It's been a while since I did an essay #KOCorner, so I thought, "let's bring it back to basics." The question this week comes from @queenolusola @KaylaUzlik:
What advice/words of wisdom would you give to your younger self?
Well, do I have an answer for the two of you:
1. Don't stress about needing to date while you're young. Growing up, my parents jokingly enforced this rule that none of their kids were allowed to date until we were married (shout-out to all of the children with immigrant parents lol!). But in all honesty, I wasn't necessarily someone who was looking to date, because of what I called the "Middle School-High School Dating Cycle":
1. Students date.
2. Students fall in love.
3. Students spend all their time together.
4. Students eventually break up.
5. Students are so emtionally drained that they can't focus on anything else.
And I tell you now, I just wasn't into that. Don't get me wrong. I definitely was attracted to some of the girls in my class, but seeing that five step process time and time again strayed me away from trying it (I didn't have my first girlfriend until college, and even that experience I don't think I was ready for or committed to fully). Friends would constantly wonder why I hadn't asked girls out, and I'd sometimes question myself thinking, "Shouldn't I be wanting a girlfriend? Everyone else does!" But now looking back, I would have told myself Kevin, don't worry about it. You'll know when you're ready. When you're older, you'll know what you want in a girl, you won't see the person as a distraction to your career/future, and you'll be much more emotionally mature to handle what comes from being in a relationship. It's worth the wait (Now, this is just me personally. I know there are many people that have had very successful relationships during their younger years. For myself, I just wasn't at the social or emotional maturity level to date. If you believe you are, then go for it!).
2. Read everything that interests you. When I was younger, I viewed reading as a chore. I was primarily exposed to reading literature and textbooks, and neither I was fond of, unless it was about science or music. When I got to college, I started gaining exposure to other areas of life such as business, economics, foreign affairs, entrepreneurship, etc.; learning about these other aspects of life gave me a more well rounded perspective of the world. I had never realized I was interested in these subjects, so I started delving into reading magazines such as Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., Foreign Affairs. I also found out I loved reading autobiographies of people who I admired and learned from their failures and wise decisions. I'm such a different person than I was before, and I only wish I would have realized that much earlier in life. I think I would have gained much more wisdom at a younger age.
3. Enjoy the wealth of opportunities and people around you. During my years at Andover and Yale, my main focus was to do well in school. I learned a great deal about my work ethic, which has been invaluable to achieving certain accomplishments, but I didn't soak in all of the various opportunities that a world class institution afforded me. Every week there were talks by world leaders and top-notch professionals, performances by renowned musicians and actors, trips to NYC to see Broadway musicais or the Met, and I missed out on so many of them because i was "too busy" studying for classes. Not only that, but I didn't tap into the wealth of relationships that I could have. Granted, I was a pretty popular kid on campus, and my closest friends tell me that I couldn't walk from one area of campus to another without getting stopped by classmates. However, I wish I spent more time forging long-lasting relationships with all of the talented, thoughtful, diverse, and interesting people that could have challenged me to be better. Now that I live in Los Angeles, which is such a fascinating city with so much to do and so many people, I'm not going to make that same mistake again.
I hope this helps!