Advice for the Real World that People are Too Afraid to Tell You

Photo credit: Anthony Peters
Photo credit: Anthony Peters

Guess what, little kiddies? We are less than a month away from graduation.

For many people, it’s the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. And for a lot of people, it’s the beginning of independence, no more relying on parents for help with anything.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have preconceived notions of what life is like outside these hallowed halls of learning. Luckily for everyone, I am here to dispense knowledge and not just the same cliches that everyone will tell you. These are pieces of advice that people don’t want to tell you, yet will help you more than you know.

The first thing everyone needs to realize is that nobody cares about you except for you. If you have a problem nobody is going to come in and fix it.

Everybody is too busy with his or her own problems to drop everything for you. So, it’s up to you to put on your big kid pants and deal with it. That’s a part of being an adult, not relying on anyone else.

Which brings me to my next piece of advice, having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean you have the key to infinite knowledge.

Congratulations, you know how to fake your way through a five-page research paper on the history of the North American fire ant. That doesn’t mean you have enough life experience to tell people how the world should work.

Regardless of what your gender identity 101 professor tells you, it’s up to you now to go and figure out your own world view.

As graduation has been creeping up closer on us all, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how they don’t want to move to Sacramento and are only looking for jobs in the Bay Area.

Well, that’s great and all, but people need to realize that life doesn’t work the way you think it’s going to. You can’t close off one avenue just because it doesn’t fit into your plan. If it were me, I would start somewhere where the cost of living isn’t so high.

Chances are you aren’t going to be making a ton of money, so why would you live in a place where the only apartment you can afford is a studio in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Be smart about this, there is no reason to start behind the eight ball when you don’t have to.

I know that these may not be the easiest things to hear, but if you just think about what I said, you’ll be all right.

Six Lessons My 20s Taught Me

Photo credit: Ashley Allison
Photo credit: Ashley Allison

It’s exactly two months and nine days until I turn 26. In most of my college classes, I’m considered the old one. I’m officially closer to 30 than 20 and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.

All in all, I’ve learned a lot from my 20s so far, which brings me to the point of this blog: I’m going to impart some pieces of wisdom now, or what I think is wisdom. So here it goes, six lessons my 20s taught me, one for every year so far.

1. Stop caring what everyone thinks of you.

You’re not going to please everyone and there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you, so why bother? It’s exhausting.

What really matters is what you think of yourself. If there are things you want to change, change them, but don’t do it to make someone else happy.

While changing may temporarily please the other person, it probably is going to leave you feeling like crap because you can’t be yourself.

This brings me to my next point.

2. Let your freak flag fly.

Take it from me, learning who you are and exactly where you fit in the grand scheme of things is a rough road. I get it. I’m a 5-foot-2-inch ginger with skin so white it could blind you.

I could easily be classified as a leprechaun. I enjoy dressing up and going to the grocery store in outfits so ugly the word “out” shouldn’t be connected to the word “fit” in any way, shape or form.

I say inappropriate things for laughs, and I dance in public places where dancing generally isn’t accepted. I’m weird, and that’s okay.

Show people the real you and you’ll be surprised how receptive others will be.

3. Be firm in your wants and needs.

Don’t be afraid to be vocal about the things you truly want in life. More importantly, don’t let others make you feel stupid for wanting those things.

Make sure to surround yourself with people who have similar goals and can help encourage you to achieve what you want most in life, not hold you back.

4. You better work, bitch.

As cliche and corny as it sounds, nothing good comes easy. If you want that Bugatti Britney keeps singing about, you have to work hard.

While wanting something is the first step to realizing a dream, simply wanting doesn’t get you any results and neither does doing the bare minimum. If you really want something, you have to focus all your energy toward achieving it.

5. There is power in positive thinking.

It may not be true for everyone, but for me, positive, focused thinking brings positive results.

If you really want something, focus on it every day, harnessing all your energy to attaining the goal. You’ll be surprised how the universe makes a way to help you achieve your innermost desires.

6. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever.

Friends and lovers come and go. Sometimes, for some reason, you grow apart from those you love most, and the general tendency is to hold on for dear life and try our damnedest not to let the person go.

This, however, is futile. Think of people as teachers, helping you along your life’s journey.

You can’t stay in the same classroom forever, at some point you have to graduate.