Starting A New Chapter – An Opportunity for All of Us

starting college, starting a career, anxiety, growing upMichael Costigan is a 17 – year-old from Orange County, CA. He is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, and truly enjoys helping other’s better understand teen related issues. You can follow him at



What’s that thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t, that thing you want to share with everyone but are too afraid, that thing you’re always putting off for no good reason?


The end of summer is a natural break in the year for many of us. We’re moving out, going off to college, starting a new job, and probably anxious about what is yet to come. Why not make this the year that really counts?


The year that isn’t for someone else, some system, or some institution – why not make it our year?


Change can be hard, sometimes even painful. But if we want to take our lives to new places, it is almost always necessary. It’s up to us what we do this year, and it’s entirely possible that this could be the year we use to actualize our dreams. The year we decide to turn our talents into a business. Our efforts into a new relationship. Or our dreams into a reality.


There’s no magic way to accomplish these things, nor is there some specific process that will work for everyone. All of us are nervous; all of us will face challenges – but none of  those things should slow us down, make us quit, or prevent us from reaching for the things we want.


Get Serious About Getting Things Done


Are you really committed to making things happen for yourself? It is so easy to fall into comfortable habits of daily life. Going to class, to work, and hanging out with friends in between. Someone who wants to make their ambitions more than just ambitions must be willing to give up predictability, give up old habits in exchange for stepping way out of their comfort zone.


Setting clearly defined goals and focusing on one task at a time can help bring you closer to your end result. You’ll discover, if you haven’t already, that personal accountability is challenging. It takes a great deal of self-discipline to make yourself do what you know you should be doing, even when you have a clearly defined set of things you can work through. It makes sense to ask someone else to hold you accountable to the things you want to accomplish. Whether that person is a mentor, friend, or parent is up to you, just make sure that they are staying on top of their own life and can meaningfully get through to you in a way that will both motivate and push you.


Time Wasted Now is Time You Won’t Have Later


If you’re really serious about going for what you want, you’ll have to be open to big sacrifices. This means that the time you have now to hang out with friends, go out on Fridays, or relax in front of the TV will need to be seriously cut down. Prioritization needs to become your new hobby. The sacrifices you make now will set you apart from others, give you a leg up in your field, and place you farther along than the majority of people who will be joining your field with less experience and fewer connections down the road. It’s not a matter of wanting something – it’s a matter of going out and getting it.



Your Peers = Your Support


Surround yourself with people that amaze you. People that make you feel inspired and that genuinely care about the road you’re on and where you want to go. The people still in your life after you’ve chosen to follow a non-traditional path are the ones who really care about you and what it is that you want for your life. These people can help be your support and make a world of difference in how you perceive your success, your happiness, and yourself.


Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity, a life that anyone else can have. Take a chance. What have you to lose?

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