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Advice for your Younger Self

By: Sana Mahreen Quadri

As someone who recently turned 23 and is embarking on a master’s degree, reflecting on the journey to this point brings to light valuable lessons and insights that could have made the path smoother. If I could turn back time and offer advice to my younger self, there are a few key points I would emphasize to navigate the complexities of personal and academic development more effectively. 


Embracing Discipline in Routines:  

One of the most important pieces of advice I would give my younger self is to become disciplined in my routines. Establishing a structured routine not only enhances productivity but also helps maintain a balanced lifestyle. When I was younger, I often struggled with procrastination and disorganization, which led to unnecessary stress and missed opportunities. By setting clear goals, creating a daily schedule, and sticking to it, I could have managed my time more effectively and reduced stress. Whether it’s dedicating specific hours to study, exercise, or leisure activities, having a routine fosters a sense of control and accomplishment. Moreover, discipline in routine helps in building consistency and achieving long-term goals without feeling overwhelmed. 

Cutting Yourself Some Slack:  

Another crucial piece of advice is to cut yourself some slack. It’s easy to be overly critical and set unrealistically high standards, but it’s important to remember that self-compassion is key to maintaining mental well-being. During my undergraduate years, I often felt pressured to achieve perfection, leading to burnout and self-doubt. If I could go back, I would remind my younger self that it’s okay to make mistakes and that setbacks are a natural part of the learning process. Embracing self-compassion allows us to bounce back from failures with resilience and to celebrate our progress, no matter how small. It’s essential to understand that personal growth is a journey, and being kind to oneself is a critical component of that journey. 


Reflecting on Achievements and Learning from Experiences:  

As I look back on my journey, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Reflecting on achievements, no matter how big or small, is essential for personal growth. At the same time, it’s important to learn from past experiences. When I reflect on snippets of my own life, I realize the importance of resilience and adaptability. Each challenge faced and overcome has shaped me into the person I am today. I would encourage my younger self to regularly take stock of accomplishments, acknowledge hard work, and extract lessons from every experience, both good and bad. This reflective practice not only boosts self-confidence but also provides valuable insights that can guide future decisions and actions. 

Maintaining a Healthy Diet:  

Another significant piece of advice is to prioritize healthy eating. During my undergraduate years, I often neglected my diet, opting for convenience over nutrition. However, I’ve come to realize that a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining physical health and mental clarity. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide the necessary nutrients to fuel the body and mind. I would urge my younger self to make mindful food choices and to understand that good nutrition plays a vital role in overall well-being and academic performance. Healthy eating habits contribute to sustained energy levels, better concentration, and improved mood, all of which are essential for academic success and personal well-being. 


In hindsight, the journey to becoming a master’s student has been filled with valuable lessons and experiences that have shaped my understanding of myself and the world around me. While I can’t change the past, I can use these insights to guide my present and future endeavors. By embracing discipline in routines, cutting myself some slack, reflecting on achievements and learning from experiences, and maintaining a healthy diet, I can navigate the complexities of personal and academic development with greater clarity and confidence. These lessons not only apply to academic life but also extend to various aspects of personal and professional growth, making them timeless pieces of advice for anyone striving to achieve their full potential. 

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