Do what you gotta do. There will be several times in your life when you will have to do things you don’t want to do, but that you have to do. This is especially true in your twenties. Things like living at home with your parents, unpaid internships, low-paying jobs, service jobs, ending dead-end relationships, and putting a stop to Thirsty Thursdays. These are all things we don’t want to do, but that most of us will have to do. This statement is also true of doing what needs to be done to get to where you want to be. If you want to live in NYC, you might have to live in a hobbit hole studio with a roommate and live off the nutrients of Ramen noodles for a few years.
You have to start somewhere. Unless you are a very lucky individual, you probably won’t get your dream job – or anything close to it – right out of college. You’ll probably have to take an unpaid internship in the field, followed by a few years of phone-answering and mail-room-working. For me, I want to be a professor, but no one is going to hire me full-time without experience. I was lucky enough to get an adjunct job teaching one class next semester at community college. It’s a start.
Early bird gets the worm. Start waking up earlier. It sucks, I know. But I promise you will be a more productive human if you start your day with a morning jog, or workout, or even just quiet time not in your bed. I (usually) get up at 5:30am every day, go for a run or to the gym, and get ready for work. I get to work early so I’m not rolling through the door with a second to spare. Get places early. Wake up early.
Expect the unexpected. Seriously, this might be the truest of them all. You never know when life will surprise you (pleasantly or not), but you can prepare for the worst, or the best. Think that interview was absolutely horrible and you won’t get the job? Don’t erase the possibility. Anticipating that raise or promotion at work? Don’t get used to the idea. A better way to think about this might be “consider every angle and every possible outcome, and prepare for them.”
Opposites attract. No, really, they do. Humans are naturally more comfortable with familiar things, making us gravitate toward those like us. However, in friends or relationships, opposites can be way more interesting and exciting. Eventually, the guy/gal who is just like you will bore you (probably). Someone who is totally different than you will more than likely frighten you at first, but eventually will become one of your greatest partners in the adventure of life. Likewise, if you always hang out with a group of friends exactly like you, you’ll never ever ever leave your comfort zone, and that is truly tragic.
Everything happens for a reason. No explanation. It just does. Trust the universe. It knows what it’s doing.