I spent the last few days at my parent’s house. Since I didn’t bring a book or my laptop, I decided to do some digging through old journals, notes, photos, and other objects of record that I’ve kept in shoeboxes underneath my bed. Some of the stuff was fun to look back at: old photos and letters from friends. Some of it was sort of cringe-worthy: old photos and journal entries from that long ago.
I don’t miss being a teenager. A lot of people think that was the best time of their lives. Nah, it wasn’t. Oh my teenage years were just fine, but I don’t miss the hormones, the inability to drink, and the constant thinking that the world is conspiring against you. I’d rather go back to my senior year in college. You can drink, you’re the big man on campus, and you’ve got a slight slight sense of what to do with your life.
If I could say a few things to my younger self, here they are. Quit worrying so much. Things will be fine. Less than one percent of the things you’ll come across on a daily basis. Just let things go. It’s not the end of the world when you break up with a girl. You’re not going to ruin your life if you fail a test. Just put your best effort it. A B+ life is just fine. It’s still much better than most everyone else, and you don’t have the pressure to keep being perfect. Shoot for above average and you’ll be just fine.
I think the other thing I’d say is that you need to learn to trust your instincts. That’s such a cliche term. No, it’s trust that inner voice. Or, wait, you know what you want, you just have to trust that it’s the right thing. There are going to be things in life that you think are going to make you happy, or bring you the level of satisfaction that you want in life, but that’s rarely the case.
I’d also say, learn to wait. Being able to control yourself and your spending is a good habit to get into. Impulse buys are a top-10 worst characteristic of human beings. Think about what you want to get. Will you get use out of it? Will you enjoy it? Or will it automatically just end up in your closet? I’ve been better at this than I thought I would be. I get this weird feeling when I’m on the edge of buying something that I don’t know if I’ll need.
Also, don’t whine so much. Yeah, things are hard. Yeah, you’ll probably need to process a lot of things. But you don’t need to complain about every paper, every little assignment, or everything you need to do. I think negativity is contagious, and the opposite is true as well. Most things you feel negative about will dissipate in a matter of time. It’s just a matter of breathing and letting them disappear.