1. Everyone is different, so your life path will never be like anyone else’s.
There is no prototype. This is no cookie cutter. There is no “How To” book. Some of your friends are going to be doctors. Some engineers. Some teachers. Some professors. You cannot follow in anyone’s footsteps because you are not them and it will never be that easy. You have to figure out, on your own, what is best for you. Not what your parents want, not what your best friend thinks, and certainly not what you think it SHOULD be, but what it is.
2. Some people are just going to be more successful than you.
It’s the most pervasive life fact in the world. Some people are just going to be perfect little angels sent from Heaven to make you look like nothingness. The main takeaway here is: do not compare yourself to them. It’s like comparing apples to oranges! Am I ever going to be you? No way Jose. But think about it this way as well: If there are a whole list of people that are better than you, there are a whole list of people that are worse than you! Tehe. Now don’t you feel better, you rockstar.
3. Don’t be scared of getting letters of recommendations.
Hey, I’m still trying to figure out this one too, but your professors, bosses, supervisors, teachers, and counselors want to help you. No one is out to get you. Yes, these people (and powerful people who will determine part of your life path) may not always remember who you are, but if you jog their memory a little, they will! So don’t be scared! Whether that letter of recommendation is for graduate school, an internship, or to help you work at Google, just reach out! Swallow the awkwardness. Laugh a little. And even if they say no or just plain forget about you, at least you tried (and f*** them).
4. If you don’t try drugs, alcohol, sex, or smoking, you’ll never know what they’re like.
You will never know, and therefore you can’t tell me it is bad. The end.
OK fine; I know studies have shown that drugs are bad for you, that smoking causes cancer, that sex can cause unplanned pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, that being drunk can lead to sex, and that some drugs are just plain illegal, but if you have never been drunk before, how can you tell me anything? The answer is you can’t. If you want to know, try it yourself. My key point here is: Try everything — just be sure not to get addicted — and forget nothing.
5. There are some bad people disguised as good people and waiting to pounce.
Hey your best friend from third grade? She’s in jail. Your roommate from your sophomore year of college? She dropped out and is stripping in Vegas now. Your current best friend? She’s actually spreading gossip to your other friends right this instant because she can’t get over the fact that you got a job at Facebook and she didn’t because “she always thought she was better than you.” There are toxic people out there and you may not recognize them at first — or even second — glance. There are always good people out there, so don’t be afraid to drop the toxic friend and keep or find the good ones. I know it’s difficult to discern the good ones from the bad, but sooner or later you will see the difference. Not all relationships are worth keeping and maintaining.
6. You will keep falling in love with people that are either not good for you or don’t like you the way you like them.
And it will be awful, hot, sexy, strange, stupid, awkward, weird, sad, perfect, and life. Because in the long run, it’s just a thing. It will not turn into marriage, you will not take a honeymoon trip to the Bahamas together and have wild crazy adventures, and they will not be there for you when your car breaks down at 3am in the middle of Oakland.
7. You need to be educated, in the book way and the street way.
Yeah man, we’ve all heard it. Finish high school, go to college, find a job, maybe go to graduate school. Yes, yes, you need all of that. Because you cannot live on the salary of an entry level job for life. But you also need the street smarts. I am not telling you to move to the hood, but you do need to do some drugs if that’s what it takes. Get beat up if that’s what it takes. Get robbed at gun point if that’s what it takes. You need to know the ins and outs of life so you don’t make the same mistake a second time.
8. Your parents are eventually going to die.
And leave nothing in the will for you. So be independent. Create a life for yourself and stop asking them for money or help, especially if you can start doing it yourself. In fact, ask THEM if they need any help; it will make them feel like you truly care and appreciate them!
9. There is going to be a lull in your life where you accomplish nothing and feel awful.
And it’s called a midlife crisis. But please, for the love of God, do not commit suicide. You are better than that. You are hot, rich, successful, the bo$$, and straight up baller. I love you, whoever you are, and in my eyes, you’re Ke$ha. And I love Ke$ha.
10. Exercise and eating healthy is key.
When you have nothing — no boyfriend, no money, no friends, and no job — at least you can exercise and eat healthy. Just pick that pack of spinach over that bowl of ramen. Just drink water over Starbucks. Live simply and freely and your body will set you free.
11. There will come a time when you look in the mirror and be like “Holy shit, I am ugly!”
But the catch is: this time, you’re proud. Of course we’re all not similarly blessed, but some people who are drop dead gorgeous are also boring and miserable. We all have our problems and flaws, so don’t let yours get to you. Have some self compassion.
12. The internet is the next big thing.
So get your seat belts on. Hold on for dear life. Learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Listicle, Snapchat, whatever. It ain’t going away anytime soon, so you might as well embrace it and call it love.
13. It’s OK to cry.
It’s totally OK. Sometimes I cry when I accomplish very little. Sometimes I cry because I accomplished a lot. Sometimes I cry just to cry. And sometimes I cry because I am upset. Cry if you need to; I will never judge you.
14. You shouldn’t be ashamed to move back in with your parents after college.
Yes, your freedom might get cut in half, but moving back in will get you to where you want to be in the future. You are blessed to have parents that let you move back in; it’s out of love and respect for you, not judgement and hatred.
15. Traveling ain’t all that.
Of course traveling can be fun, interesting, beautiful, and eye opening. But so is five glasses of wine and eating while drunk at 2am in the middle of a field in Davis, CA with my best friend naked. Oh boy.
16. Religion and politics need to be discussed.
Yell a little. Yell a lot. But never try to change another’s opinion. It’s their opinion after all, so don’t try to take the only thing that is theirs away from them!
17. You don’t need to be famous to have an impact.
Me giving groceries to a homeless family will impact more people than Oprah giving $1,000,000,000 to end hunger in the USA. Why? Because who really knows where that money actually goes. I, on the other hand, know exactly where my groceries went.
18. If you want to move, do it now.
Do it now because it is now or never. Once you are settled, there is basically no way in hell that you are suddenly going to drop everything and move to Hawaii to be a beach bum. Zero chance when you have a steady full time job, a family, and a life to live.
19. Learn something every day.
A new skill, how to program, how to make a bomb roasted chicken, how to read, how to listen, how to laugh appropriately, how to hug someone perfectly, what to say when your mom is sad — whatever. Just learn something! Small or big, anything works. Just don’t sit in your room every day and twiddle your thumbs like you have nothing to live for. Your life is the biggest blank canvas in the world and you totally know it.
20. Don’t be afraid.
This is NOT an exhaustive list. I am 21 years old and I basically just started life. I’m stupid, ugly, beautiful, smart, weird, bo$$, a hopeless romantic, a college student, questioning life, sad, happy, broke, rich, and living with my parents after college is is definitely in my horizon. So don’t be afraid. There will be ugly times, but there will be great times too. ♥