Month: April 2014

What’s your favorite piece of advice?

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I’m great at giving advice, but I’m not so good at receiving it.  (That’s really just a more tactful way of saying that I’m good at being critical of others but I whine and complain when others criticize me.)  As I near the end of my senior year, I’ve become less and less welcoming towards advice, as my adult life looms and my plans remain uncertain.  I’d love to share a piece of advice that I actually did appreciate with the hope that anyone feeling a bit anxious about where they’re headed in life can take it to heart the way that I did.

This fall, Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz visited my college and spoke about the craft of being a writer.  I spent half of his talk loudly laughing at his dry wit and the other half wildly scribbling down anything he said that sounded useful to me as a writer (this was a difficult task as he was a fountain of knowledge).

One point in specific stuck in my mind, though, and I’ve been coming back to it as I near graduation and face a daily deluge of questions about my future plans. (more…)

What do you do to center yourself?

Maybe “centering yourself” is a little too new-agey for what I’m talking about, but I think its crucial to have some calming practices to turn to when life gets stressful.  I wish I could say that I’m someone who goes for a run (I can’t make it down the block) or does yoga (I hate to sweat) or even meditates (my attention span seems to shorten every year), but I’m not.  I’m more likely to vent to a friend or flip on a tear-jerker when I need an emotional release.  I’d apologize for sounding like a walking (or crying) stereotype, but I’m being honest, and I’m willing to bet that a lot of my readers can relate.  I’m of the opinion that nothing good comes of stifling one’s emotions, which can make living with me a bit overwhelming at times.

So, I’m happy to share with my roommates, my family, my friends, my readers, and the internet at large, a wonderful suggestion from (more…)

What happens when you fail?

Your twenties are about more than party dresses and vino, although it'd be nice if they weren't.
Your twenties are about more than party dresses and vino, although it’d be nice if they weren’t.

If you’re like me, you probably imagined that your twenties would be filled with success and adventure.  Now, I’m only a little more than two and a half years into my twenties, but even at the ripe age of twenty-one I know that my idealization is far from true (as idealizations often are).  Of course it’s an exciting and happy time in a person’s life, but something I think few people consider is that while your twenties are a decade of change and excitement (think new relationships, challenging careers, disposable incomes, and other major life changes) they are also inevitably a decade with more failure than you’re probably used to.  Ironically, or unsurprisingly, depending on how you see it, most of these failures relate to these major life changes like relationships, careers, and the responsibility that comes with one’s own income.

If your childhood and teenage years are a time to grow up, your twenties are the time to figure out who you are.  In my own case, I’ve learned a lot about who I am from instances where I experienced failure or rejection. (more…)