Picture and try to think of yourself as an 8-year-old.
What advice would your 8-year-old self have for you today? What would your past self think of what you do today?
Here are some answers from the students at Marquette University in my creativity seminar.
My eight-year-old self would probably say something along the line of “Why are you so busy?” He would probably be right. I think I burden myself too much not with school and work, but with my expectations of what those things and other things in my life should be. When I work four hours on a single homework assignment, I start to get angry at my current situation and that only makes matters worse. I can be busy without being too stressed, and stress is something that I never had much of as a kid. That’s the big thing I think younger me would point out about my life — I don’t spend enough time enjoying it.
My eight year old self would probably be wondering why I don’t ever play outside or do some sort of arts and craft or read for fun. Although I always tried to be a good student it was easier to run around and play when you’re 8, now it’s a bit more challenging to fit that into my schedule. Another thing that’s changed in the past 12 years, I now have a schedule that indicates where and when I have to be at certain places.
Enjoy every minute of your life to the fullest! Don’t sit around on your own waiting until you are older so you can do something “big,” because you have to live in the moment, and you can always do something “big” no matter the time in your life. Enjoy other people and enjoy experiences- you’ll never regret those times.
My 8 year old self would tell me to start playing the guitar again and spending time doing the things I used to enjoy.
My 8 year old self would tell me to stop worrying so much and pick a book — not a textbook — from time to time. One of the hardest things about college and my later years of high school was that I no longer had time to read for enjoyment. Especially now — I really only get to read the books I want to read on breaks. I also really need to stop worrying about every little thing that doesn’t go the way I want it to. My 8 year old self would definitely tell me to cool it with my “worst case scenario” type of thinking.
I think my 8-year-old self would tell me to take a step back and observe. She’d tell me to take it all in and appreciate my surroundings before feeling any pressure to act. She’d also probably tell me to look out for the feelings of those around me.
I would tell my 8-year-old self to stop trying to be like someone else. In my elementary school, middle school, and high school years, I would constantly admire at least one other person and want to be just like them. Especially when I was 8 years old, I would imitate those people that I admired not for any substantial reason, but because they were liked by other people. I was a people pleaser; in fact, I still am a bit of a people pleaser, and I’ve been trying to work my way out of that mindset.
I think my 8-year-old self would tell me to keep going. I am a very anxious person, so I always worry about the future, whether it be in general or for a specific time, but it usually turns out okay for me in the end. I think my 8-year-old-self would tell me to keeping going because kids forge ahead almost blindly, evidenced by many foolish decisions leading to injury. So I picture 8-year-old-me telling me to just keep living and moving on and the future is not something I should worry about.