Mar 14, 2024

Letter to My Younger Self: Corey Ciocchetti, Colorado State

Letter to My Younger Self
Letter to My Younger Self: Corey Ciocchetti, Colorado State

Dear Younger Me,

Hello from the future. This letter is from you twenty-five years from now. You’ve always believed in miracles, so take this as a sign. Since I know that you (we) would never heed long-drawn-out advice from an older soul, let’s keep this brief. Here is what I (you) wish I would have known when I was twenty years old:

Life is sometimes hard, unfair, and unpredictable, but no one ever promised us otherwise. We never signed a contract that read: “I life, promise you Corey, that it will be fair and easy.” See that as a challenge. Play chess, not stress with your life. To do this, make sure you plan, make smart decisions, save and invest money, and get a solid education. You will need a strong head on your shoulders to navigate a world ever-increasing in complexity.

Make sure to chase your passion, as this will reveal your calling in life. A calling is one of the reasons that you were placed on Earth; it is what you were born to do. Find five places where your passions and talents collide. That means look for five areas where you absolutely love something —much more than your peers. Then, look for five areas where you are much, much better at something than your peers. Take the list of passions and the list of talents and look for work opportunities where these collide. Be specific here for this to be helpful.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, will give you advice. But only a select few will give you good advice. So, discern who those people are and listen. It’s okay to ignore the rest politely.

Your grades should follow knowledge. You go to school to learn to think like your teachers think, not to memorize stuff. You take chemistry to think logically like a chemist, law to think analytically like a lawyer, history to learn to read like a historian, and writing to learn to write like a famous author. In that vein, never be a transactional student, just seeking the lowest effort for the grade you want. At some point, as you grow older, a transactional worldview will backfire, and you will eventually be the dumbest person in the room. Ask me how I know. Smiles.

Remember that old phrase, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” That is true to an extent but also exhausting. You don’t need to learn everything the hard way. Try to ponder the consequences of your decisions before you make them. Find a few good mentors and take calculated risks. Learning the hard way every time is for amateurs.

Finally, and most importantly, your character matters above all else. Aristotle was right when he proposed that it is impossible for people to flourish if they lack virtue. Think about how true this is in life. Those who lie, cheat, steal, bully, etc. aren’t happy. If you want to be happy, then be good!

The real rabbits in life worth chasing are a sense of contentment and peace in your heart, a few strong friendships with people who would rush into your life when everyone else rushes out, and a solid character. If you are also rich, handsome, and popular, that’s fine too. But please, please don’t chase that at the expense of your happiness because, as the famous saying goes, “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to truly make you happy.”

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