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Morgan Bakies

Summer co-op, LyondellBasell

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If you could give your twenty-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Why?

Hello! I'm an undergraduate student who was truly inspired by Meg Jay's talk, "Why 30 is not the new 20" so I wanted to see what the TED community has to say. I turned twenty in March and I want to make the most of my next decade of life. How did you spend your twenties? Was this the defining of your life? Currently, I see endless opportunities, but I'm scared for the day they will disappear.

So if you're above twenty, what advice do you have for your past self? If you are twenty-something, what do you tell yourself everyday to be the best you can be? And if you're under twenty, what's one thing that you hope your twenty-year-old self will remember about adolescence? Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing what you have to say!


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  • May 30 2013: I'm truly sorry that time has not allowed me to read every one of these entries--they are all pearls of wisdom.

    I would tell my 20 year old self:
    -Believe in yourself!
    -Plan for that future that you can barely believe in
    -Be proactive in everything you do, and don't forget to be kind to everyone you meet
    -When learning, never expect the teacher or the world to bring it to you, go out and get that knowledge you seek
    -When you choose a lifetime partner, use your head as well as your 'heart'
    -When you have children, accept that they are more important to you than your job, learn to give your job/career your best, but balance that with your family's needs--don't expect the job to do this for you--you can do this
    -Learn to live authentically early on, be yourself and respect EVERYONE, and I don't mean 'treat them with respect', I mean respect everyone
    -Learn other cultures and their languages--they matter
    -Be careful of any habits you develop, they can follow you for a long time, so develop good ones like exercise
    -Recognize that degrees and programs require 'hoop jumping'--quit debating whether that is good or not and just do what it takes to get to where you want to go--follow the path regardless of the silly hoops
    -Accept human mortality, everyone is going to die someday, even you, keep your dear ones close and use your time wisely
    -Don't even waste a second on that 'I don't look good in a bikini' mentality, you look a lot better now than you will in 30 years, so learn to love your youth and beauty
    -Love life, every minute of it, live in the 'now' if you can

    Thanks, that was incredibly cathartic for me. Hope it didn't bore you all.

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