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Career lions

Lessons to my seventeen-year-old self

Lessons to my seventeen-year-old self

In the period from June 2008 and June 2009, I was a seventeen-year-old teenager. In that period, I graduated from high school. I applied and got accepted at Delft University of Technology. I got to hug Pharrell Williams. I planned my first holiday with my friends. I was a bubbly and energetic teenage girl. I just came to the realization this is actually already ten years ago. While I have fond memories looking back, I also realize I (luckily) gained quite some knowledge over the past ten years that would have been valuable back then. This is what I would’ve loved to share about lessons to my younger self.

Start investing in your knowledge and wisdom

Daily life at seventeen was mostly about going to school, hanging out with friends, and working at a restaurant. I remember also having loads and loads of time that I just wandered off on the internet. Usually, I was just reading about the latest fashion drops and lurking on social media. Mostly out of boredom. I wish I knew more about personal development books at the time. I would probably have devoured them during my downtime. Oh, just to think of how much I could have read before turning 21.

Work smart, not just hard

All throughout my teenage years, I envisioned myself to become a super successful, hard-working corporate tiger. This, because I thought it was the only possible way to become successful according to my own standards. I just wish someone would have tipped me off that it’s also possible to not only work hard but smart as well. It would have saved me the trouble of working 20+ hours a week throughout my full-time Bachelor and Master’s programme in University while trying to have a social life and staying fit.

True friendships are not a full-time job

The friendships that have stayed with me for over ten years are actually the ones that took the least work. I am a strong believer that a true friend is someone you can talk to every day or talk occasionally, but the feeling is always strong and the frequency of seeing each other isn’t the predictor of the quality of the friendship. My younger self didn’t realize this yet and had to learn the hard way.

For entertainment purposes, this is what Ashley and I looked like back in 2009. Let's forget that we were standing in the middle of the bus lane, which wasn't the smartest thing as we got horned pretty much a second after this picture was taken.

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What would you say to your ten-year younger self? What would have saved you a lot of trouble? Don’t forget to share your lessons and memories in the comments below!

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