By Carlie Connolly
As a naïve, freshman college girl, I was terrified of a lot of things. For one, I wasn’t a drinker like many other people at that time drank before legal drinking age, and I wasn’t one who was into romance and dating, as I just never wanted to make the time for it. Was I the centre of attention? Not often, because my sister, with her golden career as a banker and her boyfriend of many, many years (who is now her husband) took most of the spotlight. I was just the single, shy redhead with not a whole lot of confidence. The two things I did have which thank god I did was drive and ambition. As I sit here writing this, I think back to my life and look at how different things are now. My sister, still with that same amazing job is now married to her banker husband, living the life. Me, I met the love of my life and have a job doing what I’ve always wanted to do. That drive and ambition definitely paid off.
Some of the things I would tell my 18-year old self are as follows. I would say keep dreaming, but keep reality in check. Those big dreams of being at the top can happen, but they aren’t going to happen right away. Life is about working super hard and going through those struggles and obstacles to know that that is what you for sure want. I would say, keep your head high and don’t always take other people’s advice. I had the hardest time deciding where to live after university. Did I want to continue living in Halifax where I had the best four years of my life or did I want to move to Toronto where my family is and where there would be more job opportunities? Well, I’m in Alberta now, so taking people’s advice didn’t do much good now looking back, but what did matter is that I followed what I wanted to do and I got out there in the real world. I would say, get out and get lost. Go on an adventure in life and don’t be afraid to do so. Some of the best times of my entire life were when I got out of my comfort zone and just explored, not carrying a GPS and just having the time of my life with the adventure part of things.
The biggest, most important thing I would tell my 18-year-old self is that love will come. I had the biggest dream for not only a bright future with my dream job, but I also wanted my dream boy and I got him. Did it take a long time? It sure did, but it was worth all the dating and struggles to find my perfect match. I think that’s what a lot of people focus on, is love and when that guy or girl will come, but the important piece of advice I would give is don’t settle and don’t wait around. Live your life to the absolute fullest and things will work out your way.
I can now say, I look at my sister’s success and see my own starting to build. I’m a happy, confident young adult who is loving life in the real world.