Being young – make the most of it

By Ali
Category: Personal | Date: Tue 04 Nov, 2008

If you’re currently in your late teens or your twenties, make the most of it – you may well have more freedom now than you’ll ever have in your life! It may not feel that way at times (especially when money is tight), but I wanted to give you three thoughts on why this is a great age to be:

You’re young in the eyes of the world

Some of the older people who I hugely respect will remind me (nicely!) from time to time that I’m still pretty young. When I’m bewailing my lack of novelistic success to my writing mentor, he points out that most novelists weren’t published writers at the age of twenty-three – and I realise I’ve done well to have a few short stories out there.

If you’re somewhere around 18-30, people will expect you to make mistakes, and won’t expect you to meet the same standards as someone older. It’s a great time to do things like starting your own business; older folk like to see spunky young people succeed, and they’ll often be more than willing to do you a few favours to help you get started.

(To build up business skills, and to get a bit of cash too, you might want to check out Student Gems; I wrote a review of the site recently. The employers there will know that you’re a student and just getting started, so they won’t expect an unreasonable amount from you. That’s not to say, of course, that you shouldn’t do your utmost to deliver a professional piece of work.)

You can get yourself sorted out before life really gets going

I was chatting to the wonderful Tim Brownson a couple of weeks ago, and he suggested that whilst I might not have the same sorts of hassles in life that some of his coaching clients face, I’m at a great age to build habits that’ll see me in good stead through rocky patches.

I’d never quite thought about it like that before, but he’s absolutely right. Your teens and twenties are great years to work on yourself – to build a framework for your life that’ll help you make the most of not just your time at uni but your time on this planet!

That’s all very well in theory, what does it look like in practice? It might mean:

  • Solving your procrastination problem once and for all.
  • Working through an issue in your past that’s been holding you back.
  • Getting your body to a healthy weight, and getting yourself fit.
  • Starting a savings account and putting money into it regularly.
  • Learning about yourself so that you know what career you want to go into.

As you can see from that list, getting some of those sorted out now could well save you a lot of time and aggro in the future.

You can decide to do pretty much anything you want

Want to drop out of uni and travel the world? Want to start your own business? Want to eat only raw food? Want to change your religion? Want to write a novel? There are an awful lot of possibilities open to you at the moment: you probably don’t have kids, a mortgage, a menagerie of pets, a career…

If there’s something you think “I’d love to do that one day” about, is there some way you can make it a reality this year? Some goals do require money, but others – including travelling the world – can be done on a shoestring.

Don’t limit your possibilities. There’ll never be a perfect time to chase your dreams, so why not go for them while you’re young?

Are you in your teens/twenties? How’re you making the most of it? If you’re older, what advice can you offer to us – or what do you wish you’d done while you were younger?


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