If I’d be 20 again….

I’m a happy 31 year old — my work delights me, consumes me, lets me afford the basics and lets me travel the world, more importantly it contributes directly to improving it. The last decade of choices eventually worked out — could always have been worse and in rare cases it could have been better

But I feel nervous imagining myself to be 20 again — my CAT attempt seems way tougher now (though I had the grades), the job scene seems more damp and competition seems to be fiercer. Each generation has its challenges, but then each generation is also entitled to nostalgia. So if I’d be 21 again

- I’d surely travel the world : no matter how expensive it is, I’d figure a way to travel and expose myself to the breadth and depth of human race

- I’d connect to people very actively : would reach out to my friend’s fathers, father’s friends, relatives, write and meet interesting people

- I’d self study : there is so much online that with some self motivation, a lot can be mastered

- Or, if I’d study abroad : I’d find someone to pay for it! :) Else I’d fall back on internships or volunteering

- I’d serve : Social work opens a side of us that we haven’t experienced — so I’d serve, yes

- I’d read the classics, listen to the best music around, learn music and theatre….where the hell did so much free time go?? :)

- I’d dream big : surely….really big — global. And I’d use a global benchmark for my field to inspire myself

- I’d read non-fiction selectively : No pop self-help, just sensible or deep stuff + lots of TED talks + a broad range of articles with opposing views

- I’d have more meaningful conversations : debates around ideas and dreams on how to dent the Universe

- I’d be more resourceful : in starting my venture or in finding a job — I’d be creative and whacky, not confirming or trying to look ‘good’. I’d take lots of risks

- I’d go more easy on myself : If there are any 20 year olds who have figured their life out fully, chances are they’ve not fully explored the possibilities that lie before them. Or they are terribly fortunate :)

- I’d negotiate hard with parents : while they and I want the same thing (my happiness and success) the HOW is often different. There is value to pushing back, particularly on the ‘big decisions’ of life

- I’d not take my time for granted : Its great to have survived to the 30s but its always worthwhile to directly go for what you really wanna do — why wait?

So wishing all my lovely 20 year old friends a happy 20s :)

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