In Summary
  • One of the biggest lies young people tell themselves is that “there’s still time”.

  • Don’t wait until you have graduated to get an internship.

  • Educate yourself on something that interests you so that by the time you are in your 30s, you are an expert at something.

Some time early last month, the pastor at my local church, PCEA Ruai Central Parish, Rev Sarah Muriithi, invited me to speak to youth. The fragility of youth was not lost on me as I interacted with them. It struck me how youth, like a tenuous cloud, is illusive and short-lived. So, I thought it would be nice to offer twenty-something-year-old Kenyans a column on some of the life lessons I have learnt along the way.

1. You don’t have time

One of the biggest lies young people tell themselves is that “there’s still time”. Well, let me shock you. You do not have as much time as you might think, so, do the most important things now, when you are young and energetic.

As a twenty-something-year-old, your brain is at its peak, your veins are flowing with divine energy and your responsibilities are close to nil. So, go to school, don’t wait to pursue that advanced degree at an advanced age because an MBA will not help you in your sunset years. Your 20s are not the time to be a couch potato, watching TV series from dusk to dawn. Get off the couch, get busy, because the time is now.

2.Start early

A 2002 study conducted by Dr Sing Lin dubbed “Optimum Strategies for Creativity and Longevity” found that the youth years are the most creative in life. The study shows that great discoveries that have been made by Nobel laureates were made at the average age of 32. You don’t make a big discovery in your early 30s if you spent your 20s on Facebook or playing video games. Start now.

Take it from a person who has worked since she was 19; it pays off when you get to your late 20s. You have more experience, not just at your job but in handling your money.

You learn to be responsible at an early age and, most importantly, you respect money because you have worked hard for it. Don’t wait until you have graduated to get an internship. Get your internship during your second or third year. Impress them and by the time you are done with college, you will have some years of experience in your bag. The same study by Dr Lin proposes an interesting strategy for young people. The 10 years preceding the age of 32 are very crucial.

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