Read time: ~7 minutes

A friend of mine was talking to a recent college grad who was having the post-grad crisis. My friend was telling me about the conversation and the advice they gave to their cousin which naturally led us to talking about what we would tell our post-graduated selves. 

It was such a fun conversation! Especially seeing our shared feelings when we had totally different upbringings and only became friends in the past couple of years. 

The advice we were telling each other and giving our younger selves was also still relevant to us today! 

At the ripe old age of 30, here are 10 things I would tell my newly college graduated self. 

  1. Advice: DON’T WORRY

Thoughts @ 22: I have to have a job right away! I can’t be unemployed with a college degree! I don’t know how to be unemployed! If I don’t have a job now I might never get one! This could ruin me and no one will ever want to hire me again. 

Thoughts @ 30: Just because you don’t have a job 3 seconds after graduation doesn’t mean you never will. Take a minute and breathe.

  1. Take A Break

Thoughts @ 22: I want to be a part of the corporate world like they show you in all the movies. Grinding, working hard, making stupid office jokes. Working hard and getting recognized and moving up the ladder and making more money. 

Thoughts @ 30: I was grossly unprepared for the transition to selling your soul for a tiny bit of money a corporate job. We spend so much time in school and never really take a break before entering the workforce. It doesn’t have to be like this; there are so many routes you can go.


Thoughts @ 22: Holy smokes this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Thanks to student loans I booked a 6 week internship abroad. I hope my new job is okay with it and let’s me start when I get back. I would love to stay longer but I need to start working — those student loan payments start soon. 

Thoughts @ 30: Stay longer, travel more, figure it out, don’t pay attention to what a company thinks they literally do not care about you. Travel wherever you can, whenever you can, however you can. Get out of your hometown, get out of your comfort zone. 

You’ll get so much more out of traveling than any formal education. 

  • If you can’t go abroad, go across the country. 
  • If you can’t go across the country, go to the next state.
  • Work at a National Park
  • Work on a cruise ship
  1. Pursue Your Interests

Thoughts @ 22: If it can’t make me money I don’t want to waste my time on it. If I’m not instantly good at it I don’t want to even try (I don’t know how to study or try). 

Thoughts @ 30: Wrong! Pursue things simply because you’re interested in them. Be bad at things, try new things, you don’t have to be good at everything you like to do. Spend time exploring things that interest you no matter if it’s for 3 months or 3 years! 

  • Take that job because you want to vibe and learn how to make coffee
  • Take that job that pays you well but sucks your soul. Save up, quit, and finance a trip for yourself
  • Quit that job that sucks out your soul
  • Take that job across the country
  • Say yes to something you have no idea how to do
  • Do something just because it interests you
  1. Do Stupid Shit

Thoughts @ 22: I’m an adult. I have to start being mature which means not having fun and not doing things spontaneously. I have to make the older people think I’m worthy of something (??).

Thoughts @ 30: Your 20’s are a time for exploring the world and exploring yourself. Literally, nothing matters. You’re put on this planet for like 80-100 years.Have fun! 

  • Take jobs that pay the bills but don’t line up with your industry. 
  • Fall in love
  • Fall out of love
  • Learn your boundaries and learn how to tell people what they are
  • Make amazing friendships
  • Lose friendships
  • Do whatever you want to do (as long as you’re not hurting or harming another person)
  • Have fun

Somewhere in all that stupid shit you’re going to learn a lot about yourself, other people, and the world in general. 

  1. Get Fired

Thoughts @ 22: Getting fired means I’m a failure. I must do whatever I can to never get fired including doing something wrong means I’m going to get fired, speaking my mind, going above and beyond my work load, never asking for a raise, never making a fuss, etc, etc. 

Thoughts @ 30: Don’t let your fear keep you chained to something you hate. If you’re only doing a good job for fear of being fired, if you’re not asking for a raise because you think you’ll get fired, if making a mistake leads to getting fired, it’s probably all for the best. 

  1. Stop Striving For Perfection

Thoughts @ 22: There are so many things I need to do in order to be successful or to be taken seriously. There are so many things to concern myself with. Concerns like:

  • looking older.
  • “moving up the corporate ladder” (ew). 
  • wearing the right clothes. 
  • saying the right things. 
  • eating with the right fork (I still don’t know and I really don’t care). 
  • being right. 
  • “following the right path” whatever TF that means 

Thoughts @ 30: Learn about where the stories we tell ourselves come from. Are you learning from people like you? Your life can look however you want it to. 

  • Make mistakes
  • Look dumb
  • Be open to feedback

To make sure everything turns out right

  • know who you are
  • know what you care about
  • know WHO you care about
  • and go from there.
  1. You Don’t — And Can’t — Know Everything

Thoughts @ 22: I am so smart and experienced and powerful. I’m an adult now and I know everything. I’ve experienced so much in my 22 years. I’m invincible. 

Thoughts @ 30: There’s so much I don’t know! There’s so much to learn and so many people to learn from. But the best way of learning is to be open. 

  • Be open to being wrong
  • Be open to learning
  • Be open to seeing things from different perspectives
  • Be open to the fact there are 7 billion (plus or minus) people on this planet and each one of us has had a different experience. 
  1. Learn About Marketing Techniques

Thoughts @ 22: The internet is just a thing. You can buy plane tickets online and never really get lost in a foreign country; Instagram is a place to post pictures of your food; Facebook is an online diary for keeping in touch with people. The internet and subsequently how business works via the internet wasn’t a part of my curriculum.

Thoughts @ 30: I wish I would have asked myself how and why. How does the internet work, how has advertising changed, how it will change, how is psychology incorporated into the internet, and how is psychology incorporated into how we buy things. 

  1. You Don’t Need A Partner! 

Thoughts @ 22: My search for a boyfriend in college was unsuccessful. Partly due to me, partly due to where I was. The search for a boyfriend will always be on. It’s behind everywhere I go, everything I wear, everything I post. I just know I will see someone, make eye contact, and that will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship — nevermind that I don’t love talking to strangers. 

Thoughts @ 30: Your worth is not, and never will be tied to another person. The mindset of needing a partner caused a lot of problems. 

  • It didn’t let me love my appearance
  • I didn’t let me love my body
  • It didn’t let me be stupid
  • It didn’t let me let go
  • It didn’t let me relax
  • It didn’t let me develop or respect my self-worth
  • It didn’t let me learn to say no
  • It didn’t let me believe that my word was enough
  • It didn’t let me learn or know my boundaries

It took me a long time to enjoy being alone with myself. To appreciate myself, to see the good in myself, and really to see the potential I had as an individual human being. It’s worth repeating: Your worth is not, and never will be tied to another person. And IF you find someone, stay with them because you want to, because they make your life better, because they’re your best friend, not because you need to or because you’re scared or because you think it’s the logical next step.

Advice to my 22-year-old self