For some, birthdays are magical and carry the promise of a better, bright and sunny world. For others, birthdays are just another year that brings them closer to death. Personally, my outlook towards birthdays lies somewhere in the middle. While I love them, I also get intimidated by them. “Am I doing enough?”, “Am I going wrong somewhere?” and “Do I have grey hair yet?” are some questions that pop up every year. I recently turned 23 and it didn’t sit well with me. I felt like there was something I was missing. So, I asked Malini’s Girl Tribe what advice they would give their 23-year-old selves and the responses were incredible. Scroll down to read them!
1. Focus On Your Career
So many women asked me to focus on my career and think about my professional growth. Get a job, get an internship, study, freelance and do anything but sit at home watching TV all day. These are the years to build your foundations and also your resume, don’t waste them!
2. Travel The World
While this piece of advice was my personal favourite, I could not help but think of two things that stood in the way. First, my bank balance cannot withstand my wanderlust. Second, the coronavirus may punish me for my wanderlust. However, I do hope once I’ve earned enough and COVID-19 is no longer a threat, travelling the world will be at the top of my list.
3. Don’t Be Pressured To “Settle Down”
Hearing this from Indian women of various ages made me feel so proud and happy. 23 is considered the quintessential age for marriage (for some, it’s way too late as well) and personally, it is the last thing I can see myself doing. Hence, the above advice further reassured me and I loved it. If the past few years have taught us anything is that feminism is on the rise and women are owning their independence. We don’t need to put a ring on it unless we really want to.
4. Get Medical Insurance
This extremely useful and practical advice. The world is inching towards its end as it is and we have not seen the last of the pandemic wave (morbid, but true). Medical insurance may end up being the key to our survival! Plus, it will be like a safety net for me to enjoy the rest of my 20’s! I can drink my weight in liquor and worry about the pain of having my stomach pumped, but not about the cost of said pumping. Smart right?
5. Save, Invest And Grow Your Wealth
Financial independence doesn’t come overnight unless you blow up on social media (which is extremely hard, trust me I’ve tried). So, to be financially stable by 30, one must save and invest by 20. Save as much of your salary, invest in different avenues and be smart with your money. Open a savings account and build your financial portfolio.
6. Pay Attention To Skincare
Many ladies asked me to have a good skincare routine and invest in sunscreen. Wrinkles, fine lines, spots and more can be heavily delayed with good skincare. After all, I want to look 30 when I’m 40, not 40 when I’m 30.
We’ll be running out of drinking water soon, so drink as much as you can now.
8. Do Something Good For Society
There is a lot we can do to give back that is safe and inexpensive. This advice isn’t just for 23-year-olds, but for everyone really. Donate old clothes, distribute hot food, give out sanitary napkins or contraceptives, or feed the strays in your area…the list is endless. There is so much negativity in the world today, and if you can lessen that, you should. Plus it gives you insane karma. Insane.
9. Be Happy And Live In The Moment
Many ladies told me that the best advice they would give their 23-year-old selves was to be happy and not worry. Not worry about the future and all its problems. They advised me to live in the moment and enjoy every day.
Turning 23 may not be a big deal for many, but for me it was. It was a stressor more than anything, but thanks to the Tribe and their kind words, I felt a lot better.