It was probably when I watched the movie “17 Again” that I started thinking about what I would do differently if I was indeed 17 once again.
I work with hundreds of 20 somethings, and I end up listening to their stories and offering advice on a near daily basis. Below are the things I tell them over and over. Perhaps it will help the 20 somethings in your life too.
(These are in no particular order.)
1. Live out of state once. Experience another way of living. Try new food. Spread your wings a bit.
2. Live alone once. It is nice to know that the all the messes in your house are the ones you made. (Or you might realize you are the slob.) Nevertheless, you will learn a lot about yourself, how to entertain yourself, and this might be your only chance to do this while you are young.
3. Take those chances. I am not talking the crazy ones, but when you have the chance to take the route you have always taken or try something new, try the new thing.
4. Pick up the phone and call (not text) your elderly family members. You’ll miss them when they are gone.
5. Date that guy (or gal) who actually pursues you. Don’t try to make something work that does not seem to be working in a dating relationship. It will only get harder. People used to tell me that when you met “the one,” you would know. I did not understand this until it happened to me. You’ll know it when it happens. You won’t have to try to force it.
6. Live on less than you make. Save up for bigger and better things than just the daily necessities. Don’t get in debt. Try to live as debt-free as possible. Your life will be easier later on if you chose this route.
7. Sleep on it. Things often feel better in the morning and much worse at night. The next day could give you a clearer perspective.
8. Travel. Go see the world. (Keep #6 in mind while doing it.) There are ways to do this cheaply like www.studentuniverse.com plane tickets.
9. Learn to enjoy the company of yourself. #2 will help with this, but find a solitary hobby and just be content with “me time.” You’ll need that sometimes, even if you are an extrovert.
10. Make sure when you ask for a recommendation letter, ask if the person can give you a “good” recommendation letter. I’ve read too many bad recommendation letters, and students need to think about who they ask to do those carefully. (Make sure that you form relationships with people besides your peers to be able to make this happen.)