Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wisdom from my twenties...

Seeing all those young, bright-eyed summer-interns and fresh graduates at work has been making me feel a tad old. You know that feeling when you see a younger, less jaded, version of yourself and go 'I remember when I used to be like that...' ? That feeling is usually followed by two things. First, you experience a slight attack of nostalgia for those less cynical times. And right after that, you recover and smile inwardly, a half-smile of wisdom and experience and think - kids!

Well, in my opinion, anyone who has felt that way immediately gains the right to dispense some I-know-what's-best-for-you life advice to those who ... well, are young enough to have never felt that way. So here it is. My first blog post on life advice, for all those young people venturing out into the "real" world, based on some of the "lessons" I learnt in my post-college life or my twenties. Just a heads up.

Friendships. It's not as easy to make friends once you're out of school/college. And it will be a lot less likely that chatting with someone you just met in a party will spark off a life-long friendship. So treasure the close friends you've got and make all the effort you can to stay in touch. That is not to say you won't make any new friends. But it will be harder.

Career. You will not be made the CEO or Managing Director at your firm after your brilliant performance in your first successful project. Or the next. Or the one after that. When in college, many of us think that moving up the corporate chain will be a breeze. Surely, everyone will notice how smart you are? Sorry to burst your bubble honey, but get real. You will have to work your way up slowly and you will have to be patient. The sooner you develop realistic expectations, the less you will be disappointed.

Money. Money will matter a little less to you with time. For someone with a small allowance, a high paying job will almost seem like a life goal. But you'll find that once you have enough to pay your bills and live comfortably, what you make over and above that will matter less than really loving what you do.

You will need a hobby or an interest. I honestly believe that developing a hobby early in life pays off most in your twenties. Because, before your twenties, you most likely are surrounded by family, friends and siblings and have tons of other things to do. And after you start a family of your own, you'll be busy as well. But in-between is when you will really need something to be passionate about and to meaningfully fill in your free time.

Well, my gyaan (knowledge) ends here. I don't think there is anything up there that nobody else has figured out for themselves, but hey, uncle S, who simply delights in giving young people advice, will be proud his niece is doing it now (broadcasting it on the internet no less!). Now lets give it another decade before I collect enough wisdom to fill another blog post.

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