I feel really reflective this time of year. Not in a bad, I’ve screwed up my entire life kind of way, but in a, look at what I’ve done this year kind of way.
I was on Twitter yesterday, and noticed a friend of mine, still a student at my wonderful alma mater, lamenting that he couldn’t wait til he graduated to get out of there.
I was there. I think we all were there, especially toward the end of undergrad, when you’re 25-pounds plus more than when you entered the door, and your liver is revolting for all the awful things you’ve done to it, especially that second semester of senior year. Yikes. But here are 20 things I wish I’d known at 20 (or technically 21, which was when I graduated, but 20 kinda rolls off the tongue better.)
- Take care of your body. A lot of the weight I gained during undergrad didn’t just have to do with my horrid diet, but it had to do with the fact that I never worked out. I would work out once in a while, get super sore, and not embark on another workout adventure for weeks at at a time. Had I figured out that working out would transform my body and my palate, I would have saved my self hours of lifting up my shirt in front of the bathroom mirror, sucking my belly in, and telling myself I could never get my stomach to look like that.
- While you’re taking care of your body, quit hating on it so much. Putting crap in and never working out also served to create a thick, greasy, layer of hatred and self-loathing for my body. Now that I work out, you can’t tell me nothing. Cause I am extremely fly. Extremely fly.
- Networking is so important. I ran into this kid at homecoming who was starting the job search and I gave him my dad’s email address, since my dad is pretty high up at a financial institution. I don’t know why he never contacted my dad, but when someone gives you an email address or a phone number and tells you to call it for a job, do it. I learned this the hard way. But use everyone around you as a resource for your job purposes.
- Do your thang. There was a time in my life when someone making fun of me would have sent me over the edge. But if I had allowed it to tear me up so badly that I never taught a Zumba class, for example, I would not be sitting on my sexy behind writing to you all. So make fun of me for my running, my love of coffee, hummus, and three-quarter tights, I will not be giving any effs any time soon.
- Don’t take that breakup so hard because…
- You’re not in love. I have not been in love until I met my husband-to-be. And I wish I hadn’t taken it so hard when I broke up with my two serious boyfriends in college. With both, I suffered incredibly crushing heartache, and I literally thought that the pain of the situation was going to kill me. It didn’t, and I grew back stronger, kinda like a weed.
- Cherish good friendships. I have a ton of friends. But the quality friendships, I like to nurture, water, and feed. Good people who will support you when, for example, your mom has a stroke, are hard to find. Keep them close.
- Dump bad friends. Nobody’s forcing you to stay friends with the butt who lived on your hall your second semester of freshman year. Dump them on Facebook, dump them and real life, and laugh in their faces when they try to get themselves invited to your wedding 6 years later.
- Work hard. Play harder. That’s not just the rule in college – it’s the rule in real life. If you don’t play enough, you will turn out to be super stressed and super broken.
- When in doubt, run. Don’t run fast if you can’t. But just run. You will be absolutely shocked at the things running can fix.