14 Notes to That Twenty-Something About to Bloom

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Last month, I penned my letter to recent college graduates, my tokens of wisdom to the class of 2015. It was genuine and honestly just a letter to myself as I begin this chapter of my life. But, I’m 21 and although I consider myself decently wise, truthfully I have a lot of life to live, a ton of mistakes to make, and many lessons to learn. I don’t know it all. No one does, but I wanted to pick the brains of those around me — those who have lived a couple of years longer than I have, who have fallen and risen and crossed the bridge of post-college cluelessness to twenty-five and fly, all while exuding class and grace. As it relates to life, friendship, faith, and love, I wanted to share some of their wisdom, from them to you, as you begin to bloom.

  1. “This is the time to be uncomfortable! Make the bold decisions, chase those dreams, travel to that far away place, move to the new city. Your early 20s are a unique time in your life in which you can fully discover who you are and who you want to be in a selfish way. So go, be you, make mistakes, take wrong turns, say yes to adventure, lock in those lifelong friendships.” – F
  2. “Even when you mess up (because it will happen), remember you’re going to be ok. This is NOT the time to get stuck in a 9-5 you hate (or even just don’t enjoy at all). Do not settle. Greatness awaits you!” – F
  3. “One of the greatest gifts I’ve given myself is making writing a habit. I write my joys, my sadness, my annoyances, and the most meaningless details of my daily life. Get a journal, don’t let it gather dust. Hey, if I’m famous one day, my biography has already been written.” – C
  4. “Try not to be a cliche. Good thing is, the easiest way to avoid that is to insist on being yourself. – P
  5. “Keep your focus on God. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Be ready for the curveballs life will throw, because they’ll come. Be grateful for every progress you make, no matter how small. Humble yourself. Most importantly, find yourself and be that, regardless of other people’s expectations.” – B
  6. “Find what you’re passionate about and put everything into developing that. You owe that to yourself.” – T
  7. “Too many times I’ve made the mistake of chasing love, maybe to fill some void. Let love find you.” – D
  8. “Be uncompromising, demand what you deserve.” – D
  9. “I saw a quote the other day that Dara tweeted, and it’s all the advice I have to give. ‘If flowers can teach themselves how to bloom after winter passes, so can you.'” – R
  10. “Stay single. You have your whole life ahead to be committed to another person. Commit to getting to know yourself in different facets whether that’s living alone, traveling, or joining networking groups. Stay single until you believe you’ve discovered the deepest realms of yourself.” – K
  11. “Your heart will heal. That person you thought you couldn’t live without, soon enough you’ll be living and flourishing without them.” – E
  12. “Make friends with people who don’t look like you and who have trekked a path you haven’t.” – J
  13. “Surround yourself with people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself, let go of those who don’t.” – T
  14. “First and foremost, know God! He will take you places you have never imagined, will comfort you when you are down, will bring you that peace in the midst of your storm.” – J