Advice from over-24s to under-24s

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The United Nations (mainly for statistical purposes) recognises ‘youth’ as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. In any culture, youth is a treasured time of life. It is usually extolled as a time of carefreeness, agility and freedom to pursue and accomplish things that become increasingly difficult with age. Youth is, many would say, the prime of life.

Each society makes different demands of its young people. In Jamaica, for example, while we appear to have pretty standard North American values, they are seasoned with our own unique flavours of Jamaican-ness and Caribbean-ness. What every society will agree on is that, if properly navigated, youth is a time to lay the foundation for a successful life and future – whatever an individual’s definition of success may be. Guidance and good advice – the sage of elders and forerunners – usually play an important part in this process.

diGJamaica asked employees of The Gleaner who have traversed the ‘youthful’ path to share some of the wisdom they gleaned over this time with those who are still walking it out. If you would like to add your own advice to this list, leave a comment below, or email dig@digjamaica.com. (Please note, we have tried to retain the Jamaican flavour of their responses while preserving clarity of meaning for international readers).



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  • Take school seriously! Your parents are paying a lot of money to give you an opportunity they probably never had. It might all seem like a joke now, but if you don’t take it seriously, you will set yourself back and regret it later.
  • Do your best. Don’t follow fren’ and skylark. Do your schoolwork.
  • Take Bounty advice: Book, book, book; unnu presha unnu book!
  • You don’t have to go to college if you don’t want to. Take the time to figure out what you want before you do a first degree.
  • Think entrepreneurship: start your business as soon as possible.
  • If you want to do accounting, don’t do CAPE. Just go straight for your ACCAs. For accounting, CAPE is a waste of time.

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  • Get a trade. Have hobbies that will make you money.
  • Appreciate the small things in life. Whatever you have, be thankful for it. Enjoy life. You can find so much happiness in the little things.
  • Don’t try to imitate others.
  • Respect yourself.
  • Pray. It’s not unsexy.
  • Work hard. Whatever you believe in, work for it. #TeamNoSleep. Work hard now so you can enjoy your life later. The people who enjoy their lives now are the ones who born with gold spoon.
  • Try not to be envious because another person has something you don’t have. You don’t know how people get what they have, so don’t grudge them.
  • Take social media seriously. Those pictures will stay online forever.
  • Think entrepreneurship.
  • Get a trade. Have hobbies that will make you money.
  • Buy a Gleaner. It supports our paycheck (LOL).
  • Respect your elders. The twenties are young, rash, out there … . Never discount experience.
  • Slow down.
  • Plan for the future. Set goals and, at the same, be realistic about the achievement of those goals.
  • Set priorities. Know what you want out of life.
  • Don’t steal your parents’ car. You could die.
  • Don’t waste money. Save. I wish I had listened to older people who were telling me t save more from I was younger.
  • Invest in yourself. Read!
  • Get a mentor. In your 20s, you don’t know much about the world and yuh really need fi pick somebody brain. Talk to your parents bout the mistakes they made. The most valuable thing to have is somebody weh actually business bout yuh fi tell yuh how life go.

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  • Relationships take years of practice to master.
  • Relationships require time, work and serious everything. You may need to see a psychiatrist sometimes.
  • Dunce man will look pon yuh and say you a hype and a gwaan like you a smaddy. Nuh tek up nuh dunce man!
  • Relationships end. No relationship lasts forever. Friendships end; people change. There are some that will last, but, yeah … sometimes they end.
  • If it ends, listen to a Sizzla ‘Dry Cry’ and move on … . Cry if you need to, then find a new woman.
  • This is for the ladies: Please, ladies, do, heal. Beg yuh, heal up. Spend some time. Take care of yourself, travel. Climb Blue Mountain. Take the spiritual journey… cause you don’t want to stress out the nex’ bredda. Take all the time you need to heal.

Do you agree with this list? Is there anything you disagree with? If you would like to add your own advice to it, leave a comment below, or email dig@digjamaica.com.

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