The Big 150: 8, Education - What career advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Oh, man. I love questions like these. What career advice would I give to my 16-year-old self? I don’t know that I’d give any advice to young 16-year-old Johny. Why? Because although I’m not as far along as I’d like to be, giving myself any advice that could potentially alter my path is not something that I want.
But, in the spirit of playing along, maybe my advice would be this:
Dear 16-year-old Johny,
You’re doing great. You picked boarding school for yourself and are excelling in your classes! You’re on Varsity Soccer, Varsity Basketball, *and* Varsity Softball. You have friends you like, you sing in chorus, and you’re learning a lot about life.
You want some career advice? Don’t take advice from someone who isn’t in a position that you would like to have. Don't be rude about it, but although a lot of advice is well-intended, it misses the mark of what is important, specifically, to you. Get out there and explore every interest. Try everything (you're going to *love* Zootopia btw). If you think you might like something, give it a whirl! If you want to go to college, go ahead, and if you’d rather forgo college and move to a big city, try that!
No one knows you better than you know yourself, and you’ve done a pretty good job thus far of fighting for what you want. Keep that spirit, and go burn it all down… just kidding - about the burning stuff down part anyway.
You should only aspire to be a better version of yourself, and you don’t need to have it all figured out.
Johny from 17 years into the future
P.S. - I still don’t have it all figured out, but I have figured out a lot of important things.
Spoiler alert: I went to a great college and have great friendships because of it. I took on internships and jobs in sports, in radio, in customer service, and in sales. I moved to LA to pursue acting (which has been great and has inspired other branches of that tree), and I moved to Ireland to get a Masters Degree. I tried a lot, I learned new skills, and I will continue to try new things and learn new skills. My advice for 16-year-old me is the same advice I’d give to anyone who asks (btw, I’m not giving advice to anyone who doesn’t ask! unsolicited advice can be pretty fricking annoying... even if well-intended) - keep trying new things, keep learning, and keep doing things that interest and excite you. And don’t be afraid of failure. There’s literally no point because who cares if you fail? I like the whole 'The Man in the Arena' Big Guy Teddy Roosevelt perspective on this one.
To solid advice and not always playing nice,
ICYMI: The Big 150