Advice I Would Give My Younger Self, If I Could Go Back in TIme
If I could go back in time and give my younger self academic and professional advice, I would tell her to focus on the trees. This means spending the requisite time identifying and mastering the basics before going on to work at the forest (more advanced) level.
I always did fairly well in everything I tried but that success was achieved with significant stress and angst because I was so focused on the forest that I overlooked the trees. The result was enormous amounts of time (time that could have been spent on other pursuits) and energy spent on remedial efforts to learn the trees when the forest was the needed focus.
Spending time to learn the trees in younger life makes later life infinitely less stressful and more enjoyable. Do not be in any rush to get to the forest; focus on the trees first.