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Meme for the Older Crowd...

Do you ever look back and wonder, “What if I had known this when I was 18?” The school of hard knocks is a great teacher, and I know there are lessons I learned the hard way that I will always remember but it's not healthy to live in the past. If I had to live my life over again, there are a few lessons I would like to have learned a little earlier in life.

List five things you wish you knew when you were eighteen.

1.  Ditch the high school boyfriend.  It was an on-again-off-again thing that affected far too much of my first year of college.  I wish I had had the courage to just cut him loose and focus on the new friendships that I was making.  Instead, we were engaged during my Junior year and the only person from my freshman year of college that I have any contact with at all, is Maura, through her blog.  That makes me very sad because so many of the people from my dorm and my classes were incredibly interesting characters.

2. If you're going to spend a fortune for college, get as much as you can out of it.  I mean that both socially and intellectually.  I took classes that I had no interest in and thus rarely attended and my GPA shows it.  I was able to get As in high school based on good test taking ability but never learned how to really study until late in my college career.  I should have done more of the reading, gone to office hours, cared a little bit more.  Especially since I am *still* paying the loans.

3.  Don't use a credit card to order pizza.  Even good pizza.  Like most people, I got that first credit card in college.  Like many people, I used it for stupid crap.  What's the dumbest thing ever to buy with credit? Food.  I can't tell you how many times Erin Brereton and I sat in my huge double-as-a-single room and devoured some Carmen's pizza that I put on my Visa.  The pizza was long gone and I was paying interest on it.

4.  Cultivate deeper relationships.  Far too often I find myself thinking about this one.  I let far too many good friendships slip through my fingers because of pride and stupidity.  I chose badly.  I said dumb things.  There are some people, one in particular, I will always miss and will never be able to get back.  I really wish I'd known that the ability to make friends, or even the possibility of meeting new people, decreases as you age.

5.  Revel in your own weirdness.  I think learning to be yourself is the most difficult lesson of all.  I wish I had gotten it sooner.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
1. Switch to Tech and get an EE/CS degree. It turns out I have the knack for the stuff. Also, the line about liberal arts preparing you for everything is a lie.

2. Make summer plans. It turns out I don't do well just hanging out. A proper internship would have been nice.

3. Spend some time and think about how studying works. Reading and highlighting was enough for Bs, but I could have been fucking brilliant if I'd actually talked about the material or written it. I wish I had known about blogs back in the day.

4. Be more athletic. The occaisonal run was nice, but it turns out that regular swimming and weights actually make me feel incredibly good.

5. Try to learn something about music. Maybe I could have been another Jonathan Coulton.
May. 15th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
I'll have to think about responding to this one. At first glance I get far too angry at myself to even respond. darnit.

I know one of them would probably be "Just be friends with--don't go out with--that mutual acquaintance of ours."
May. 15th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
1. That when you're young opportunities abound, call random people you admire, talk to them, learn from them, explore whatever creative ideas you have, that it almost doesn't matter what you do as long as you do those things with fervor and committment. Be creative and bold because adults will be impressed with that and reward it in ways you won't believe.

2. That doing things you aren't good at ARE worth doing. For me that would be exercise esp. but all kinds of thing.

3. Don't be afraid of living or what other people think, above all don't assume you know what other people think about you and believe it yourself.

4. It's not all about weight, looks, and food.

5. Do the best thing you can be doing at any given time, especially when it comes to learning and college. I feel like I should have gone to a more academically oriented school, although i would never trade the people i met or the experiences I had.

6. That I was going to meet Brad Pitt one day. I feel like if I had known that I would have known that anything was possible, that things that are so far out of our reach are reachable.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )