Dear Me at age 20,
Oh girl, can you believe you’re a college junior? Continue working hard, but also understand that obtaining a job in the field of public relations will require more than a respectable GPA, especially since you attend a small college. Save your money and search high and low for internships. Don’t allow your fear of rejection to keep you from applying to the PR fellowship program offered by the Olympics or similar opportunities.
After graduation, (for which you’ll want to wear a warm dress under your gown, because in Western NY, the snow sometimes falls in May) you will make one of the best decisions of your life. You will assert your independence by moving to Orlando, FL, with two suitcases and $500. That’s one reason I keep reiterating that you should save your money, because if you don’t, there will be eight days in your life that you eat only blueberry muffins and Cream of Wheat.
The next five years of your life will bring you a mixed bouquet…adventure, surprise, heartache, romance, opportunity, and closed doors. You will encounter a multitude of fears…some you will conquer, to others, you will succumb. Fear is your greatest adversary. If you allow it , that same fear, which also masquerades as self-doubt, apathy, and procrastination, will keep you head locked in its strong hold for years. Listen carefully to the voice of your creator as He whispers guidance in your heart. And listen to your gift of intuition when you meet prospective friends, roommates and employers. Don’t second-guess those red-flag moments just because you are afraid that you cannot do better.
Your first few jobs will not be glamorous, and your youth and tiny voice will not garner respect. But, don’t allow that to stop you from respecting yourself and working hard in spite of criticism. Truth be told, you do have a lot to learn and pride is just a waste of time and energy. Complete every task you are given, even the menial, to the very best of your ability and do so with a cheerful attitude. Hold your head up high when you enter a room, put some grip in your handshake, lower your voice (even if it feels fake), and look people square in the eye when you speak. My last bit of professional advice for you is this: sometimes confrontation is necessary. Don’t be afraid to take a stand for something that you know is right. Confront with both kindness and firmness, and don’t allow a shaky voice to shake your resolve.
When it comes to relationships, you’ll quickly discover that the number of dates you go on in your twenties will make up for your nearly dateless teenage years. Apparently, southern guys find your combination of sweetness and spunk attractive, which is a good and bad thing because you have no clue who you are or what you want. Be gentle with the hearts that are offered to you. Once you refuse to stand behind a facade, you will find true love. Believe it or not, there is one man who will love you…quirks and all.
Before you find that man, you will fancy someone else…and when your feelings are unrequited, you will honestly be shocked. Arrogant, I know. This experience will cause you to doubt yourself like never before. Whatever you do…don’t ask the young man to give you a list of reasons why he doesn’t feel he same way as you do. Please, heed my advice on this one, because if you ask for a list…you will get one and it will not be pretty. You will get over the guy quickly, but it will take you a decade to get over the list. First of all, the list will be much longer than you expected it to be. Secondly, it is grounded in the opinions from just one man, not the representative for all mankind.
Should you ignore my counsel and ask for the list, do not use it as a measuring tool of your worth. Nor should you use it as impetus for self-improvement. In fact, do not use the standards of any man or woman, regardless how highly you esteem them, to shape your identity. Instead, align yourself with God’s standards, and actively live your life in the pursuit of being more like Jesus.
You at age 35
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
Ten additional advice tips –
Select a roommate based on personality and not apartment—If you do not do this, you will live in a luxury apartment with an emotionally unbalanced woman who will terrorize you…no, “future you” does not exaggerate.
Don’t behave like women in romantic comedies
Enjoy your time as a single woman
Get your driver’s license before you move to Orlando
Wear sunscreen every day that you live in Florida, because yes you can get a 2nd degree sunburn in March.
Take time to learn more about political issues
As you learn about these issues, decide where you stand on them based on your values and not merely on the opinions of others.
Go on a missions trip
When your friend Charis comes to visit you, do not let her eat chicken.
Only buy your friends wedding gifts for which they have registered.