10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

It’s Never too Early to Look Back

Written by Leigh McLaughlin, Staff Writer

Image obtained via Zee 16 on Flickr Creative Commons

Image obtained via Zee 16 on Flickr Creative Commons

25 years is not a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it seems to be a good time for crisis and reflection.  I will share with you some quarter-life reflections.

In an order given no particular significance, I’ve come to consider and realize the following:

1) Have you ever beheld the concept of a dog that thinks it’s a cat?  I’m thinking about it on a metaphorical level.  Our environments affect our behavior, certainly; it’s important for the dog to realize he’s a dog before he tries to jump from A to B like the cat, and risk injury.   I wish I had realized that everyone’s situations are unique.  I cannot necessarily do what others around me are doing without injury: physically, emotionally, financially.

2) People who live in subdivisions do not care if I regard them as Gumby in a human breeding ground.  They are taking care of their own lives, as I should be doing.

3) Clothing really does make the man, because there are millions of shallow mo-fos out there who need help to see what role you are playing.  The idea that someone should get to know your insides before having any ideas about you does not really have a place in this fast paced globe.  I wish I had known to dress whatever part I was playing to the best of my knowledge of the stereotypes, then maybe I would be somewhere right now.

[pullquote]Altruism goes a long way.  But so does a history lesson.[/pullquote]4) Altruism goes a long way.  But so does a history lesson.

5) The bus will forever remain the maker of a pensive mind, and that is necessary sometimes.  That, and there are so many reflective surfaces to catch one’s reflection in.

6) Relationships come and go but enemies are forever; do not burn your bridges.  The (former) roommate you royally cheesed could be your dream employers’ right hand wo/man, or the new cook at your favorite restaurant.

7) Money does not really ‘come and go’, because there are strategies for creating equity.

8) That old saying ‘it’s who you know’ is only a part of the complex puzzle.  Even if you know ‘so+so’ of ‘such+such’, do you have the skillset they are looking for?  Are you able to carry the weight of the favor you are asking?  If I had known this a few years ago, I would definitely have spent less time being impressed by ‘so+so’s reach.  We are all human, with arm spans roughly our own height.

9) Taking a ten-minute shower over a half an hour shower will not save the world.  Though it is one step toward…je ne sais quoi.  Actually, ‘every little bit’ does help.  When people buy you de-odorant for your birthday, you could engage in a discourse about potable water on a global scale.

10) In a large group of new people who are expected to work as a team, there is no need to jump in to make a lasting impression or tell people who you are.  They will see for themselves ‘who you are’ as you methodically create rapport one on one.  Social dynamics seem to figure themselves out.  If I had known this when I was younger, I would have saved enough energy to fly to the moon by now.


Zee 16 (Flickr)

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