Notes to my younger self

Something a bit different today. My lovely friend Sarah (you know, that sassy Minnesotan sage with a taste for travel & cats in costumes? yeah?) has launched her kick-ass eBook, The Post College Survival Kit, and has asked some of her pals to share a little wisdom…

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Notes To My Younger Self is helping spread the word about The Post College Survival Kit. We learned the hard way so you don’t have to! You don’t have to wait till your thirties for a better job, a cuter apartment, financial stability, better relationships + friendships.

I think I did pretty well for myself “Post College” and even though I’m not one for regrets (a pointless emotion until time machines are invented) there are definitely a few things I’d do differently in hindsight. There are a fair few things I’d do exactly the same, too. What advice would I give my 23 year old self now that I’m nearing 30?

Don’t get hung up on university grades

I didn’t graduate with the grade I wanted.  I was gutted, even though I pretty much hated my degree course (oh, younger self, that time you considered changing course? probably should’ve done it!) and put in the least amount of effort I could get away with.

I graduated back in 2007 with a pretty pointless degree in something a bit like Fine Art. Luckily, I’d forged my own skill set by learning how to make websites in my spare time (yay for extra-curricular learning!), and managed to brag a job within 6 months of University ending.

And now? that grade doesn’t mean anything.

Try not to spend too much on credit cards

Between university, travelling, and other fun stuff, I managed a rack up quite a bit of credit card debt. Nothing that I wasn’t able to manage, but something that in the years after university I would’ve preferred not to have hanging around. That said, would I trade my trip to Australia for that lack of card debt? No way, I’d do it all again.

Travel as much as possible

Between leaving university and turning 25, I’d travelled across the USA on a train, popped into Canada, taken a trip to Australia & hiked in the Blue Mountains, and visited a friend in Hong Kong. There’s still SO MUCH more that I’d love to see in the world, but my life just isn’t as flexible to fit lots of travel in anymore. I’m sure I’ll get around to it all one day, but I kinda wish I’d done a little more back then!

It’s totally fine to be interested in several different career paths

My career has always been weird and conflicted. Growing up, I always wanted to be a vet. Then I kinda went down the art & design route, but also applied for a Zoology degree. Then I applied for a Fine Art-ish degree, and also a Biomedical & Forensics degree. I did the Fine Art-ish one (see above). Then I started learning to code, and became a web developer. But… I also started my own jewellery line. Still with me?

I always felt pulled in two directions, constantly told that I needed to choose one path. Now? I’ve made my own perfect career! I happily make jewellery, websites, and write helpful things for people. I’ve forged my own path, and I wish my younger self knew that that’s what was gonna happen.

Staying home with your cat is, and always will be, okay

I think I hit 18 and turned into a grandma. Given the choice between staying in and going to a club? I’ve already got my slippers on & a book picked out. I’m not sure if I’m totally introverted, I love to meet new people & travel, but I have issues with wasting money on ‘going out’ when there’s a comfy sofa with my name on it! Younger self – this is fine, you’ll find others just like you in a few years time, kick back with that puzzle & get an early night.

 

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6 Responses to “Notes to my younger self”

  1. Ashlie

    I’ve been loving the Post-College Survival Kit flurry of advice and wisdom, and this is no exception! I especially relate to the travel- I haven’t done near enough and I missed out on a great window of time where it would have been acceptable. Younger selves- even if you’ve found your partner early and it’s romantic to act like an old married couple, don’t forget to have a little fun before you’re actually old!

    Reply
  2. Ann

    Hello!

    I’ve visited your blog several times and have been wanting to tell you that your work is fantastic! Especially the blog you and Nicholasstevenson did for Essie! I can relate to the many things you’ve said! You’re are doing a fine job and I hope very soon I can share with others my works! I’m only learning coding now! So hard but getting by haha If you can please take a moment to look at my blog and give me some feedback that would be wonderful *smiles*! Do you offer coding help? I have a few questions I really need help with just short stuff! xx Have an awesome day!

    Reply
  3. Jaina

    Can relate to a lot of what you’ve said here, especially as I’ve just hit that 30 mark.

    The notes on being interested in several career paths is definitely something i agree with. Still think it’s ridiculous how early kids have to know what they want to do for the rest of their life.

    I wish I had travelled more. But I was just so focussed on getting through school, uni and getting that job and earning! Now that I’m working it feels like I just don’t have the time for travelling.

    Great post :)

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  4. Stephanie

    Hi! I just stumbled onto your blog (yay pinterest) and I LOVE it. This post really helped me out. I’m in my junior year of college and feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s good to remember there’s more to life than grades on an essay.

    Also I have a cat and I go to bed at 9pm so I think I might be a grandmother as well.

    Anyways, I love your blog, I’ll probably be around :)

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  5. Tash

    This was the most refreshing thing to read ever, Kim! As a fellow pointless degree-er (geography, ahem) I’m getting extremely sick of people inquiring about the path I expect to take in life. My answer? I don’t know. I haven’t got a path yet, but I still have 101 ambitions, and that’s good enough, right?! I’m thinking of dropping out of my study abroad year (99.99% certain….) and instead just finishing my degree ASAP, before travelling + working abroad with a bit more freedom than I would have as an exchange student. I’m 19 and my cat is basically my baking, photography + blog! It’s all about carving your own path, linear careers are so over rated and trusting your gut is way too overlooked in society today! Thanks for writing this!

    Reply

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