Unsolicited, Well-Intentioned Advice

Like I mentioned last week, my time as a student assistant has come to a close. I am officially not working as a student at my alma mater. And it’s scary. I know I said a lot of my fear and worry is probably due to what society and other people worry about for me, but I think it’s okay to be afraid. Obviously, it’s taking me some time to let go of the fear so I’m just riding it out.
But this job search has been pretty interesting. Since June, maybe even earlier, a lot of advice has come my way regarding what I should and should not be doing in terms of my job search. It’s almost automatic how much advice people will give when you tell them you’re a recent college graduate.
Between all the advice about having fun and enjoying the break, and about getting a job, it can get pretty overwhelming. I mean what am I supposed to do? Do all the things you’re suggesting while still trying to get my shit together? If you think you’re helping, you’re probably putting on extra pressure on the person. They already have their own expectations about how their summer is going to go and what they expect from their life and adding more well-intentioned advice isn’t all that helpful.
Of course, I am grateful for all the nuggets of advice I’ve been given. But on top of the uncertainty that I am facing, the advice has been a reminder of the fact that I should be scared. Probably why I allowed myself to get anxious about not knowing what is going on.
More often than not, when we are working through different stages of life we find that a lot of people have thoughts and opinions about what we should or should not be doing. And I am going to quote a song from the Mean Girls musical that I love to listen to when I am feeling like I need a reminder that I need to do what is going to benefit me the most: “I don’t need their good opinions/ I have plenty of opinions/ Everybody has opinions but it doesn’t make them true…”
I know it’s such a harsh thing to say to someone that is trying to give you good or well-intentioned advice to just stop. But if it’s for your mental health or you just don’t want to hear it, you have no reason to apologize. I wish I had the guts to say this to some people a long time ago or to just stand up for myself when I think something is worth pursuing. In the end you are the only one that knows what is going to be best for you.
And if you still don’t have it all figured out yet, don’t worry. I’m starting to realize that no on ever does.
-Joss

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