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{LDSL Blog} Advice We Would Give Our 21-year-old Selves

LDS Living Staff - April 12, 2012

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In our March/April 2012 issue, we published some advice that readers and friends of LDS Living would give themselves at 21 years old. Here's what we would say.

Relax, it really will all work out exactly how it is supposed to. You will find if you are doing the best you can the Lord will put you exactly where you need to be when you need to be there. Don’t waste your time worrying about how things will work out. Have the faith and desire to trust, do your part, and enjoy the blessings that you have. You will find the joy and experiences  you have are greater than you had hoped for. Just relax and trust.
-Ruthann Cunningham; Circulation Manager

When applying for individual insurance, don't mention anything you haven't been diagnosed with. If you suspect you had a concussion once upon a time but you were never taken to a doctor, don't write it down. If you get headaches but haven't seen a doctor about it, don't write it down. Insurance companies count medical history as diagnosed problems, so you're not being dishonest. And it could prevent you from high premiums or being erroneously denied insurance.

Also, enjoy the opportunity to discuss differing points of view. Try not to get flustered or take it personally when somebody challenges your opinion--it's a great opportunity to reason out your opinions and figure out if they're actually correct. The worst that could happen is you realize you're wrong--and that's actually a wonderful thing.

Oh, and try not to drive fast when you're in a hurry. That's when you're most likely to get in an accident.
-Kate Ensign-Lewis; Online Editor

When things don’t go the way you planned, remember it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Time goes on, wounds heal, and life picks back up again. One negative experience does not determine the outcome of the rest of your life.

Now is the time in your life when you can do what you want to do, for yourself. If you have goals you’d like to accomplish or places you’d like to go, do them! Once marriage, children, and careers come, you can’t focus only on yourself anymore.

Listen to your parents. Most of us spent our high school years thinking we knew everything and they knew nothing, but as you get older you find out it’s the opposite.
-Alexa Justesen; Intern


Don’t be afraid to make mistakes that don’t have to do with morality. It’s more important to try things, so don’t avoid mistakes simply because you are afraid of getting hurt or of making a mistake. 
-Mandy Slack; Intern


Don't be afraid to take chances, even if you're afraid of mistakes.

Take advantage of any academic opportunities your school offers, whether it's getting a paper published or attending a job fair (great way to meet potential contacts).

Take more photographs! It's really great to look back at how far you've come, and it would be nice to have more photos of friends, activities, baking experiments, etc.
-Emily McClure; Intern


Don't compare yourself to others. There will always be someone prettier, thinner, smarter, or more talented. Simply acknowledge the gifts you have been given, embrace your uniqueness, and strive to be the best possible version of yourself. In other words, recognize who you are and then own it!


-Jamie Lawson; Managing Editor 


Cold water will get blood stains out of clothes, dish soap will get out chocolate, and blotting unscented hairspry will pull out ink. Spray'n'Wash helps with everything related to laundry. Baking soda is one of the best cleaning agents that exist, and putting a box of it in your fridge will get rid of bad smells. The scrub brushes you can get at the dollar store do wonders for dirty dishes. Just clean stuff more in general. College apartments are gross.

On a more serious note, enjoy every moment you have. These can be some of the best years of your life where you have the freedom to go and do anything and make friends and learn and become whoever you want to be. Don't get too caught up in worrying about the future (or the past) and just enjoy taking advantage of whatever opportunities come your way.
-Kaela Worthen; Associate Editor


Sunscreen. Wear sunscreen. Looking like a Dorito when you're young is not worth looking like a raisin when you're old. I was never a fan of tanning beds, but I loved to lie out in the sun during my teenage years, and my poor skin is beginning to pay for it. (Why, Coco Chanel, did you ever make tan skin popular?) So to my 21-year-old self: SPF is your best friend.
-Ashley Evanson; Online Editor

To read advice from LDS Living readers as printed in our March/April 2012 issue, click here.

To watch Temple Square visitors give advice to themselves at 21 years old, click here.

© LDS Living, 2012.
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