Unsolicited Advice

by | Feb 5, 2019

My alma mater put out a request for Alumni to handwrite some encouraging postcards that can then be given to students throughout the school year. This I can do. I don’t have money to donate, but words? I’ve got a few of those to spread around.

Of course, as with all advice given, this is mostly stuff that I would have liked to hear (maybe still want to hear)!

We are conditioned to seek out comfort, but that won’t get you anywhere in life. Push your boundaries, do something that’s out of your comfort zone, take small risks and try something that scares you. Be brave, be bold, be YOU.

One of the most important things you will learn at University is how to learn, and how you learn. Yes, it’s work, but it’s the best work you can get. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning, change and growth. Keep an open mind, be prepared to change it and your life will always be interesting.

Take care of yourself. Your body, mind and spirit! You need sleep, healthy food and plenty of water, sunshine, fresh air and exercise to achieve your potential. Yes, studying is important, but so is socialization. Try to find balance and enjoy the process.

I hope you know how special you are. Everyone is born with certain gifts and talents, and my wish is for you to discover yours and share them with the world. It’s not always easy to appreciate or recognize our inherent talents, especially when they’re not valued by those close to us. But if you can work with what you have instead of against it, you can have a huge impact.

When things feel difficult, close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember:
You are awesome.
You will get through this.
Then, take another deep breath. And another. Until you start to believe.
Smile secretly to yourself.
You got this. Now keep going!

Expand your horizons! Get to know people outside of your classes/department/faculty. You’ll likely spend most of your career surrounded by people with similar interests, so take advantage of the opportunity of being surrounded by people studying things you know nothing about. Ask them about their work. What are they are passionate about? Broaden your perception and get the most out of your community.

Find ways to be creative every day. Creativity does not belong to the arts. It’s a human thing. Science, Math, Engineering, Phys Ed, all fields require creative minds to solve problems, grow and improve. So make something. Imagine. Create.

Looking back, what did you need to hear when you were younger? Would you have listened?


  1. Thanks for sharing these. They definitely apply today even after college. A couple of things I wish I would have been told is don’t compromise on your own happiness and it’s OK to make mistakes and try and learn from them instead of feeling blame.

    • Thanks, Matt. I’d take your mistakes comment even further and say that not only is it “OK to make mistakes,” but that it is inevitable. You WILL make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to do so because that’s how we learn. Every mistake, misstep and failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.