he tells The Boot. "Probably like a two-day schedule. That's the initial plan, but we'll see what works out. It will be a balance for sure. We'll figure it out."

The Virtual Reality world tour has upcoming shows in New York, New Jersey and Wyoming. Keep track of the trek's itinerary here.

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