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Advice I learned (just a little) too late


There are a few things I heard just a little too late. Much like that Alanis song in which things are not ironic, but merely unfortunate. However, my dear readers, I would like to impart some of my late learned knowledge with you.

Much of the advice I learned too late had to do with timing and scheduling (this is actually ironic). Using a planner is advice you ignore your freshmen year of college because you think you’re over writing things down. You can remember that big test: You’re an adult now! Let me tell you, you will need to write things down. You will use a lot of post-its. Please accept this as a fact. There is no shame in needing a planner or two. Once you learn this, things will get much better for you. Afraid that you’ll harm the environment burning through paper? Luckily, there are a lot of apps that can help with this.

Do be careful with technology though: it can be a wonderful tool or the Achilles heel to your professional (and personal) persona. My new rule of thumb: Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. Not only do you run the risk of her actually seeing it, but it’s just generally a good rule. While working at a summer camp I had a few of my students stumble upon my snarky tweets. They weren’t anything too scandalous, but they showed a lack of enthusiasm as I entered by last few days of sleep deprivation. Luckily, my boss was amazingly understanding and I was able to save face with my campers. But this is not something that I took lightly! You don’t want to be stuck with egg (or in my case s’mores) on your face. Just keep it clean and classy. Or make lists of privacy settings. Very. Specific. Lists.

While playing it safely with social media is important, it’s also important to take some risks every now and then. My father told me a ridiculous story once involving a road trip out to California with his bandmates and an impromptu trip to Mexico one night. The details of the story aren’t that important, except for one: one of them stayed behind in the hotel room while all of this was happening and has since regretted missing out on all of the inside jokes, memories, Polaroid photos, etc., etc. My father always told me to put myself out there, step outside my safe box and I did in time. I missed out on a few things because I was afraid to take those risks and immediately regretted it as soon as the pictures started popping up.

We should take care to plan and monitor the impressions that we’re giving people but we should also make a few mistakes while we’re young. This is the best way to learn. I encourage you, dear readers, to take the advice I was handed a little too late.

We here at GenTwenty are curious: What wisdom do you feel you were handed too late?

Photo via Flickr

About the Author

F. Lee

F is a graduate student who enjoys knitting, baking, theatre, The Boston Red Sox, being sassy, and roller derby. She is pursuing a career in mental healthcare and hopes to help and advocate for the LGBT community.

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