There are a lot of decisions that I made after graduating from college that I still resonate with 7 years later, and there are plenty of things that I would have loved to advise myself of in the years prior. Whether it is at age 22, age 40, or age 18 - many of us have wished that "...if I could have told myself this years ago!"
The simpler things that come to mind as far as advice goes are things that I would have told my teenage self. I would have told my younger self to always come home on time for curfew - really, what is a few minutes in the grand scheme of things? Though a curfew certainly doesn't apply in adult life directly, it does in a sense. It has to do with respect for your parents (and as an adult your roommates/spouse, and it also has to do with making responsible decisions...don't stay out until the bars close when you have to work first thing in the morning. Trust me, your body won't be too happy, especially when you're older. Also, I would have told myself not to speed. Really, we all know that we see the same car that flew past us on the highway 30 minutes later only 4 cars ahead. I can tell you from experience, it wasn't worth the speeding tickets in high school - especially when I was late because of speeding ang getting caught, that was a double whammy! Leave an extra 10-15 minutes earlier for work, you can always relax and read a book, check your personal e-mail, or call a loved one in this extra stress-free time in the morning!
When I graduated college in December of 2009, I decided that I did not want to get a job until the following spring so that I could follow my desire to compete on the amateur (and eventually professional) circuit in snowboarding - boardercross (and a few freeride events as well). I worked a number of part-time jobs so that I could truly experience life in the way that I wanted to. I lived life for me and I did what I wanted to do - which was compete in snowboarding. My life has certainly changed in a number of ways since this time, but I still live life for me and make sure to enjoy every day!
Now I find myself working a career based job, writing a blog with three other women, delving into other endeavors on the side (which I will share more when the time is right), but I still live life for me. Some people that I know put their dreams and aspirations on a shelf and find themselves chasing dreams that their culture suggests that we should have. I've always fought (in a social sense) to live my life the way that it needs to be for my happiness to blossom and pass on to other people - friends, acquaintances, and strangers that I meet along the way. Live life with a smile on, find the job(s) that are right for you, make sure to spread the sparkle in life and it will come back to you in countless ways!
Certainly everybody grows up in a sense at some point and chooses another pathway that lends to a hopefully brighter future, but don't leave your dreams behind. I find that it is important to stay true to yourself and to always move forwards not only in a professional sense but in a personal sense as well. I may be swamped with work at times, but I still make sure to find a work/life harmony...I make time for me, and I make sure that I enjoy everything that I do. Be true to yourself! I make sure to harmonize between work, play and rest. Personally, the hardest of these three to focus on is the rest. It may sound funny, but I find myself actually scheduling time for rest. Last Sunday I planned to not have a plan, and it was quite a relaxing day! Find what works for you, and make it a part of your life - invest in your physical and emotional well-being and you will prosper and blossom in countless ways!
One thing that I wish I could have learned sooner than I did was to never settle for less than I deserve. I mean this in every sense - from personal relationships to business relationships to living situations and so on and so forth. I've been in romantic relationships that held me back from my full potential on multiple levels. I have lived in housing situations that may have been easier in a sense, but also have been unhealthy and/or did not lead me to move forwards in life or to advance in a way that developed my character to the fullest possible extent. Sometimes it is hard to realize that you are settling, but take a step back every now and then and ask yourself what is working for you and what is not working in your favor. It is important to surround yourself with the right people. I mean this in the sense of your coworkers, friends, lovers, and everybody else you communicate with on a daily to weekly to monthly basis. You have the power to change your life for the better!
Live life, love life, live the life you love - you only have one life to live!
Originally published on LinkedIn Pulse on May 31, 2016: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/advice-young-adults-world-ifiwere22-summer-weirich?trk=mp-reader-card
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