I have been thinking recently about things that I would have done differently when I was younger. Things that if I would have done them or started them back then, I would be way more ahead now. Or if things didn’t go as planned the failures would not be as bad as if I failed now (especially since I have a family and a kid now). So here are my 8 pieces of advice that I would give to my younger college aged self.
- Stop Worrying About Everyone Else
When I was younger I was always trying to fit in and always worried if someone else was having more fun than I was. I worried about whether I was fitting in, getting better grades than others, or that I was missing out on all the fun everyone else seemed to be having. If I had just taken in everything that I was actually doing. Tried my best to be the best version of me and stopped trying to impress people I would have been a lot happier.
Whenever and wherever you are network. It doesn’t matter if the person is the head of a company or just one of your peers. Spending time getting to know other people will really help when the time comes that you need something such as trying to get a job out of school, starting your own business, or even just needing a mentor to help you out. Putting yourself out there and then keeping in touch with people will really help you in the long run. Especially if you have an internship. Do not waste that time just putting in your hours and trying to get a job at that same company. Spend that time meeting as many people as you can because they can eventually help you get ahead. I did not use the time at my internship wisely.
- Get the Certification
Whether you want to become a certified personal trainer, life coach or anything else. Use this time while you are young to spend the money, study your butt off and get that certification. You may not keep up with it down the road but it might help you if you need to work a job from home or if you ever decide to be a stay at home mom. I am always wishing that I would have got my personal training certification so that maybe I could be training a couple clients during the week. Enough to even give me a little spending money or something. If your issue is that you don’t have the money, save up! Save what you can from birthdays and stuff until you have enough to take those classes and tests.
- Stop Spending Money On Cheap Clothes & Start Paying Off Debt
All that money that I spent at Forever 21 could have definitely been used more wisely. Now, I’m not saying splurge a little bit here and there but do you really need to have the latest trends in your closet when you have student loans that need to be paid off? Do you really need to go on every spring break booze cruise when you could work a little more and pay off your credit card? I wish I would have paid extra onto all my student loans instead of acting like I needed to go on shopping sprees every time I went to a new city. It is definitely better to take in all the experiences rather than take home all the stuff.
- Get a Side Hustle
Whether it be a second job or some sort of online side hustle. Then with that second income, save all of it. Use it to save up for a house, pay off debt, or invest in something that can grow over time. At one point I did have a second job and I really wish now that I would not have combined that money into my normal income or that I did not just think of that money as extra fun money to do whatever I wanted with it.
- Read for Your Own Research & Knowledge
If there is a business or topic that you would like to know more about spend the time doing research on it. Learn as much as you can about those subjects, in addition to what you are already learning in your classes. Especially if there is an area that you struggle in. Spend that time to teach yourself how to become better.
- Stop Watching TV
Stop sitting there binge watching TV. Spend that time creating some sort of product or service that will help create an extra income for yourself or do something that will help better the world. Find something that you are passionate about and do that instead of getting sucked into reality TV and watching everyone live their lives while you just sit on your butt.
- Go After that Dream
Now is the time to take chances. Now is the time to go to those auditions if you want to try acting. Or take those singing classes if you think you want to be a singer. If you want to take a semester off to go backing through Europe do it because if you keep putting it off and thinking that someday the time will be right to try it just keeps getting harder and harder to find that time once you have more responsibilities.
I hope that some of you can learn a few things from this and realize that no matter what just having the confidence to be yourself and realize what you want to do is a great thing. Just don’t keep putting things off until it is a struggle to find the time to do them. If you want something go after it!