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7 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self & Win a Samsung Galaxy A5 Smartphone Grad Tech Pack ($1000 value)

It’s been a while since I graduated university and looking back, there’s a lot of things I wish I knew back then. I remember I was super anxious to finish up school, to go hunting for my first post-grad job, so I could move up that corporate ladder.

If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self, this is the advice I’d give myself. And if you’re fresh out of school (congrats!) – I hope you find this advice useful!

My travels in Japan (the above are the streets of Osaka) were one of my favourites. Funny enough, this wasn’t even on my radar, until my high school best friend convinced me to meet her there. 

1. Take That Travel Break

I was a major keener and jumped right into my first full-time 9-5 job at 21 years old. If I could do it again, I would’ve taken 6 months minimum to travel. You’ll have to save up and manage your funds to plan for this, but if you have the opportunity to travel…do it! Meeting new people, seeing different cultures and putting yourself outside your comfort zone will be so valuable to your personal growth.

Second floor, far right. This was the first place I lived when I moved cities for the first time. So many awesome memories! 

2. Pack Your Bags and Move Cities

I pondered moving cities for a solid 5 years before I did it. Moving to Montreal was a turning point in my life. It was challenging at times being in a new unfamiliar environment, but I grew leaps and bounds that first year. I was forced to practice my high school French at the grocery store, I said “yes” to everything, and I even went to a nightclub by myself for the first time to see Kaskade DJ.

3. Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal

It’s scary to take risks. I’ve had a million conversations with myself and why I probably shouldn’t do something. Looking bad, every time I took a risk, it paid off. And I also never regretted the risk I took. I moved cities, I quit my full-time job to start The Style Spy, I became my own boss.

4. More Books, Less TV

Don’t get me wrong, I PVR reality shows and love a good TV series, but I think I did watch way too much TV in my younger years. I’ve made a bigger effort to turn off the TV and listen to more audio books. Audible is my favourite app for that – you can try it out and get a book for free! Another option is wander the aisles of your local library or even borrow audio books from them.

5. Get Educated On Your Money Matters

I was never really taught much about money. For the longest time, I didn’t really understand how to manage it or think about anything long-term. It’s very empowering to understand your financial health. Be proactive and learn (Google is your friend), even ask someone you know who’s older and who you admire on what advice they’d have for you.

You’ll find me here most Saturdays, getting my sweat on. 

6. Get Off The Couch and Be Mindful About Food

I never exercised when I was younger and I barely knew anything about food, nutrition and health. I could eat all the fast food and junk food I wanted and I would still be stick skinny. But really, I wasn’t the healthiest I could’ve been. Find something that keeps you moving that works for you (my current obsession: Mini trampoline classes) and make better choices with your diet. For a little wellness inspo, I like to read Mind Body Green. They’ve also got a great podcast.

I’ve found a lot of peace in no longer caring about what others say.

7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say

I use to care a lot about what others thought of me. But really, it doesn’t matter. Don’t get sucked into that vortex where you worry and stress over other’s opinions of your life. That friend who’s saying bad things about you – they’re likely not your friend and you probably won’t even remember their name ten years down the road. Bye!

Every experience helps you grow, so go out there and go live life. Be present, have integrity and be kind – that will take you a long way!

Win a Samsung Galaxy A5 Smartphone, Gear IconX Cord-Free Fitness Earbuds & Gear Fit 2 GPS Sports Band ($1055 CAD value)

To celebrate all you new grads out there, Samsung has given us a connected experience for one lucky winner!

The Samsung Galaxy A5 Grad Tech Pack includes:

Galaxy A5: Smart, sleek and practical smartphone with Super AMOLED display, 16.0 MP camera and up to 256 GB of expandable storage. ($525 CAD value)

Gear IconX: Light weight, cordless earbuds that offer standalone fitness tracking and a GB of memory to store up to 1,000 songs directly on the ear pieces. ($280 CAD value)

Gear Fit2: With a built-in accelerometer, gyro, and barometer, the Gear Fit2 provides accurate data tracking for a variety of fitness activities.($250 CAD value)

To enter to win:

  1. Post a comment on this blog post and tell us which advice above was your favorite or advice you would like to share with a new grad. One entry per person.
  2. Follow and tweet this (one entry per day): I want to win Samsung Galaxy A5 Grad Tech Pack from @SamsungCanada & @TheStyleSpy. RT to Win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Contest is open till July 31, 2017, 11:59pm PT.

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Reader's Comments

  1. I liked tip 5! I feel like more people should have better financial literacy instead of maxing out their cards all the time.

  2. I agree with all of this! I also wish I had known all of this in my early 20’s!

  3. My fave tip is #5. Get Educated On Your Money Matters! Start contributing a little bit of money every month to an RRSP or similar, also don’t spend money you don’t have! Set a budget for yourself and stick to it…these are the things I would tell my younger self.

    My feeling is they should start teaching financial literacy in high school…too many students graduate not really knowing anything about budgeting and/or saving.

    Cheers, Lisa

  4. My favourite tip is #3 – Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal. One of my biggest risks was not to graduate yet and take on another co-op job. Never regretted that decision!

  5. tip # 3- taking risks is so important. Whether it’s going out of your comfort zone to try something new or moving to a new city- take the leap and trust in faith and have confidence in yourself that everything will work out.

  6. Get off the couch was the most helpful for me!

  7. my favourite is Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal. When you’re younger, I find that it’s easier to take risks. You have less things/people relying on your so you can afford to take the risk.

  8. My fave is #5 because I’m just learning to really do that now. I agree it’s a good idea to ask advice because it’s hard to learn on your own.

  9. Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal is a great piece of advice as I missed out on many opportunities because I liked to doubt myself often.

  10. Number 7 was the best piece of advice for me. I think caring what other think stops a lot of people (myself include) from doing what they wanted and going after what they want.

  11. I love #7. Worrying about what other people think has always been a big obstacle for me and anytime I can let that go, I always have more fun.

  12. Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal is a great piece of advice as Ive missed out on many opportunities

  13. My favorite advice I was given was that it’s okay to change your mind! You don’t need to have it all figured out at this age, of what you want to do, what you want to be. The journey of your life is filled with changes & that’s what makes your path unique. New opportunities present themselves all the time & it’s brave to take those risks and just do it!

  14. 7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say…seriously, wish I didn’t take so long to grasp this one 🙂

  15. My favorite advice is #7 who cates what people think! This is great advice for anyone 🙂 and something I wish I had sent far less time worrying about!

  16. 1 Travel! Definitely travel more when you can. Depending how you like to travel, you can always work a budget around it. There are so much to see out there and so much to learn. I also love the move the city point but that takes a LOT of courage and commitment. Therefore, for baby steps, travel more!

  17. My favourite is totally the Samsung Galaxy A5. I really need a new smartphone!

  18. My fav is take risks, because you have nothing to lose when you are young!

  19. I like Galaxy A5

  20. My favourite advice is #6: Get Off The Couch and Be Mindful About Food. I used to be active but eat all the junk in the world and don’t see results. Now I exercise and eat foods in moderation.

  21. Live life to the fullest without regret. I need this for capturing every baby moment with our newborn!

  22. I’m loving Get Educated On Your Money Matters. I too feel empowered as I take control over my finances and seeing it grow 🙂 Fingers crossed both of us can retire early 🙂

  23. 7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say – This is the best advice anyone can give. I cared too much about what other people though. All the naysayers in this world will slow you down. Great points Erica

  24. Tip 7 hits home for me. Choose what makes you happy in life, from career and hobbies to love and relationships. Took until I hit 30 to not care what people think of me.

  25. My favourite is number 5. I wish I had been more educated on money matters when I was younger and would have saved more.

  26. The best advice was “7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say.” Rules to live by!

  27. took me a long time to learn, but I would say #7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say

  28. 7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say
    This is something I definitely need to realize because so much of the time it just bogs me down.

  29. Money matters for sure!

  30. My favourite is ‘7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say’ Such great advice and something I have had to tell myself in situation that I felt self conscious.

  31. My favorite is the advise about getting educated on money matters

  32. Taking risks is the best advice I’m reading right now – good to hear when I’m questioning every big move I’m trying to make now!

  33. More books

  34. The smartphone as my husband donsn’t own one and he could really use one.

  35. Number 3 take the risk its not that big of a deal. I think life is about risks. In order to succeed you must try. Forget the negative messages that you might have heard in your life. If you want to do something go for it and try.

  36. Take that travel break!!! Explore different cultures, take that break and go on as many adventures as u can!

  37. It’s hard to choose but Pack Your Bags and Move Cities was my favourite. I lived in the same city all my life so after university, I had such an itch to move to New York or even San Fran but I never did it because I was too scared (finance wise, being alone for the first time, etc.). Looking back, I wish I had taken the plunge.

  38. Take the risk

  39. 6. Get Off The Couch and Be Mindful About Food is my fave. It’s something I’ve been actively doing for the past year and it’s made such a difference!! I feel 100x better now!

  40. I love tip #3 Take The Risk, It’s Not That Big a Deal. I was late to this party, but as soon as I started taking risks, things just opened up and I was so much happier. Not all the risks worked out, but I could at least say I gave it my best shot. Great list!

  41. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say. Thats one of the most important tips.

  42. #7. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s one of the best advice that can be given. What we do in our lives shouldn’t be done for anyone but ourselves. People can have their own opinions, and if they don’t agree, then that’s okay. Do what you want to do, as long as you’re happy and not hurting anyone.

  43. Definitely 7. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say, it’s true that you only need to make you happy and who cares!

  44. My favourite tip is to take a break and vacation. I regret not taking more through the years, so I’m not wasting any more time.

  45. 6. Get Off The Couch and Be Mindful About Food. I never exercised in my younger years. I ate what I wanted and now I’m paying for it. There is some exercise I enjoy doing but still hate most of it 🙂

  46. Seriously, Who Cares What Others Say is very important, as young people are very conscious about this. Be your own person!

  47. I think the best advice was “get educated on money matters” – this goes well with going to school as well as for later when you are finished the schooling and working.

  48. My favourite is to take risks. When I was younger I thought every setback or mistake was the end of the world and that failure was a sign of weakness but this is completely untrue. Everything can be reversed and mistakes help you learn.

  49. I like #2. Being tied to your home city stifles your growth. Move and experience new things!

  50. Tip 5: Get educated about money matters is my favourite since mishandling finances is a key issue for many people. It is a critical skill to have.

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