This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Erie Insurance.
Now that I am 30, I am seeing the benefits of knowing way more than I did in my 20s. I had a lot of fun in my 20s, yes. But I also made so many mistakes. Not to say that I regret anything I've done in my past. But if I had known then what I know now, I could've got to where I am now so much smoother. But you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.
But regardless, I would still like to reflect on what I wish I would've known when I was 22. I know 22 may seem like an odd age to reflect on. But I was out here like Taylor Swift enjoying that age. Maybe it was because I was in my last year of college. Or maybe it was because I had just come home from living in New York for a year. But I think a good portion for why I was feeling 22 was because I had my first apartment without roomates!
Living alone was a huge for me because 1. I believe that everyone woman should live alone at least once in her life and 2. It terrified me to live alone. So I knew it was something I had to do. So when I got my first place I was doing whatever I want, whenever I wanted, outside of my classes I had to attend. But if I had to go back and do it again, here are 5 things I would've done differently.
1. Get Renters Insurance
I remember having conversations with my friends about renters insurance for my apartment at the time. And thinking that I wouldn't have to worry about anything happening to my stuff (as if bad things never happened to me) so I didn't get it. Fast forward 8 years later and I have seen close friends have to use the renters insurance due to unforseen circumstances. And they wee so grateful to have it at the time.
The surprising thing to me is that I just did not know all the things that renters insurance covered. For example, If I were working in a coffee shop with my laptop and it was stolen, that would be covered in my renters insurance. This was surprising to me, especially considering how big of a fear this was for me when I was freelance writing in coffee shops on the daily.
Renteres Insurnace nsurance covers any damage in your aprtment as well as if there were a fire. Renter's Insuracnce would also cover the cost of wherever you stay while you are away. It could also cover medical bills if you or someone who was visiting was injured on your property. After learning all of these things, long after I was 22, I consider myself incredibly lucky to not have had any incidents.
But if I rent an apartment again, you better believe I will be using renter's insurance. And if I were to choose an insurance plan, it would be Erie Insurance. They are trustworthy, afforadble and convenient. Did you know that you could get both car insurance and renters insrance together and get a multipolicy discount?
All I know is that if I had renter's insurance I would've been less anxious and more smart about myself and my assests. If you want to learn more about the benefits of reneter's insurance, you should check out this post here.
2. Apply for Jobs BEFORE You Graduate
Let's just say I had a rough time finding a job when I graduated after college. You can learn the details of my story here on how I started Miss Millennia Magazine because of how much trouble I faced after graduation. But if I could do it all again, I would've been appling to jobs at least 6 months before I graduated.
The truth was, I did not have that strong of a resume. I did not have many skills that I could bring into a job with me. And, I pretty much expected people to be throwing jobs at me since I had a degree. So I waited until after graduation. I did not take into consideration the fact that we were in a recession and that I was competeing with people who had a degree and experience vs. just my degree.
I felt pretty foolish once I realized how difficult the job hunt was. After I graduated, I ended up in my first big girl job almost 2 years after my graudation date. 2 YEARS! Now I was doing side jobs and customer service stuff before then, but it was still rough. Job hunt early, invest the time and money into getting your resume worked on and job hunt with intention! Know what career path you are looking for and go for it.
3. Start Saving Money Now
This one is a big one because I knew how to get a job and I knew how to make money on the side. The problem I had during school is that I just didn't want to do anything above the bare minimum to pay my bills. Now the excuse I said was that I was in school and I wanted to focus on school only.
But I just wanted more free time. I realize I could've been saving up extra cash from a part-time job to pay my student loans when I graduated. But at the time, student loans could've easily been called “Free Money” for the way that I was treating it.
Looking back on it, I would've not only saved more money by getting a part-time job, but I also would've taken out less student loans. No need to go further into debt just because you do not feel like working. So my feedback to my 22-year-old self…stop being so damn lazy.
4. Say “Yes” to More Things
Speaking of lazy….once I had my own apratment, I was hooked on the time I got to spend there doing all the things I liked. Things like watching Animal Planet all day, drinking way too much wine and napping.
Oh yes I took so many naps then. But while I was doing these things, I said no to so many others. I wanted to be more involved with different college groups that appealed to me as well as do more things with my friends. But I said no a lot just thinking about how I would miss Big Cat Diaries that afternoon if I said Yes.
I hate to say it, but I was very much like Jim Carey in the begining of Yes, Man. I was a No, Man. (I am so glad to have gotten that off of my chest.) I love that movie so much because it is the epitome of getting yourself out of a rut. But you have to say Yes! But anywho, If I could change something about being 22 in this regard. I would've done more socializing and challenging myself rather than saying No and watching a repeat of the Dog Whisperer.
5. Be More Comforatble in My Own Skin
This one is a big one. No matter how confident I may have looked in my photos, I was self-conscious about everything about myself. What I said, what I wore, how I talked to people. And these thoughts really made it hard for me to just get confortable in any social situation. Which is probably why I chose to watch TV at home instead of being social.
But after so many year of uncertanty, I've learned that being yourself and being comfortable in your own skin, is all your friends really expect of you. They don't want you to be someone you are not. And if they do it may be time to get a new set of friends. If could give the advice to myself at 22 it would be to get comfortable with yourself. Everything is going to turn out alright. You are not runing your life with any of your current choices, so have some fun.
I know it is impossible to go back in time and change things. But it is nice to think about who I am today vs. who I was then. Personal growth is a beautiful thing. And I can only imagine the type of advice I will have for myself at 30 when I am in my 40s.
What advice would you give yourself at 22? Let me know in the comments!