And finally, ten things I would tell my younger self.
Study harder…or study. There will come a time when you will be proud of how smart you are and you will look back and wish you had used it better. C’s may get you out of the class but A’s will open doors you don’t even know exist now.
Sarah Lawrence College. Or anywhere outside Colorado. Preferably on the other side of the Mississippi River. This is where those A’s will come in handy.
Journalism doesn’t have to suck. Just because the high school newspaper inflicts the AP Stylebook on you doesn’t mean music magazines will. Adding a journalism focus to your English major might get you an in that will eventually lead to a job at Paste, Filter, Alternative Press or maybe even something on the other side of the ocean.
Kill Hannah. This is important. You will be doing a lot of things I didn’t do, which will (hopefully) put you on a different course in your future. This course will take you away from the path that led you to this band but because they are some of the most amazing creatures I’ve ever met and the music has given me so much, I want you to know them as well. Maybe your journey will take you to Chicago so that you can grow with them, something I wish I’d been able to do.
Join a sorority. Unfortunately, your new path will take you away from one of the most important things in my life, my Alpha Sigma Alpha family. I have gotten through so much because of them and I love them with all my heart. But sacrifices have to be made and hopefully, you can meet women like them wherever your journey takes you and create the bonds I have made. But look for a service sorority, rather than a social one. I think that made a big difference.
Exercise. Right now it’s nothing you think about. You run every day, you do your crunches and push ups and you dance and exercising is so much a part of your life that it doesn’t even register. But once you stop it becomes harder and harder to start again until one day you will want to go for a run but the very idea is more than you care to think about.
Travel. Once you get that great job working for a music magazine, this won’t be an issue. But in the meantime, any time you get a chance, go somewhere. If you do join a sorority and there are conventions, go to them. You only think you love cities now, having never been anywhere but Denver but I’ll tell you, you do. Small towns are not for you, you love the cities and the more you see, the more you will want to see.
Always keep people around you. They keep you creative and help your brain stay active. If you find yourself in a situation without daily conversations about real things (like stuff not related to work or the weather) run as fast as you can. It won’t take long before you start to feel stagnated and dull.
Date. I hate dating. I hate small talk and “getting to know you” conversations. But that might be because I don’t do it enough. Maybe if you start out early and do it more often, we’ll get better.
Write. Every day. I try but I’m not always successful. I think not doing it has been a contributing factor to my waning creativity.
I’m not sure that’s all the best advice I could give you and I wish we could keep all the good things while getting rid of just the bad but it doesn’t work that way. For that to work, all those people we are losing will have to change their paths to match. And that’s very unlikely.