ADVICE I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN
Ah, "the moronic beauty of youth."
- •Be careful with credit cardsIn high school and college, I heard this advice from many of the adults in my life (often coupled with a cautionary tale about their own credit mistakes). It didn't stop me, though; I was a baller for several months and a regretful, debt-ridden young adult for several years.
- •Don't put Q-Tips in your ears
- •Wear sunscreenIn my defense, I am half Italian and tend to tan very well despite my fair skin so I didn't grow up fearing the sun. This all changed when I opted not to wear sunscreen during an all day outdoor music festival. Now I have a healthy fear and respect for those horrid rays and slather myself with SPF (and anyone within reach) regularly.
- •Travel now
- •Skip the sodaI played basketball for years and my high school coach actually made this a rule. If we were seen drinking soda we were punished. I understand his logic now but at the time it just made me want to do it more? Aside from the absurd amount of sugar, the carbonation is awful for your body and will exacerbate conditions like acid reflux but IT TASTES SO GOOD. Anyway, I didn't listen and I'm sure it contributed to my caffeine dependence, love of sweets, and lots of burps.
- •Savor the newborn experiencePeople will tell you this and you'll scoff because it seems like that sleep deprived, poopy diaper filled time will never end and also because you don't realize how wonderful it actually is. With our first son, I spent weeks suffering with postpartum depression and anxiety before finally getting treatment and during that time I missed out on so much. It is my one true regret.
- •Ask for helpDirectly related to the last entry - I didn't want to admit I needed help. Eventually I had to. And after getting treatment I realized that I have been living with anxiety my whole life; that all those things I had learned to expect and accept as unavoidable could actually be managed. I think it's natural to be afraid of asking for help; we see it as admitting weakness and instinctually we will avoid that.
- •Stand up for yourselfStill working on this one, tbh
- •Don't go into salesAdvice from a friend and coworker who understood my strengths and weaknesses better than I did. I think, to make this more universal, you could say "don't try to be something you're not" or "know where your strengths lie."
- •Just do the workFrom a friend and mentor who tried to help me live up to my full potential. It's hard to tell a young person that wants instant gratification/success that she's being an unrealistic little baby but he did. But I was young and stupid and full of excuses (I am still most of those things).