Twenty years ago today, I met my little brother for the first time. He was the size of a football and the coolest thing my three-year old eyes had ever seen. Twenty years later, by baby brother is not only taller than me, but is his own person. He is still pretty young, but he is definitely on of the smartest, hardworking, and amazing people I have ever met.
He still has a lot to learn, and being a Spera kid, he doesn’t take constructive criticism pretty well. It’s not that our family is stubborn. Its just that we would rather try figuring it out on our own before asking for people to help.
But even though I know that my brother will probably ignore whatever advice I give him, there are still some things I want him to know now that he is no longer a teenager.
Here are 20 pieces of advice I want to give to my brother who is now entering his twenties.
1. Nothing in your life is set in stone
It’s great to have a plan. Having Plans and goals is how you grow as a person. However not everything goes according to plan. Unexpected things will happen and will steer you onto a different path; usually a better one. Just go with the changes as see where they take you.
2. Really think about your actions and how they will affect the people around you.
You are already a kind person, but you are still a young college student. You already know you do things that no one agrees with, but make sure you think about how the people in your life will be affected by what decisions you make! At the end of the day it is your life, but make sure you are making the right choices.
3. Travel More! Go on Guy’s Trips. There are more than the places around you!
I know that travelling is definitely not in your budget right now, but that shouldn’t stop you from going on trips with your friends and having a good time. There are so many amazing places and people that you haven’t met yet because you’re not going further than where you have been.
4. Stop worrying about what someone is going to think about you.
I’ll be honest, you have had this problem since what seems like the dawn of time. You are definitely a people-pleaser and you want to be everyone’s friend. It’s not a bad thing, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if someone isn’t your friend. Not everyone is going to like you. Don’t waste your time accommodating people that aren’t going to appreciate the effort.
5. No one’s actually going to card you if you order alcohol at a restaurant.
I can count the number of times I have been carded at a restaurant on one hand. The worst that they can say is no. I’m just saying!
6. You really need to stop being a People-Pleaser
Seriously! How many times have you said yes to something that was happening at the same time as something else you committed to? You are 100% a yes man, and it will burn you out if you’re not careful. You have said yes to stuff that I know for a fact that you didn’t want to do. You’re allowed to say no to stuff or say that you are too busy. No one is going to get offended or upset. If they do, then it’s best that you’re not friends with them.
7. Stop worrying so much about money. Seriously, you have enough of it! You’ll be fine!
Not to put you on blast, but you already have enough money in your savings as far as I know. You are way too young to be worrying about money. Yes, student loans are stressful, but just put it on the back-burner until you have to start paying it back. Save your energy for the problems that are currently in front of you.
8. Stop turning off your location when people are trying to reach you… or just answer the phone!
Again, not to put you on blast but you are the worst at trying to get a hold of under every circumstance. I get that you don’t want people to know what you’re doing at ever second of every day, but when we are trying to get a hold of you, and we don’t know where you are it stresses everyone out. Especially our poor mother. Just leave the location on! Please and thank you!
9. It’s okay to make stupid choices. Just acknowledge them and learn something from it.
You are still learning and growing. Just like everyone else, you have made mistakes and will continue to make them. The thing about mistakes is that you have to learn from them and do your best not to do them again. If you keep making the same mistake over and over again it no longer becomes a mistake. It becomes an intentional action.
10. Don’t get so defensive when people try to help you. You don’t have to figure it all out alone.
This is definitely a family trait. I do it and I am still trying to get better at it. I don’t like it when people put in their two cents when I never asked for it. But I have learned to just take the help when It comes from someone who is genuinely trying to help. Being defensive and getting mad helps no one. You don’t have everything figured out. Just take the help when it is offered. The more you reject the help the less likely people will be willing to give it.
11. You can’t drink more than 4 cups of coffee in a day. Stop doing it!
You love coffee. You’ve loved coffee since you were about five years old. But there is a thing as drinking too much coffee, and you reach that limit constantly. You got to drink more water.
12. Let mom and dad pay your bills for as long as you can. Living is expensive, fam!
You want to be independent and take care of everything yourself, but there are things that you are not financially ready for. Take it from me, I wish I let mom and dad support me more in college because the amount of bills from student loans, credit cards, rent, utilities, and now a car payment are overwhelming at times. If mom and dad are willing to help you out. Just let them. Not all parents are as supportive as ours.
13. If you can, update your resume every few months.
Your school has free resume critiques. It is good to have an updated resume at all times.
14. Learn how to manage your time effectively.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and that there is never enough time to get everything done in a day. A good way to prioritize your time better is to make sure you knock out the more important tasks before anything else. Certain things can wait another day.
15. There is always room for growth and improvement. Keep an open mind and get out of your comfort zone more.
As much as you like to say yes to things, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of things that you simply won’t do. Experiencing new things, especially things that you might be too afraid to try will make you a more well-rounded person and gets to into the mindset of being more open to new ideas and adventures.
16. I know that it could be annoying but take mom and dad’s advice more often. We know it’s your life but some of your plans need some work.
It’s not enough to say that you want to do something. You have to research the steps and come up with specifics as to how you will achieve your goals. I love you, but you tend to go into things that you haven’t fully thought through and then get frustrated when its not working out. Again, our parents are supportive people and just want to help you reach your goals. They can be off-base sometimes, but they honestly want what’s best for you.
17. You are a nice and accommodating person, but you need to stand up for yourself more. You let too many things slide and you deserve better.
You’re not a push-over, but you do let people take advantage of you sometimes. Maybe its because you have two older sisters who did nothing but boss you around, but you make it too easy for people to make you do something for them, especially when it inconveniences you. It’s okay to put your foot down every once in a while. You’re not being selfish because you are choosing to put yourself first.
18. As your sister, there are just some things that I don’t need to know about your life.
I would say we are very close and that I love you, but there is a thing as too much information. I also don’t need to know about the shady things your friends did, especially seconds before I meet them. I already assume that “certain” things are going on in your life, but that doesn’t mean I want to sit across the dinner table hearing about it. Just keep some stuff you yourself.
19. There is no such thing as a Peak! Life is more like a mountain range than an Everest. You will have both high and low points. Some points may be higher, and some may be lower, but it changes as life does on.
A lot of people thing that there is only one moment in our lives where we reached the top. That we are only the best versions of ourselves at one time, and after that things only get worse. Let me tell you. There is no such thing as a peak! There will be multiple, but nothing stays low forever. I kind of think of life like a savings account. This is a terrible analogy but just stick with me on this. It will keep growing and growing, and there will me many times where I will have to use the savings and then it will get lower. As time goes on it will not only gain what I lost, but I will have more to put into it. Don’t stop from growing just because you think you’ve reached the top. Keep getting better and know that when you’re at a low point there is no where else to go but up.
20. Don’t be so prone to rejecting opportunities. You might just miss out on something great.
There is so much left for you to discover. You are the type of person that will have many opportunities in your life, but I personally feel that you are limiting yourself to the things that are small potatoes. I know you are tired of hearing this and you feel like you are letting people down, but you can achieve so much more than what path you want to be on. No matter what, you’re not going to let us down. Just make sure you’re not letting yourself down. Don’t be so quick to dismiss opportunities because you think you have to follow the plan that you made in this moment in your life.
Well baby bro, I hope you’re not too mad that I chose to write about you and post it on the internet. You’ll get over it eventually… maybe. I didn’t really get any advice when I was going into adulthood; at least not any that I would consider useful. I did have to figure it out on my own. Luckily you won’t have to since you ‘ve seen all of mine and our sister’s mistakes, so you should be fine! You know what they say, third time’s the charm!
No matter if you take my advice or not. I already know that you are going to be an amazing person. You got a lot to learn, and a lot of it you might have to figure it out as you go. Just know that your older sister will be here to annoy you with her two cents every step of the way!
But seriously, you need to cut back on the coffee. you spent like $100 on Dunkin Donuts in the past month. that’s not good for you, dude.
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