Advice to My 23 Year Old Self…or Anyone

A friend requested I write about what advice I would have given to my slightly younger self (yes, I can take requests!). This is an accumulation of some of my experiences, and trust me, I’m sure I could write another one of these in about a year.

Instagram Is Not Real Life

Falling into the deep dark depths of Instagram is a great way to waste time but shouldn’t become a hobby. I am SO guilty of coming home from work and “unwinding” by sitting on the couch and scrolling through social media before I even make my dinner. Even as I typed that out I thought, ok wow loser, get a life. It looks and feels a lot worse when you actually tell someone that. People only highlight the best parts of their life, so if they get fired you won’t see it, if they get dumped you won’t see it, and if they have really bad acne you won’t see it, (true fact I’ve hidden mine forever). Don’t compare yourselves to your Instagram followers because it’s not even their real life. If you’re posting photos just for the likes, you’re posting for the wrong reason. If you’re posting to try and become ‘famous’, you’re doing it for a weird AF reason. If you’re posting to show your ex your revenge body, I’m here for it, but you’re still posting for the wrong reason.

Don’t Avoid Your Debt

Student debt is something that affects almost everyone person I know. As soon as I had to start paying back my loan, it was a huge adjustment. I felt like I had no money—chips for dinner? Sure, why not. Every time I received holiday pay at work, worked overtime, received money as a gift, it all immediately went on my loan. In my opinion, if you have the money and you have a steady income, do NOT put these payments off. Even though it feels like all of that money goes pretty much into thin air, nothing compares to the feeling of eventually paying it off. I’m not saying make yourself struggle, but definitely make it a priority.

Don’t Do Anything You Don’t Want To Do

This goes for every single aspect of your life. Made plans and are no longer feeling it? Don’t go. Arranged for a second date but your really not into them any more and only agreed out of obligation? Cancel. Need a break from the gym? Skip it (and enjoy it). Don’t want to go home with that guy/girl after the bar? LITERALLY JUST DON’T, NO ONE IS MAKING YOU, say you have to work early, works like a charm.

Always Be Prepared For Your Interview

I learned at a young age that if you put work into familiarising yourself with a company, it seriously pays off in an interview. This may seem like basic information, but I have conducted many interviews where I would learn that the person I was interviewing had never even browsed our companies website. K, see you never. I once had an interview at Michael Kors and while I sat in the waiting room before the group interview I used all the data I had left on my Blackberry to look up the company’s fashion history, direction and details. Having never step foot in a MK store, I got the job immediately and totally faked my way through it. Also, if they ask you to role-play in any interview, I know it’s super cringe worthy, but you just need to go for it.

Make Time For Your Family

It only took me moving out of my parent’s house to realize my family were the only BFFs I’ll ever really need. Think about it, you can pretty much do or say anything to your family members and by the next holiday they’ll eventually have to come crawling back. The amount of times my jokes have gone to far with my dad and he has stormed out from dinner are countless, but the next morning we always gucci again. The unconditional love you receive from your family is at the top of my list of favourite things in life, although I know not everyone is this lucky or gets along this well with their relatives. Last Christmas, I had to request my siblings to give me a coupon guaranteeing they would come visit me together and spend the weekend, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

You Don’t HAVE To Get Drunk Every Weekend…

I mean it helps, but you don’t have to.

Take Time For Self-Care (Even If Its Only Ten Minutes)

Self-care can literally be anything; sleeping in, going to bed early, taking a bath, having a glass of wine, working out, or binging your favourite Netflix show. It’s all about choosing something to do for yourself and not feeling bad. The amount of times I tell myself or others to ‘treat yo’self’ is probably too many, but the sentiment still rings true.

Friendships Evolve, Sometimes End, And That’s OK

You don’t have to be friends with your childhood bestie if you grew apart years ago, so stop forcing friendships that no longer honour you or make you happy. If it feels like work to hang out with someone, don’t do it. Put the same amount of effort into a friendship that you’re getting out of it, and if someone refuses to reach out to you, stop reaching out to them. Your time is valuable enough, so spend it how you want to.

Take Your Health Seriously

Try eating something that doesn’t come out of a box. Try to eat less bread and more vegetables, but don’t deprive your self. It’s all about balance. Make an amazing salad for dinner but wash it down with a jagerbomb. Balance, baby, balance.

 Work/Life Balance is a REAL THING

A few years ago I had a job that was ruling my life and I didn’t really realize it until I had left. I was spending hours working from home, staying late at work too often (and not getting paid for it) and getting calls at home almost every single day, including my days off. I devoted way too much of my time to this workplace because I kept getting promoted, but was always on edge thinking about work. It took me a long time to realize this environment was driving me away and no matter how many promotions I received, I wasn’t really being appreciated, and even if I was being appreciated, my work/life balance was not. If you’re currently working somewhere that doesn’t value your personal life as much as your work life, put in your two weeks and enjoy a vacation.

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