So recently I created a post offering tadbits of life advice and wisdom here. Seeing the positive reaction from that post inspired me to write another but for younger folks. I get I’m still a kid myself (yes 26 is still young!). I barely have it together and hardly know a thing, let alone give life advice to young people.
So why am I creating a post offering advice to young people when I’m in no position?
Because after living in a small town for some time and having some life experience, I see things our younger folks can’t (by younger folks I mean late teens-early 20s).
So without further do, here’s a list of advice and wisdom from muah.
1. Don’t settle before 25
First of all settling can mean many things for everybody (settling for marriage, jobs, locations, etc.). Now obviously this won’t apply for everyone. 90% of people I know personally from school, facebook, college, and friendships (all from tiny towns) that settled young are all divorced, separated, unhappy and stuck, and on their third baby daddy. Some are even on their second, third divorce.
Remember your brain doesn’t fully develop until you’re 25. This means your 18 year-old self is not going to be the same as your 25 year-old self. Your early years are meant for dating around, traveling, discovering your passions and values, and making mistakes. Not saying this isn’t possible while settled, but it rarely is. I’m not against settling down early, especially if you truly know. But it’s more complicated legally and mentally, and don’t even get me started on children.
2. Continue learning
I’m a major advocate for continuing your education. It doesn’t matter if it’s through college, trade school, mentoring, or even self-learning.
The more you learn, the more open-minded you are. You gain empathy and a new perspective. Plus learning keeps your brain young and active regardless of your age. Whether you’re learning a new language, a new skill, or a new culture and religion, you’re still learning. Even if it’s trivial stuff, as long as you keep your mind active and alert.
I want to challenge everyone to learn something new like a different language, new recipes, line dancing, or whatever your curiosity leads you. Let that little voice inside you lead the way, it doesn’t have to be grand things.
3. Befriend people who are different from you
To me this goes back to number 2, learning. Here’s the problem I see in small towns (not all!). Everyone is the same: same beliefs, religion, styles, thoughts, etc. Unfortunately when someone comes along with a different belief or perspective, people get hostile.
Befriending new people opens your mind to a new perspective and way of life. You see their story and how your beliefs can coincide together. You gain empathy and understanding for new thoughts. I highly encourage every young person to befriend someone with a different/opposing religion, belief, culture, race, ethnicity, and moral compass.
4. Don’t follow your parent’s path if it’s not your calling.
Again, this goes back to living in a small town (you see a theme here). I see many many many many young people follow their parent’s footsteps regardless if they want to or not. It could be following in the family’s business, religion, ideal partners and number of children, or way of thinking.
If you’re passionate in the same life course as your parents then this isn’t for you. Here’s the common problem I see. So many young people sacrifice their life and passions all because their parents passive aggressively butt-in (for lack of better words).
Now I do think parents know best, after all they’re older than you. But it’s okay to pursue something they don’t like or approve of. Always honor them. They gave you life, but you don’t owe your entire life and happiness to them.
So what do you think of this post? My aim is always to better the world a little bit, and I hope this bit of advice gives you some relief or permission to be you.