December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?
Dear Gina, Age 25
Congratulations! You did it! You’ve accomplished your goal of graduating from college and earning a degree. You’ve worked really hard for this and I’m proud of you. Now that you’re finally done with college, you’re probably really excited to move on to bigger and better things. But first, I want to give you some advice to help you in the year 2011: your first year as an adult.
Now that you’re not in college anymore, it’s time to make your way into Big Girl Life. This means presenting yourself as an adult: No more wearing pajamas, or even sweats, in public! You’re going to have to start learning how to cook real food, rather than spaghetti and cheese quesadillas. You should also stop wifi-mooching at your neighborhood coffee shops and set up Big Girl Internet in your apartment. Make sure you’re diligent about doctor/dentist check-ups, eating healthy, and exercising. Start saving money for your future endeavors.
You’re going to have a lot more time on your hands now, so make sure you spend it wisely. Be there for your little siblings as much as possible by supporting them, encouraging them, and being a positive role model. Spend time with your grandparents, because they won’t be around much longer. Get back into doing volunteer work. Constantly show love and gratitude for the people in your life.
You’re going to have more time to date now, and even have a relationship if you want one. But do yourself a favor by not dating anymore 23 year olds. In fact, just stay away from younger guys altogether. Hell, even the older guys have their moments of immaturity. Whatever the age, situation, or circumstance, always remember to keep in mind your standards—the love you’re holding out for. Don’t rush into something that doesn’t feel right just because your friends are all getting married and you think you should be doing the same. You’re only 25; you have the rest of your life to settle down. Pace yourself.
My last bit of advice to you is: Be brave. I know you’re experiencing a lot of confusion and change right now. You have so many things you want to do in life and you don’t know where to start. You’re transitioning from a college student to an actual adult. You’re growing up, but don’t be scared. If you feel called to move to another country for a year, do it. If you decide you want to go back to school, go back. If you get offered a great full-time job in Sacramento, take it. When you make mistakes along the way, learn from them. But whatever you do, make sure it feels right and makes you happy.
Oh, and one more thing: You have a bright future ahead. Be sure to enjoy every minute of it.
Gina, Age 30