We’ve all been there before: one of those moments where you realize you’ve made a huge mistake and just learned a valuable lesson—the hard way.
Or maybe, it wasn’t a mistake at all— but you just didn’t know what you got yourself into until you were already in over your head.
And if you’re like me, you’ve found yourself in these types of situations time and again. It’s like I’m the Queen of Learning the Hard Way, and this is a crown that can’t be removed.
The funny thing is, as a child, I had this expectation that adults just knew how everything worked. That no adults ever made mistakes or fucked up too seriously, because they knew everything. I think I expected that, as you go through childhood, you slowly learn all of the world’s secrets and are equipped to handle anything life throws at you by the time you become a “real grown-up.”
Looking back now, sometimes it really amazes me just how many ridiculous assumptions I made as a kid…
Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to create a post with some helpful advice all adults could use— and I’m so excited to also be featuring wisdom from fellow bloggers who were kind enough to contribute.
So, I asked some of my blogger friends what advice they wish they’d gotten when they were younger, and here are the responses I got:
1. Most people are focused on themselves (and not you!).
Alison at Little Blog of Positivity says,
I wish I’d realized sooner that other people really don’t care about you all that much! They aren’t looking at you or thinking you look stupid—they are too busy thinking about themselves. This only recently dawned on me, and it’s changed how I deal with things. Wish I’d known sooner 😉
I’d probably tell [my younger self] as well not to follow fashion; some of my photos as a young adult are ridiculous 😂
You can check out Alison’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @AlisonW30.
2. Never compare yourself to anyone else, and the sooner you realize whose opinion really matters, the happier you’ll be.
Lauren at Readers Enjoy Authors’ Dreams says,
Stop comparing yourself to others—you are on your own timeline, and your time will come.
It’s only as you get older you realize that everyone is making it up as they go along. No one really knows what to do and everyone is in some form of a mess. Adulting is hard; there is so much pressure that we put on ourselves or that we feel from others. It took me way too long to realize that I really needed to stop comparing myself to others for my own sanity.
Visit Lauren’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @LaurenReads1.
3. Yes, you really do need coffee.
Deze at by Deze says,
Stop telling people that you hate coffee and that you don’t need coffee. The money you spend on coffee as an adult will put many young baristas through school 😂
Check out Deze’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @byDeze.
4. Becoming a parent means always being busy.
Mike at The Neu Dad says,
After you have kids, there’s no such thing as free time 😀
Our little guy keeps us so busy… although I wouldn’t change him for the world! From first thing in the morning to when he goes to bed, he’s like an Energizer bunny and it’s so hard to get anything done 😀. Plus he loves talking, so even when he doesn’t specifically need you for something, he’ll be chatting away to you all day! I love it, and I love hanging out with him so much! But I definitely didn’t appreciate just how much time having a kid takes, I really have forgotten what free time is… 😂
You can visit Mike’s blog here, and follow him on Twitter at @TheNeuDad.
5. Learn as much as you can from others, and get to know the people around you.
Amakeda at Mommy MixUp says,
If you have the opportunity to travel abroad or participate in an exchange program, do it! The experience will not only open your eyes to different people and cultures but will also offer life lessons you can never be taught in school.
Also, cultivate the relationships you have and build the ones you don’t have, with your classmates. The people you sit next to in these classes are preparing for greater (even the ones you might not think twice about talking to). They could later help you deal a negotiation, hire you, help with funding… the possibilities are unlimited.
Tip: Don’t just do it for this reason alone; people have so much value that those sitting next to them rarely uncover. In other words, be intentional with your relationships.
You can read Amakeda’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @AmakedaP.
6. Always be thankful for the people who are there for you.
Ashley at Ashley Levesque says,
Find an adult—mom, dad, aunt, uncle—that you can call, no matter what. Would have saved me from some tough spots.
Check out Ashley’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @ALevesq19768441.
7. It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.
Night Owl Mama says,
Find yourself before investing in a relationship. Do all the things you dream about before having children. Bringing kids into this world is not easy. There’s no manual. Once you have children life is NO LONGER ABOUT YOU—it’s about raising your children to be productive adults. #MomOf5
Check out Night Owl Mama’s blog here, and follow her on Twitter at @NightOwlMama.
And last, but (I hope!) not least, I wanted to include some of my own advice that I wish I’d taken to heart when I was younger:
8. Remember to go easy on the shots.*
I have learned (and forgotten, and then learned again) that shots don’t always give you a buzz right away—but don’t think it won’t hit you like a ton of bricks if you keep throwing back more drinks like an animal.
Let’s just say I’ve spent many a night tossing my cookies after too much tequila. Learn from my mistakes.
9. Set goals (or else, you might go insane).
I don’t know about you, but feeling like I’m doing the same things all the time without making any real changes to my life just. makes. me. crazy. I guess that’s partly because I feel like I don’t want to be done accomplishing things, and also because, if my life stayed the way that it is right now for years on end, then I’d feel unfulfilled, like I wasted a my time and potential.
And that ties into why I started my freelancing business— working for somebody else just didn’t give me the control I wanted to create my own opportunities and determine my own future. This is a subject I could probably turn into its own separate blog post entirely, but for today’s purposes, I’ll try to keep it short. The point is: we all have things we want out of life that we haven’t accomplished (or acquired) yet—so set goals and keep working towards them consistently, because you do have the potential to create the life you want.
10. Don’t work for a company that mentions happy hours in its job descriptions.
Same goes for “free snacks.”
And “great company culture.”
And worst of all, “unlimited PTO.”
Listen to me folks, it is a TRAP.
If a company feels the need to highlight over-the-top, unnecessary perks in its job postings or anywhere on its website, that’s secret code for “you’re going to work overtime every week and we’ll never you pay you a dime for it.”
Instead, find a job (if you can) doing something you’re good at that pays well, and avoid any employers who try to describe the office as “fun.”
…That’s all folks! Huge “thank you” to all the amazing bloggers who were kind enough to contribute today—go check them out if you haven’t already!
And if you have some advice to share with the rest of us, leave a comment below and tell us your story!
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