I’ve been chatting with many young people lately, and they are all generally very stressed and anxious about the future. I offer them my own advice, but don’t want them to just take it from me. So I surveyed some of the people in my life that I admire the most: “what is one piece of advice you’d give to your 20 year old self”
Ordered by age, youngest to oldest.
- “Most of the outcomes you have at this stage of life are products of time, place, and luck. Don’t try too hard to manufacture everything.” Katie, 23
- “Protect your intuition and don’t overanalyze the forces that guide your behavior because they’re probably just revealing preferences that you don’t need to reason out.” Angie, 24
- “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Read a lot. Do the work. Eat your leafy greens.” Terry, 24
- “As much as people have the capacity to grow and change, you have very little influence over how that happens for other people, so practice taking people/appreciating them as they are.” Sritej, 24
- “Only doing pre-professional clubs is silly. Join clubs to meet people with your other interests because once you get a job, you’ll want a more diverse community around you that’s not only work-related.” Shohini, 24
- “If you look at yourself and see an endless list of things you need to change or improve, the deficiency could just be in your ability to accept where you’re at. It’s easier to grow when you’re starting from acceptance rather than self-hate.” Nikhil, 25
- “Maximize the number of decisions you make in a day—minimize hesitation by maximizing reps.” Austin, 25
- “Cultivate an abundance mindset, and protect it. Disunity is an illusion. Manufacture luck. Arrange your life for taking shots on goal.” Sean, 25
- “You are going to change a lot on basically all axes, but the things you care about at a gut level aren’t really going to change. Get comfortable with that. Put differently: The things you love are worth loving, and don’t try to make yourself love something you don’t already.” Santi, 25
- “Push yourself to create more, there’s nothing cool about ideas and opinions without execution.” Ethan, 25
- “Ask for help more—for more things, more frequently, more openly.”
- Evan, 25
I’ve written about how there’s no better teacher than time, so honestly advice from other people is probably just a bunch of vague words. But at the very least, take it from a handful of people across a wide spectrum of ages that things will work out :)
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