People over the age of 30 were happy to share insightful pieces of advices for youngsters setting off to make their own mark on the world.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 22, 2023. It has since been updated.
Regrets may eat you up like mosquitoes at twilight by the lake. They are emotional debts that cannot be repaid, just written off. They are devils that can only be outrun or defeated. Simply said, you want to go through life with as few regrets as possible. Likewise, as you become older, it's natural to reflect on the advice you should have taken to make your life simpler. As a result, when Reddit member u/SoleJam 18 asked: "30+-year-olds, what is some good life advice to give to 18-year-olds and above?" people had a lot of insightful thoughts to share. Here are some of them:
Save money. Even if it's only a little bit every week. Treat it like a bill and don't touch it. You'll have some money to invest in yourself in a few years time when you have a better idea of how you want your life to pan out. - u/born_in_cognito
Your teenage years aren't as important as you think they are. When I was a teenager it felt like that was peak adulthood and every choice was going to haunt me forever. By the time I reached 21 those years suddenly felt long forgotten and insignificant. - u/Kezly
Try to build a dynamic relationship with your parents. Utilize their resources as much as you can, but please think independently, make your own decisions and don’t follow their advice blindly. Also, very important, cut off toxic friends and relationships. Eagles fly alone. - u/[deleted]
Prioritize you and your health. Save your money. Learn a skill. A college degree is not that necessary for most fields. Learn from other's mistakes and be open to what others can teach you. - u/CornerNo3043
Don’t waste too much of your time on social media or get too invested in it. Remember, a lot of it is easily fabricated and fake, you’ll start to compare yourself to these fake people living fake lives. And yes there are some genuine people out there that want to use it with good intentions... but for some, with a large audience comes a hidden agenda and that’s either to make money of your insecurities or posting with the intention of gaining an audience to benefit them not you.
I’m not saying don’t use it all all, but just be mindful of what you're watching and not reading too much into some of the content you see... because sadly some people have had mental health issues or given up on passions because of bull**it influencers and false comparisons. - u/floppy_sausage_
I fu**ed around in my 20s, had a blast, but learned that lots of people will use you if you make more money than them. Also do not rush to move out of your parents' place if you can help it, you can save so much money not having to pay rent in your early 20s. - u/jkerpz
Travel as much as you can. If you plan to have kids, at least. There is a 10-15 years period where your travelling habits will be a lot different before going back to normal. - u/JudeaNepeFront
Also, school teaches that time and effort is proportional to success. Business-wise it is not the case. Putting the effort in the right places will lead to disproportionate success over working hard in areas with limited or linear potential.
Luck is important but it's also a numbers game. If you are bold enough to look for and act on opportunities you will eventually find the ones that succeed. As I read somewhere "the best way to make lucky things happen is to make a lot of things happen". - u/enerbiz
When making decisions, look at the risk and reward. Asking for a raise, asking someone on a date, etc. is very low risk (they’ll say no) and potentially high reward. Anything that is low risk/high reward should be a yes. Those are the decisions you’ll regret decades from now. On the flip side, if you’re at a party and debating jumping off a roof into a swimming pool, that is potentially high risk (death, crippled, etc.) and low reward (your goofy friends will think you’re cool for 15 minutes). Why would you ever take a high risk for a low reward? Related to my first example, another piece of advice is asking for what you want. Your boss and the people you want to date aren’t mind readers. If you don’t ask for what you want, the answer is always no. If you ask and the answer is no, at least you know the answer and won’t be wondering. - u/che-che-chester
1. Don’t get caught in the “comparison trap.” You’ll have peers that progress quickly and others that lag behind. The only person you should compare yourself to is yesterday’s version of yourself. As long as you are making steady progress, other people’s accomplishments don’t matter.
2. Be lightweight. Don’t weigh yourself down with obligations and commitments that limit your mobility. You should be able to move to a different city, change your career path, etc., without much holding you back.
3. Maintain a healthy balance. Perfect grades and a flawless resume will only get you so far. Go to that party, take that vacation, ask that person out. Life experience and networking will open more doors than a 4.0 GPA.
4. Make mistakes but learn from them. It’s better to mess up now while your responsibilities are limited. Don’t repeat the same mistake twice.
5. Get away from home. Maintain a healthy and positive relationship with your family and value that above all else. However, move away from home and learn how to be self sufficient. Step out of your comfort zone. - u/Ok_Supermarket9812
Major in something with a direct application intended. Even if you decide something in the humanities, think about what you will do after school and ensure that outcome. Otherwise you'll have the education, but no idea where to direct yourself. - u/Technical_Worker_264
Learn how to stay in shape. Build the habit of not overeating and staying physically active. Each year you get older, the less calories it takes to gain weight, get on top of it now. It’s okay to be a fu** up, you still have time on your side. Your 20s are about exploring and figuring yourself out. Have fun, travel as much as possible, but start getting your life onto a positive trajectory in your mid 20s. Superficial one, but avoid too much sun and wear sunscreen/face moisturiser. I have friends in their early 30s who look mid 40s because they were always in the sun through their 20s. - u/frequents_reddit
1. Always use protection with a new partner. There are so many forms of female contraception that can protect you from unplanned pregnancy but there's no such thing as someone looking 'clean' and STI free!
2. It is NEVER too late to say "no" or "stop". I don't care if the tip is already in there - if you change your mind that is still a perfectly acceptable time to say you don't want to continue.
3. Be kind to yourself. - u/Middle_Weakness_8005
Learn how to not let frustrations get to you. Water off a duck's back. For example, I could get salty about every customer that doesn't tip me. Then I'd just get miserable. Affecting my interactions, affecting my work, affecting my money. It all just leads to more stress. If I just wait until the end of the night to see how much I make and focus on the average, I'll find that I've had another above average night. Some kids have told me I'm deluding myself by pretending people aren't rude. But I'm not pretending anything. I know they still exist, I'm just choosing to look at the bigger picture and plan accordingly. Another thing that is related. Happiness is not the end [goal]. It is the means. And it's product, kindness, should be freely given. Because it costs nothing and buys you a lot. - u/Honest_Yesterday4435
Don't overwork yourself just because you want to impress your boss. Just do the job you were hired to do and no more. On that note, always be sure to get in writing your job contract and the details of what your job entails/will entail. That way you can reference back to it when something seems fishy. - u/darkninja0200