Advice I would have given to my 16-year-old self

I was speaking to a young lady at the weekend who will be doing the Leaving Certificate next year. And someone asked me what advice I would give her, given the pressure on young people doing exams and having to choose what they will do with the rest of their life.

I told her that attitude is everything. I told her it made no real difference what choice she made now regarding going to college, what to study, what career or path to choose.

For my belief is if you have a good attitude, you can always change paths. It is never too late if your attitude is right.

So, choose whatever course of study you want to right now but don’t forget that you can always change and reinvent yourself and have a few careers. Accept that it is virtually impossible to know with any degree of certainty at the age of 16 what will make you satisfied and happy for the rest of your life.

But adopt the right attitude, take the pressure off yourself by accepting you may get it wrong, and recognise that you can go again and choose something else that will make you happy and satisfied.

Accept, too, that life is sometimes not fair, but you get to choose how to respond to adverse occurrences and circumstances.

And you get to choose your attitude.

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