Thursday, August 22, 2013

You’re Dangerously Close to 30: Thoughts on My 20s and What I Wish I Knew Then




1.) EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT LOANS
Just because you can borrow it, doesn't mean you should.


When you’re in college and borrowing all that money, it’s hard to have a firm grasp on what exactly roughly 100k looks like in real life.  I worked in retail all through college and graduate school and never made much more than minimum wage, so it was hard for me to conceptualize what that amount of money really adds up to.  In retrospect, I wish I had applied for scholarships and been smarter about where I got my money from or how much more I borrowed for “books.”  I also would have reevaluated where I went to school, perhaps choosing a campus that was more budget-friendly. What have learned since that time though, is that educating yourself about financial security is always beneficial, no matter what age you are. Ask questions, and don't assume that everyone else has it all together (because chances are they're in debt too).
2.) DON'T GET LOCKED INTO A TIMELINE

You’re certainly not getting married by 28 or having your first baby by 30...at least I don’t think you are.

As I get closer and closer to this “deadline,” I feel less ready for that stage in my life.  Somehow, at 18, I imagined my life differently at this point…. I thought I would feel like more of an adult, and I’m not quite sure that’s true. Being unmarried and childless in your late 20s feels like some sort of limbo that you may not want to be in, but you should enjoy the hell out of it.  Oh, and try your best not to get sucked into the "all my friends are getting married and having babies" (it's hard, I know). More on this topic in a future post.

3.) TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

That voice inside your head that you try to ignore isn't going anywhere so pay attention to it.

Pretty self explanatory, but chances are your initial assessment of someone or a situation is correct.   That guy you like, but is a super bad-ass? RUN. That job that just doesn’t feel right? Don’t take it. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between fear and instinct, but if you quiet your mind, and don’t over think the reasons why you feel the way you feel, you’ll know your truth.  And not to get all woo-woo on you, but it can’t hurt to ask the universe for some guidance or direction.  I’ve found that when you put something out there, more often than not, you get what you want need.

4.) YOU REALLY ARE SKINNY...NO SERIOUSLY

125 pounds is not fat... it just isn't.

I lost about 30 pounds in college… and still spent a significant amount of time believing I wasn’t skinny enough. Now having gained back the majority of that weight in my post-25-metabolism body, I see now how much time I wasted judging myself. This is still something I struggle with daily, and I’m sure in 10 years I’ll look back at my 27-year-old body longingly, but I find as I get older I become more comfortable in my own skin.

5.) FACEBOOK IS GOING TO BE HUGE

Don’t post that picture of you doing a keg stand.

Again, pretty self-explanatory, but when I was a freshman in college, Facebook had just come out.  No one knew what it was really, and I distinctly remember needing a college email address just to sign up.  So much has changed now since that time and there are a lot of things I wish I hadn’t said...or done. My recommendation to anyone is to be very cautious what you share on the interwebs, because it’s permanent, and there’s always someone listening or looking. No one needs to see your half-naked halloween costume, unless you enjoy your future employment encourages that sort of thing.