I am not going to tell you that life is short and you only live once. I am not going to say travel, to find yourself. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. Every situation and every story is different, what works for you may be a disaster for someone else.
What I will say is chase your dreams, but stay grounded.
Believe in yourself, but be aware that you live in reality. Know your worth, but don’t be above working for free. Also know when you are ready to get paid and progress. Don’t be afraid to go for something, that you think is out of your league. Nepotism can be your best friend, or it can stab you in the back (kinda like a high school girl best friend, actually). Network, but don’t use people (know the difference). Connections can get you the job, but you and only you alone can keep it. Be independent, but know no one successful ever did it alone. Behind every superstar is a great team, remember to appreciate them. You are nothing without your support system, and you are here purely because of them.
It may seem like you are always working 4 jobs, just to eat and make ends meet and you will never make it. Hint this actually means you are probably about to make it. Juggling jobs or switching careers doesn’t make you less of a person, if anything it makes you more well-rounded. Everything is a trial and error process. You literally can not judge anything until you have given it a good honest try. You are learning to work hard and know nothing worth it is easy.
Anyone who says you can’t have it all, never has had it all. These are the ordinary people who work the same entry level boring office job, they got at 25 and were too afraid to chase what they actually wanted. These are the conformists of the world not the dreamers.
Don’t ever let them ruin your dreams, just because they gave up on theirs.
You are so close to the finish line, but you just want to give up. You are out of water, out of breath, out of time. 5 seconds ago you were 22 and fresh out of school, all of sudden you are 25 and still updating your resume weekly. Aren’t I supposed to be a grown up by now? Stop you are, those people that are 24 working full time living on their own you do not know their full story. No one wants to admit daddy still pays their phone bill at 26. Everyone gets help somewhere, their parents could be paying for their rent, car, or education. They may seem more together than you, but nothing ever is what it seems.
Everyone’s situation is different, don’t compare yourself to them.
Seriously stop thinking you need to be some sort of cookie-cutter version of an adult at 25, you don’t. You may burn yourself out, desperately trying to “adult”. Know your limits, but remember beggars can’t be choosers. Don’t ask for everything all at once, prove yourself first then be picky. Take everything one day at a time. I know this seems simple, but it is pretty complex to master this. Pace yourself, but don’t be lazy. You can get overwhelmed and overtired, just try not to go overboard. These are not signs of failing or falling, although they will literally feel the same. These are signs of earning.
You will feel like giving up every day, don’t.
Take a break go shopping, get out of that depressing “I can’t do it” mood. Buy a killer new “ I’m going to ace that interview” outfit. Then maybe skip the 5 dollar smoothie to justify paying for that outfit. Even when you are broke try to treat yourself even in a little way, to get out of that depressing funk. As Descartes said “I think therefore I am”.
Take credit when you can, but don’t steal someone else’s credentials. Help people out, but don’t be taken advantage of. Don’t be afraid to be scared, but also do not take warnings lightly. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Everything free comes with chains and a favour waiting to be asked. Regret is worse than failure. It’s never too late for a second chance, but make sure you are serious this time. Believe it or not you are in charge of your life. Some people may be dealt a better hand, but you determine what is a setback and what is a tragedy.
You decide how something affects you. So stop blaming everyone and anything else, but yourself.
Be patient and wait for the right job that is right for you. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t settle for the first job you get at 23, believe in your passion and find a way to make a career out of it. I know “nobody likes you when you are 23” and seriously nobody does. You are a fresh out of college kid, probably with no job experience in your field and you are desperate to take anything. You should still be patient for the right job, but take what you can get until then.
If you have to be a waiter, babysitter, bartender, receptionist, or all 4 until you make it, do it.
Not everyone gets it right away, most people don’t. Giving into a 9-5 job you don’t want at 23, is worse than giving up on your dreams too early. You may think being a waiter is beneath you, but you might hate yourself forever for putting your back up job before your passion. Even if you can not make money from your passion yet, at least try to make an emotional outlet out of it.
Don’t look for shortcuts for success, I am serious there are none.
If someone is offering you the world, he probably only wants to be alone with you in a hotel room. Have faith in yourself, but do not be naive. Everything will happen all at once, don’t lose balance. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and like you can’t do this, but you can because this is happening because you deserve it. People who say that you won’t make it, really don’t know you. Prove them wrong, but do it for yourself not for them.
It’s okay to quit something you do not love anymore, no one will think you have failed.
You only fail when you let yourself feel defeated. Have hope with logic. Don’t sell out, but keep your backup plan in your back pocket. You can have roots and wings. You can still fly and stay down to earth. If you do make it, and I hope you do. Please don’t think you are better than anyone, you are not. There is no better only different.