For me, 20 was a big year—I spent the summer traveling around Europe; it was my first year at Yale as a transfer from Cornell; and my mom had died the year before.
Despite how it looks, I hadn’t done anything really dangerous or really stupid….
I guess this should be number one:
1. If you’re going to fool around with a gun, first find out if it’s loaded. (This was borrowed from someone I met in the Israeli army)
2. And by the way, GET OUT OF THE SUN. You might avoid getting skin cancer— which you will have in less than 10 years.
3. Keep a journal; someday you’ll forget all the things you think you’ll remember.
4. Take more pictures. Same reason as #3.
5. Find a surrogate mom; you will miss having a mother even more the older you get.
6.. Pay more attention to what’s inside your bookbag than how cute you look carrying it.
7. And you might want to think about what you’re going to do with your life before the last semester senior year.
8. Then again, might as well get used to it. You’ll spend most of your life flying by the seat of your pants—and the most useful qualities you can have are resilience and adaptability.
9. Take advantage of every chance to LEARN —from a class, from everything you do—now and forever.
10. While you’re learning—remember you will learn more from failure than from success.
11. Spend less time with your boyfriends and more with your girlfriends.
12. Continue to stand up for what—and who– you believe in.
13. But don’t worry; Nixon won’t be there to kick around much longer.
14. Buy less clothes. And save the good ones; someday they will be vintage. (Everything really DOES come back in style.)
15. On the other hand, don’t save so much STUFF. You’ll thank me later.
16. Ask questions about your family history before the family elders are gone.
17. Continue taking risks. The good kind. It makes life a constant adventure.
16. Think less about what you DON”T have; and more about what you DO have. And be grateful for it.
17. That includes your body—so stop criticizing it and appreciate it.
18. Don’t think the men in your life know more than you do.
19. Trust your own judgement –and learn how to speak up for yourself.
20. You look like you’re on top of the world: and you are. But it gets even better. I promise.