Last week I shared advice from two friends, Jackie and Ashley: knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 19-year-old self?

Ashley thought about it some more and offered a few more nuggets:

  1. Our pastor frequently says, “The person you will be in 10 years is directly affected by the people you hang out with and the books you read.” I think there’s a lot of wisdom there. Read more books and surround yourself, not only with smart people, but good people; people who will speak life to you and who will challenge you to do the same.
  2. Disillusionment is coming. It happens to everyone. As you get older you realize that some people that you really loved and respected didn’t really deserve your love and respect. It’s sad and heartbreaking. Embrace it–there’s no way around it. Love them anyway, but be careful who you let speak into your life.
  3. A few months after I got married, Eric Teoro (one of my business professors) told me that I didn’t know what it meant to love my husband, and I wouldn’t really know what that meant until we had some water under our bridge. He was right. He also once said, referring to some scripture from Corinthians, that love means growing up (in some other words;)). He was also right about that. I’d probably advise myself to keep my opinions about love and marriage to myself for the first several years of marriage.
  4. A smile and polite, gentle answer can get you out of most everyday difficult situation.
  5. A van is really not as bad as you think it is. In fact, it’s kind of fantastic.
  6. READ Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen, stat. Most twenty-somethings desperately need to hear those words.
  7. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for his cause, but the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for his cause” (The¬†Catcher In the Rye). I would tell my twenty-year-old self to choose to live humbly–it speaks volumes more than a noble death.
  8. Buy some real clothes. Jeans and vintage t-shirts are only going to work for so long. If you are wearing jeans and tees all the time, while complaining that no one takes you seriously, you should probably change your wardrobe. Take yourself seriously enough to invest in some decent clothing. And dress up for the job you want, not the job you have.