I think that I want to talk about the best advice I’ve ever received. That seems like a generic prompt you’d find for people looking to break writer’s block, which is I guess what I was looking for when I Googled ‘prompts to break writer’s block.’
So, I don’t think I know what the best advice I’ve ever received is, which is a solid start. I could come up with some good advice, and some bad advice, but I don’t know if I have best advice. Like world shaking, life changing advice, advice so good that you never have another question about how to live. So I should probably lower my standards.
Considering this, I’ll just talk about some good advice I’ve gotten, or things that have stuck with me about life in general. Ready? Okay!
- Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. I like to think of this one both literally and figuratively. Don’t go to Costco if you’re craving fruit snacks, and don’t make a ton of commitments when you’re free. I’ve made this mistake a couple times, felt under-involved and bored with life, so I’ve signed myself up for a million things that all ended up happening at once.
- “You’d worry less about what people think if you knew how seldom they do.” This one is a David Foster Wallace quote so get ready for pretentiousness. So when you’re getting dressed and you like your outfit but are worried people will judge you for it, just think about the last time someone’s outfit affected you in any way. Probably wasn’t recently. In fact, try to picture what your best friend wore two days ago. If you can’t remember that, chances are strangers aren’t thinking too much about your clothes.
- Happiness is not a choice. Anyone who tells you that happiness is all a matter of perspective knows basically nothing about mental illness. If you physically cannot be happy, it is not your fault
- Wear sunscreen and floss. I’m not gonna do it and maybe neither are you, but I figured it should be included. All dermatologists and dentists reading this, there you go!
- You never have to answer ‘favorite’ questions. If someone asks you your favorite food, or color, or memory, you don’t have to answer. That’s way too much pressure, and you should feel free to tell them that. In that vein, tell people when something is overwhelming or you don’t want to talk about something. Usually they will be more accommodating than you expect, and if they’re not then they probably don’t deserve to talk to you.
- Dance with the person you came with. This one I like to think less in a sense of hang out with your prom date all night, but more like if your mom drives you and your friend to the mall, don’t ignore her and just talk to your friend. This one is tough for me, but I promise just treat everyone like a person and things will be better for everyone.
- All advice is useless. Unsolicited advice should be taken with a grain of salt. If someone starts listing advice and no one asked, they probably think too much of themselves.
Virginia Rendler ’20 is a Peace Studies major, and is hoping to double major in English, as well as double minor in Spanish and Visual Art. She loves animals and is a Leo.