Advice I'd Have for My Younger Self - From the Team at Clutch Prep

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Sometimes, we wish we could turn back the clock and fix things we did in the past. Learn wisdom a bit quicker and make less mistakes. Sometimes, we don’t know what advice we even need until we receive it at just the right time.


With the help of Christy Lopez (Director of People Operations), I got the chance to interview the team at Clutch Prep, an education-tech startup focused in helping college students do better in their classes. Clutch Prep is offering digital tutoring available at multiple college campuses, including Dartmouth College. They’ve expanded business rapidly over the past couple years, so clearly, they have advice to share when it comes to work-life balance and thriving in education.


Seeking advice for the busy student from people who’ve been through the education system before (and survived), I asked this question:


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about ____, I'd tell them...


Here are their responses.



If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about learning, it would be to never stop. Never stop pursuing knowledge, not just in whatever you choose to do, but anything you're interested in. Be a jack-of-all-trades - the world doesn't need people who know everything about one thing, the world needs people who can pull together their knowledge.

  • Patrick, Support Instructor, Physics


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about my future, it would be that hobbies are non-pursuit passions, and you have to go for passions — let them drive you and guide you. We spend a lot of time trying to become someone better for others when we are young, picturing ourselves in top-class careers, making our parents happy, and perhaps later finding ourselves motivated by things that we barely have time for, which is where passions become hobbies. We’d never know how good of a pianist, swimmer or maybe a fisherman we’d be if we had only pursued it in an earlier stage.

  • Alvaro, Office Manager


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about studying, I’d tell them… DO NOT procrastinate! Write everything down, it helps to remember, rather than typing. Study everyday so that the information is fresh in your mind. Try not to stay up all night, your brain does not retain information after so many of hours without sleep.

  • Dasha, Support Instructor, Chemistry


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about personal growth, I’d tell them… Ten years from now, you're going to see that those who developed their "soft skills" at a young age far surpassed your friends who were solely focused on GPA. Skills like listening, storytelling, public speaking, note taking, and critical thinking are greatly underestimated in the workplace- and are likely to determine your professional ceiling more than any other factor. They are the kinds of abilities that won't necessarily reflect on your resume, but will become evident during the interview process, and can help you move through the ranks at a young age.


This is why it’s so important to be strategic about personal growth. Here is a method that has been helpful for me:


a. Which soft-skill do I need to work on the most?

b. Why do I think this is the skill I need to work on the most?

c. Who do I know that is the best at this skill?

d. Interview them and ask them how they developed this skill. Ask for recommendations.

e. Put their recommendations to action. Consider using a spreadsheet to track your progress.

  • Johnny, Co-Founder & Chief Academic Officer


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about asking for help, I’d tell them… to always ask and not fear looking “weak”. It’s in my nature to want to take on anything and everything in terms of a project or tasks for the sake of knowing it will get done well, being the perfectionist I am. This has proven to be a great quality at times but also ends up hurting me more times than not when I bite off more than I can chew and risk burning out. I’ve learned over the years it’s okay to ask for help for the sake of my own sanity and opening up to allow others to help me rise.

  • Sophia, Content Marketing Coordinator

If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about work-life balance, I’d tell them… that it’s really important for mental health, though it can be hard because the line between work and life can feel fuzzy at times. The balance will fall more on either side sometimes and it’s important to reflect about why that’s happening. Sometimes being unbalanced is ok, especially if there are big returns on the finish line, but one should do it purposefully.

  • Alain, Co-Founder & Chief 


If I had the chance to tell my younger self something about work-life balance, I’d tell them… Grades are important, but what's even more important is experience and knowledge.  Just because you have an "A" in a class doesn't necessarily mean you have the most updated, relevant knowledge about the topic.  Always aim high and strive towards the "A", but don't let that distract you from truly learning and building your core fundamental knowledge.  Work hard towards the latter, and the grades will fall into place.  Good habits > good grades."

  • Jason, Lead Instructor, Biology




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