Notes To My 22 Year Old Self

Notes To My 22 Year Old Self
Carly Jacobs
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ello petals! This post is part of a post-college advice series led by the super excellent Sarah from Yes and Yes. Notes To My Younger Self is a blog crawl helping spread the word about The Post College Survival Kit. It’s basically a way for us to share our knowledge about how to survive your 20s and come out smiling at the other end. Here are my notes to my 22 year old self.

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Young woman in dress lying on gerass

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Be generous with your eggs; don’t put them all in one basket

 

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The theory

There’s no point in spending four years studying Interpretive African Ice Dancing when no one is employing Interpretive African Ice Dancers. By all means study something that you love but make sure your education has enough of a back bone to support you when an economic crises all but obliterates the entire African Ice Dancing industry and you’re left with a degree that is completely redundant and useless.

The practice

I studied journalism at university but I simultaneously studied a Bachelor of Education. I’ve been able to earn some pretty decent casual cash in between building up my writing portfolio and launching a freelance business/career. I only teach now because I like the security of regular income and I teach just enough (1 or 2 days per week) to cover my rent in an emergency but I’ve been earning a full-time income from my business for almost 2 years now. Consequently I’m one of the most financially stable freelancers that I know. I’ve watched a good portion of my friendship group go back to university to study as adults because their Bachelor of Arts doesn’t actually qualify them for anything and all of them wished they’d done it sooner.

 

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If a guy likes you, he’ll call you

 

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The theory

You met this great guy on Saturday night. There were diamond sparkle unicorns in your eyes and when he pressed his erection against your thigh you knew it was true love. You went home with him, you boinked all night and then three days later he hasn’t called. You subsequently spend the next three weeks with your face wrapped around a bottle of Smirnoff and have sex with lots of ugly guys to ‘punish’ him.

The practice

I was, and continue to be, utterly gobsmacked by how simple relationships are if the person that you’re with actually, genuinely loves you. I dated a series of uber douches before Mr Smaggle and it took me a long time to be comfortable with how available, attentive and non-assholey he was. I used to invent all these ‘issues’ that the guys I dated had – he’s been broken, he has emotional baggage, he’s scared about getting hurt. They were all bollocks. They just actually, genuinely didn’t like me very much. If you have to wonder if the person you’re dating likes you, then they probably don’t. True love is actually extremely rare and I don’t take my good fortune for granted. I’m not better or more awesome than anyone who hasn’t found an amazing partner – I’m just extremely lucky. However, I know that if I didn’t have the good fortune to meet Mr Smaggle I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my time with people who treated me like trash. I treat myself very well thank you very much and I’d rather date myself than mess around with dickheads who don’t give a toss about me.

 

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Get into good health habits early

 

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The theory

When you’re young, you have the ability to bounce back from bad life choices like a fat guy on a trampoline. You can get 2 hours of sleep and rock up at your hospitality job looking like roses and youth shat all over your face. You can go to a music festival wearing little more than underwear, get that special kind of sunburn that worries your mother and your skin will literally replenish itself. You can even have a few social cigarettes on the weekend and jump up the next day and run a 10km race. You can probably also eat any old junk that you like and still be able to fit into your favourite Levis you’ve had since you were 16.

The practice

Now I certainly haven’t been perfect during my 20s (far too many sleepless nights drinking on freezing cold balconies, a few to many social cigarettes, letting my nose get sunburnt way too often) but I’m in much better shape than many of my peers. I have a super shit metabolism so I’ve been counting calories and exercising like a demon since I was 16 which has made the transition into adulthood a lot easier. Lots of my metabolically blessed friends are freaking out that their usually obedient bodies have started ignoring them and stopped metabolising calories like they used. Old habits die hard, so get them set in stone as early as you can. And for goodness sake wear sunscreen, don’t smoke, drink sensibly, eat green things and get up off your toosh and get some exercise. It’s not negotiable.

 

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If you could go back in time what advice would you give to your 22 year old self?

22 Comments

  1. starring maya 5 years ago

    Hahaha!! you took the words right out of my mouth, i’ve been thinking about the things i need to teach my baby daughter when she’s older and these are most definitely going to be studied like a text book by her!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Thank you! I think there’s a few issues with the way some people raise their children letting them believe they can do anything they want. I love that idea and I’ve certainly done that myself but I’ve paid my own rent along the way and haven’t had to borrow a cent from my parents ever. I’m pretty proud about that.

  2. Yes! These are all excellent things. I would also add learning the value of money & how to save it. I’m very grateful to my parents that they taught me this from a very young age so I never ended up with thousands of dollars of credit card debt like some of my friends, and instead actually managed to save enough to spend 8 months in Europe when I was 20, and I have now bought an apartment all by myself at 27. The earlier you get this sorted the better off you’ll be in the long run!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Oh totally! I’m the same… I only got my first credit last year and I only got it for the points! Getting a good solid education in money is so valuable. I’m a chronic saver and I’ll often send little screen shots of my bank account to my dad to show him how well I’m doing with my savings. He’s super proud!

      • I Spy Plum Pie 5 years ago

        I only got my first credit card this year as part of my mortgage but straight away set it up to be paid off in full each month – I don’t even have to think about it. The points and the benefits to my interest rate were the only real reasons to get one!

    • Tahlia Meredith 5 years ago

      Yep that’s a good one. I spent most of my late 20s paying off credit card debt incurred in my early 20s, no fun!

      • Author
        Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

        Oh no, I’ have friends who did that and it didn’t look fun. Glad I managed to avoid it!

  3. Careeragogo 5 years ago

    The Organised Housewife put up a great saying the other day “Don’t trip over something that is behind you”. I have spent far too much of my time obsessing over past hurts rather than moving forward to future blessings. All those tears and years spent dealing with boyfriends “issues”. And that guy who broke your heart into a million pieces? You will google him in 15 years time and discover he looks like a bald chipmunk (or at least my ex does!)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Ha! Brilliant! I love it. Katrina is a very wise woman and I love that quote. I totally agree. I’m so not into nostalgia at all and too many people spend way too much time looking backwards when they should be looking forwards.

  4. love this post and the idea for the college survival kit. I would tell my 22 year old self to be more confident as I was so worried about people liking me back then. What other people think about you is none of your business.

    • Tahlia Meredith 5 years ago

      Same!! I probably still think about this a bit more than I should, but it’s only like 4% of how much time and energy I used to waste worrying about if people liked me.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Totally! I was so pre-occupied with what other people thought of me and now, I literally give zero fucks.

      • Christine 5 years ago

        Yep, too true. What’s that saying? People don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. When I remember embarrassing behaviour or incident from my youth, rather than cringe I: (a) am safe in the knowledge that I absolutely know better now and (b) am probably the only one who remembers it!

    • I second this – believe in yourself! You’re totally OK the way you are. Embrace your You-ness.

  5. Kate - ddgdaily 5 years ago

    I’d probably say stop worrying so much about EVERYTHING … It makes no difference (and PS everything is going to turn out unicorns!) and don’t forget to tell your special people you love them … A lot ????

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Oh god yes all the worrying. I have to stop that.

  6. Rae Hilhorst 5 years ago

    Live more and don’t worry about what people think about you, enjoy being you

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      I find that it gets better and better as I get older!

  7. Rachel Ann 5 years ago

    Sometimes I worry about where I am in life (I’m 22) then I read lists like these and all the things on them seem quite obvious and like things that I am making at least some headway in and I feel better.

    I just did an exercise where I imagined what my future self would say to my current self and I think she’s going to wonder why I’m spending all this time waiting for permission to do the things I want. So I guess I’m going to go and get started on a few things now, so thanks for that.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 5 years ago

      Oh good one! I love that. Yes never wait for anyone else to give you permission to do what you want.

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