Life is short. In the long term.
- Embrace Change
Everything seems to change as you reach twenty. School, relationships, parents, everything. The reality is that becoming an adult is a major life shift that sort of just happens. Of course that sort of change happens at different speeds for different people. Some leave their childhood home at eighteen, others stay home well into their twenties. Whether you are one of the other, things will change for you. Having lived at home, abroad, with family and alone, change is something I became accustomed to. Nothing is ever the same for too long. Now if only I could get over change as not necessarily progressive…..
- Seek Adventure
I have been a student for most of my twenties. First an undergraduate and then a graduate. While school builds tips and tools for success in life, it leaves you trapped in a lot of ways. The failure is that school, especially university, right after high school, can feel like a continuation. It is more than easy to uncritically take what our parents want from us (immigrant parents and their doctor/lawyer/engineer dreams) and treat undergrad like a high school continuation. The truth is university is a different beast. Take an arts class, learn theoretical physics, take a semester off, take one abroad. University is more about exploring the world than getting any one type of knowledge. Understand that.
Take your time and plan your adventures, because more than enough people I know have gone from school to work, then all their adventures are planned for them, on a two week schedule.
- Be Critical
Adulthood is essentially one big lie. Stay woke and question it all. The amount of advice, planning and self help out there is meant to open our eyes yet none of that matters without a critical lens to what we hear. As an adult for the first time it is easy to pick paths already trotted. There is nothing wrong with that. Even if you choose ‘the road less travelled’ make sure it is a decision you made by properly criticizing the people, facts and opinions of everyone and everything. Unlike adolescence there is nothing you have to do. Everything is a choice, and every choice should be properly examined to see who you are.
- Listen to Yourself
The largest voice in your head should be you. Everything you do should be a reflection of what you want. The hard thing is deciphering the difference between what you want and what you fear, because fear is the friend misunderstood (cheesy but accurate). Take time to understand an inner voice and converse with it. It may seem clouded up there but an inner voice/authenticity is there.
- Challenge Your Past
Yesterday is not who we are tomorrow, and who we were in high school, should not be who we are in our twenties. Life is about growth, it’s about change. Understand who you were as an adolescent and try to challenge that in your twenties. I, myself, spent my high school years surrounded by friends, and rarely alone. While I have built extraordinary networks of people and bonds, there is a lot of personal time I missed. My twenties have been a struggle to understand that internal side of myself.
After looking at your past to see who you were, make even dramatic changes to broaden the scope of who you are. Jocks become nerds, socialites become hermits, see things from the other side.
* Secret 6th lesson…… just enjoy yourself