1. WANDER. Are you feeling lost? You should be... you're young. I had always envied those who knew their passions early on; looking back I was lucky to be able to explore and find out who I am and what I love at the same time. Skip the worry and...
2. SKIP SCHOOL. Yes, I said it. If number one applies to you, should you really spend a small fortune on expensive colleges or universities? We live in a different world now; the internet is changing our need for brick and mortar institutions. So, unless you know that your career of choice requires that piece of paper, skip it. At least for now.
3. TRAVEL. Wondering what you should do instead of school? Travel! It's not impossible. Figure out the most realistic way you can make it happen. You can become a flight attendant, you could live at home and save first or you can work your way around the globe. There are many of us who have come before you and loads of resources to help you make it happen. The wonderful world wide web can help make it all possible.
4. SEEK KNOWLEDGE. Just because you are not in a formal setting doesn't mean you can't learn. I am grateful to have literally put my hands on art history by visiting museums like the Louvre, The Rijksmuseum, The Vatican and so many more. "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn." -- Benjamin Franklin
5. DISCOVER YOU. Younger and older women alike are often smitten by men that show them attention. It's natural, but I think sometimes we end up falling in love with someone we would not have necessarily picked for ourselves had they not paid us that attention. The advice we older women usually give is to "find yourself and figure out who you are first." This is wonderful advice. To that I would add, ask yourself two questions, "Do I really like him?" and "What about him makes him worthy of me?"
6. BE CONFIDENT. One thing we don't always realize as young women is how attractive we really are. For some reason, we tend to be very critical of ourselves. We look FABULOUS in our 20s! Looking back at photos of myself in my 20s as a 40-something, I can't find a bad one. Trust me, I've never met a 20-something that doesn't look good freshly rolled out of bed in the morning. Enjoy it... it requires a little more work later on.
7. BE SAFE. Being adventurous and being stupid is not the same thing. Have fun, travel and get lost in the world, but do it in a safe way. If possible have a travel companion. Make sure people know where you are, always carry a cell phone with you and read up on places before you go. Knowing the culture of a place and respecting it can go a long way to keeping you safe. Don't take drinks from strangers, and don't do drugs. Foreign prisons are not the new youth hostel. Lastly, listen to your instincts. Your gut is always right!
Would you like to know more about being a flight attendant? Sara's book is available at Amazon.com.
Photo courtesy of Kara Mulder from The Flight Attendant Life