18th Birthday Extravaganza: Guest Post by Holly Schindler

It's Day 5 of our 18th Birthday Extravaganza and today Holly Schindler talks to her 18 year old self about never giving up. Don't forget to check out Holly's new book, Playing Hurt, coming out this March!


You get grief on occasion for being a lit major. You get a little more grief for studying creative writing. A lot of, “What are you going to do with that?” questions. And not just from practical-minded adults. You get asked that by fellow students (business majors, anyone in the sciences), too.
Sometimes, you even ask yourself the same thing. You wonder, when you’re up to your eyebrows in work, or as you’re writing checks at the bursar’s office, “What AM I doing? Am I wasting my money? My time? My efforts?”
No. You’re not.
The thing is, you can spend you’re entire life chasing practicality. Going after “safe” jobs. But if the last few years have taught us all anything, it’s that there IS no such thing as a safe job.
When I was in school, the “safe” job or major for anyone interested in writing was journalism. In the years since I got my degree, though, newspapers and magazines have both folded at an alarming rate. I imagine that anyone in school now who says, “I’m a journalism major” gets the same look I got for studying creative writing.
The thing is, life’s short. The older you get, the faster the years go by. You shouldn’t chase after your second choice just because it’s “safe.” You’ll find yourself working just as hard pursuing your fall-back choice as you would have pursuing your greatest love.
Go after what you want most. If studying literature makes you the happiest right now, do it. Regardless of how crazy it seems. And when graduation hits, follow your heart again. It might not lead to instant wealth, but a sense of purpose can be far more valuable than a giant paycheck.
Do what you love. Period. Go after what you want; work hard, and don’t ever, ever, EVER give up.

Thank you so much Holly!

Stop by Lauren's blog for a chance to win Haven by Kristi Cook!


  1. So true! Great advice, Holly! It really helps to have someone remind you to do what you want to do. :)

  2. Great advice Holly! I plan to use it. I'm finally starting college this fall (at 25) and keep doubting myself about what I want to do. No more! I'm going for it!

  3. Great advice! It's pure wisdom. I always think that I want to study what I'm passionate about because I rather live my life happy doing what I love than unhappy, with lots of money, doing something that I hate.

  4. I'll be finishing up my BA in Literature this fall, as well as starting my MA. You're right...I do get a lot of "what are you going to do with THAT?" questions, but I love my major. It's so worth it to me!

    Great post!