This week, the Cut is talking advice — the good, the bad, the weird, and the pieces of it you really wish you'd taken. Here, 25 smart women share their most valuable tidbits.
Greta Gerwig: "Don't drink all the drinks just because they're free!"
Julia Stiles: "Comparison is the thief of joy."
Mindy Kaling: "My mom always said, 'You should judge your relationship not by how a guy makes you feel when you’re with him, but by how he makes you feel when you’re not with him.'”
Kelly Ripa: "Somebody’s negativity dumped on you is a bigger commentary on how they feel about themselves than you. Jessica Seinfeld taught me that."
Susan Sarandon: "You can always forgive yourself or apologize for things you do, but you can’t ever work through things you wish you’d done and you didn’t."
Judy Greer: "My mom told me not to shit where you eat, which a lot of people say, but when your mom says that to you as you’re packing up your car to go away to college, it really sticks."
Rosie Perez: "My aunt used to say, 'Rosie, I’m so depressed, but tomorrow’s another fuckin’ day, eh?'”
Helen Mirren: "My headmistress told me not to be afraid of being afraid."
Jill Soloway: "Speak! It's a revolution for women to have voices."
Ali Wentworth: "Don’t worry about working out until it’s more about preventing death and less about what you look like."
Gayle King: "Maya Angelou said, 'When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.'”
Sandra Oh: "It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I’ve got to tell you, that’s serviced me so many times. It’s big-picture thinking."
Liv Tyler: "Make eye contact, stop to really look someone in the eye. My grandmother taught me that."
Marilyn Minter: "Make envy your enemy."
Robin Roberts: "Don’t play a supporting role in your own life."
Tavi Gevinson: “'Don't date anyone you wouldn't want to be,' from the writer Kate Bornstein."
Ava DuVernay: "Oprah told me that everything that happens to you is not happening to you, it's happening for you."
Dana Delany: "Trust your instincts — but the caveat is you don’t usually know what those are until you’re much older."
Sandra Bernhard: "When I was starting off, my mentor Paul Mooney said, 'Bernhard, shed your skin.' In other words, get closer to who you really are as a performer. But I think it’s good advice for people in life."
Veronica Roth: "My mom used to tell me, 'Other people are not thinking about you as much as you are.'"
Laverne Cox: "I think for trans folks, the struggle is, even as we want to transition and be better versions of ourselves, we have to love who we are today."
Rene Russo: "You have to maneuver in this world. You have to look at another person and go, 'What is it they need?' You can use that to ultimately get what you want."
Chita Rivera: "Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, with grace and humility. Be a sponge — and absorb and learn."
Marin Ireland: "Fail better. Try again, fail again, fail better."
Aidy Bryant: Just chill 'til you die, pretty much."
Reporting by Diane Gordon, Soo Youn, Kylie Gilbert, Kat Ward, Trupti Rami, Kara Warner, Bennett Marcus, Suzanne Weinstock Klein, Stephanie Eckardt, Valentina Valentini, Fawnia Soo Hoo, Claire Landsbaum, Katie Van Syckle, and Jennifer Vineyard.