43 Timeless Pieces Of Advice From Adults To Seventeen-Year-Olds


Found on AskReddit.

1. Realize that the world is round, but it isn’t fair.

“The world isn’t fair, it is round, but it isn’t fair.”

2. Don’t try to impress people that don’t even care about you.

“Don’t try to impress people that don’t even care about you.”

3. Tell your parents that you love them.

“Call your parents and tell them that you love them. Repeat that often.”

4. Be kind—everybody else is human, too.

“Take care of your teeth. Don’t spend more than you earn. Be kind—everybody else is human, too. Adulthood is about making things up as you go along.”

5. Follow your brain, not your heart.

“‘Follow your heart’ and ‘follow your dreams’ are bad advice. Do not always go where your heart leads. You have a brain for a reason. Use it.”

6. If you get a dollar, save a quarter.

“If you get a dollar, save a quarter.”

7. Learn how to forgive yourself.

“Forgive yourself. Kicking yourself over past failures won’t change what happened, it will just leave you sore from being kicked so much. Give up all hope for a better past. Own who you have been so it doesn’t own you.
This really applies to all ages, but it’s a skill that takes a while to develop so you might as well start young and really figure it out. I haven’t met many people under twenty who have taken it to heart but I have found a number of people in their twenties who are really starting to get it. I’ve also met people in their 80’s and 90’s who still don’t get it and are filled with regrets.”

8. Read. It doesn’t matter what you read, but read.

“Read. It doesn’t matter what you read, but read. Read on your phone (it’s much more than a communication device), read books, read on your laptop, read in the bathroom, read on long car rides… Want to know why/how/what something is or works? Google it and read the answer. Novels, plays, comics, graphic novels, poetry, magazines, blogs, newspapers, fiction, nonfiction… There is something out there you are interested in that you can read about.”

9. Listen to people who are older than you.

“Floss every damn day and wear sunscreen. Go to the dentist twice a year. Listen to people who are older than you. Do not dismiss them. They are exactly like you except they have been around the block a few times. If they are telling you something it is because they don’t want you to make the same mistake. ALWAYS wear a condom. Boo-hoo, it doesn’t feel as good? How does 18 years of child support sound?”

10. If you’re a creative type, listen to your heart.

“If you’re a creative type, don’t listen to any asshole that tells you it’s not a valid path through life. It’s hard, but it’s beyond rewarding. Also if you’re a creative type, learn to be assertive. People will try to dick you over and not pay you for your hard work. Don’t work for exposure, work for money.”

11. Learn to be an active listener.

“Learn to be an active listener. This means being engaged in conversations, generally interested in what the other person has to say. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.”

12. Don’t be in a rush to grow up too soon.

“Honestly, slow down. Don’t be in a rush to grow up so soon. Enjoy the moments you have and learn to be grateful. Sure you may not have all the freedom you want yet, but you’re still unburdened by other countless responsibilities you’ll face as you get older. Your time will come, but in the meantime, kick back, relax, and enjoy the damn sunset.”

13. Don’t lose a friend over pride.

“In relationships/friendships, you don’t always have to be right. Sometimes it’s best to hug them, say “I love you”, and remain quiet. Also, just say sorry so you can move on. Don’t lose a friend over pride.”

14. Always try your hardest.

“That person you’re hung up over doesn’t matter and you will get over it even if it takes time. They are just as afraid and naive as you are. Always try your hardest. If you don’t try your best, you don’t deserve anything. Always be kind to everyone you meet.”

15. If you’re a guy, realize that you’re on your own.

“If you’re a guy, you’re on your own. You’ll have friends and family but remember you’re responsible for you. No one really gives a shit. Go to school after HS, even better learn a trade. Don’t fuck around there, either. Get it done. Invest early. Always save a few bucks here and there when you can. Leave the ladies alone. Bang many as you can, wear a condom, but don’t get wrapped up in relationships. Have fun. Keep your drinking and drug use to a minimum. Don’t get married.”

16. Learn to forgive yourself.

“• First relationships never/rarely work out—don’t sweat it if it doesn’t.
• Sex is NOT the most important thing in life even though it will seem like it for a few years.
• Be cautious in your spending and never spend more than you make.
• Avoid credit cards like the plague—get one and use it only for emergencies and pay it off immediately after you have to use it.
• If you plan to settle down pick someone you are friends with first. Sex and appearance will only last so long, but if you marry someone you are best friends with it can last for life. (22 years and counting for me!)
• Life is too short to work in a crappy workplace. Sometimes you have to do so for a while but you will be far better off working somewhere for less pay if you like working there and like the people.
• Everyone has emotions but the true test of adulthood is that you can choose how you respond to them. Do not let your emotions rule your actions.
• Find several hobbies. If you live a typical lifespan you will have periods of boredom and hobbies can be a sanity saver at those times.
• Learn to forgive yourself—we are all human and we all make mistakes. Learn from them and get on with your life.
• Men forget, women forgive. In other words, while women will forgive you they have no problem bringing it up at other times. Men on the other hand will forget about it and get angry if you bring it up.
• No matter what else you do with your life, make time for happiness. It’s all too easy to get focused on work, family, job, etc. and to forget to have fun but it’s important.”

17. Realize that nobody knows what they’re doing.

“Nobody knows what they’re doing. Except maybe like 2% of the people on earth, every adult is just making shit up as they go and hoping desperately that nobody notices they’re pretending.”

18. Try to cultivate a good work ethic.

“Try to cultivate a good work ethic as early as you can. It will get you far in life.

19. You don’t need to try out everything at least once.

“If you don’t feel like doing ‘stupid stuff’ or ‘trying out everything at least once,’ you don’t have to, just because others think that’s what being young is all about.”

20. Life is an experience, not a documentary.

“Take pictures of the big moments, but don’t overdo it. Life is an experience, not a documentary.”

21. Take advantage of the time you have right now.

“Take advantage of the time you have right now: go to the gym, learn something new, plan your post-secondary life, have a relationship etc. Also, help your parents out when you can. They’ll definitely appreciate now and in the future :)”

22. Volunteer your time.

“Volunteer your time to various causes, as it will open up the opportunities that come your way. Also once you get some sort of paid employment, be disciplined in putting some away in a savings or investment. And try to balance that with having a great time.”

23. Don’t get more education than you need.

“Just get enough education to suit your needs. It can be quite frustrating to earn a PhD and realise that to work your dream job a BsC would have been enough.”

24. Realize that life is fucking short as hell.

“The best life advice is to learn early on that life is fucking short as hell and that you have to do whatever you need to do in order to live the life you want to live. A more practical approach is this: Never shy away from asking for something… The universe will provide but you need to be verbal in putting out there what it is you want. If you want a promotion, a new house, a new hobby, then these are the things you should be talking about with EVERYONE you come into contact with rather than trivial nonsense. Its only a matter of time before the right person hears the right thing and that is when good things begin to happen. If someone offers you something, don’t say no to be polite as people so often do. Say yes and take take take with a smile and a thank you. Always say yes if yes is what you feel. And finally, never question if you are in the right place or worthy of an opportunity. There could be a thousand ppl better educated, but if you want something then go for it regardless. If anything, the things you learn from going for it will allow you to really get it when it counts. Adhere to these, kid, and you’ll go further than you’d think.”

25. Take care of your health.

“Here’s something useful instead of the awful jokes. Take care of your health. If you fuck up now it’s going to be a long long road until the sweet release of death. Second, invest in your life. Meaning take school/study seriously. Everything you do now will pay of in the future. All those fuckers who say you should enjoy life, don’t care about school or your career are those who will end up asking you whether you want sauce with your fries. Three, people are your way up. Never forget this one. The king is powerless without its pawns. Success can only be granted because the people around you are willing to let you take it. Therefore be nice to everyone, even if they can’t help you at all. Work on your people skills. Appreciate those around you who care about you. (like your parents or siblings) Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy life whenever those rare moments of happiness come. You are only young once. Just don’t forget to not overdo it, sacrificing your future in return.”

26. Start understanding the human journey.

“Learn about new cultures and faiths, start understanding the human journey. It will make you limitless!”

27. Marry the right person.

“Marry the right person. No decision you make will have as big an influence on your life than this.”

28. Stop trying to get approval from people.

“Short list:
• Get a job!
• Stop trying to get approval from boys/girls, you won’t fall in love by giving someone what they want.
• There is absolutely no point in extending yourself to fit in with your peer group and you will regret the time you waste on it later. Your peer group in college won’t be your peer group in 5 years. That being said, hang onto your best friends from high school. Don’t let all the temptations of freshman year and the like tear you away from who your friends know you to be. It’ll feel new and like “the real you” at first, and then you’ll realize you’ve been a huge poser. You’ll make friends in college, but they probably won’t come from that group you drink Rubinoff and go to the dining hall with.
• Take a year off before college (maybe 2) so that you really, really know what subjects you want to commit to, or at least understand the importance of figuring that out thoroughly.
• Don’t fuck around with psychedelic drugs. If you want to find your inner self or have an eye-opening spiritual awakening, go on a really long hike or travel to a foreign country. Having schizoid symptoms for 3 years is not fun…
• If your parents suck or are abusive or otherwise PTSD-producing, GTFO THE HOUSE NAO ASAP. You can’t fix it!”

29. Take responsibility for the mistakes you make.

“Take responsibility for the mistakes you make. Most often, people will know it was you that made the mistake, and it is a desirable trait to be able to own up to it. Be proactive. Too many youngsters these days are of the impression that all the good stuff in life just falls into their lap, without having to do anything for it. It doesn’t, you have to put effort into things, and make things happen. If someone told me these things when I was 17, I wouldn’t have had to waste 20 years figuring it out for myself…”

30. Don’t have a child if you’re not ready for one.

“Don’t have a child if you’re not ready for one.”

31. Don’t take a break—go right into college.

“Don’t take a break in school after you graduate from high school. Just go right into college and get it over with. I’ll graduate so I’m not worried about it but I want to be finished before I’m 28 not when I’m 28. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it will be nice to be 24 and already starting your career.”

32. It gets so much better and easier.

“I find most of my friends and myself were really anxious about the uncertainty of everything and the expectations of growing up to be an adult. Trust me it gets so much better and easier. If you feel anxious and upset pls remember that it gets much easier :)”

33. Save as much money as you can.

“Save. Save as much money as you can. Be aware of your credit score and do everything you can to keep it above 720. Have fun, but be mindful that the future arrives in the blink of an eye.”

34. Just enjoy your stay on this planet.

“There will be things you will regret doing and others you will regret not doing. Life is no movie; there is no set course experiment and gather experience. Build yourself a personality you are comfortable with and other than that just enjoy your stay on this planet.”

35. Never give up.

“Pay off your credit card every month. Work hard. Never give up.”

36. Pursue your dreams.

“Old guy who has done it all here…pursue your dreams when you are young and energetic. When you get older, you will find excuses not to do stuff.”

37. Realize that anything can happen in life.

“Anything can happen in life. I went from a normal, athletic kid drafted for the a team in the Quebec Major Hockey League to a severe anxiety issue that has lasted for 9 years and destroyed my life. Enjoy the moment. Take it all in. Also, don’t care about what other people think of you. You might think everyone is looking and judging…they really don’t give a fuck. As someone else stated. High school and college friends. Enjoy it while it lasts. It’s an amazing time and you can create many memories but those people will disappear. You’ll be lucky to retain one good friend from high school or college. ”

38. Your problems are never as bad as they seem.

“Remember how problems when you were 7 yo is nothing but trifles today? That’s how you’ll look at your problems ten years from now.”

39. Date who you want and love who you want.

“There is absolutely no shortage of attractive men and women. There’s no sense in trying to keep the first attractive person that shows interest in you. Date who you want. Love who you want. But if it’s not working out, move on.

40. Try learning one new thing every day.

“Try to learn one new thing a day. Whether it be how to change brakes on a car, why Hitler invaded Russia or why the sky is blue. Never stop learning.

41. Try to get some hobbies that will last a lifetime.

“Try to get some hobbies that will last a long while like drawing, playing an instrument, learning languages. It’s fun in the present and it’s awesome in the future.”

42. Keep working out, because you only get one body.

“Keep working out…in school, you have gym almost every day and most are relatively fit. In college, you aren’t working out as much and you end up gaining weight, plus stress, plus poor eating habits from being away from home. It’s a lot easier to maintain a decent level of fitness then try to GET fit again when you are in your late twenties. ”

43. Don’t wait until the water runs cold.

“I call this story When The Water Ran Cold.

I asked my grandpa what it felt like to grow old. Grandpa is a man who will deliberate on which part of the newspaper to start with each morning, so I knew my question would take him some time to answer. I said nothing. I let him gather his thoughts.

When I was a boy, Grandpa had once complimented me on this habit. He told me it was good that I asked a question and gave a person silence. And being that any compliment from him was so few and far between, this habit soon became a part of my personality and one that served me well.

Grandpa stared out the window and looked at the empty bird feeder that hung from an overgrown tree next to the pond he built in the spring of 1993. For twenty years, Grandpa filled up the feeder each evening. But he stopped doing it last winter when walking became too difficult for him.

Without ever taking his eyes from the window, he asked me a question: ‘Have you ever been in a hot shower when the water ran cold?’ I told him I had.

‘That’s what aging feels like. In the beginning of your life it’s like you’re standing in a hot shower. At first the water is too warm, but you eventually grow used to the heat and begin enjoying it. But you take it for granted when you’re young and think it’s going to be this way forever. Life goes on like this for some time.’

Grandpa looked at me with those eyes that had seen so much change in this world. He smiled and winked at me.

‘And if you’re lucky, a few good-looking women will join you in the shower from time to time.’

We laughed. He looked out the window and continued on.

‘You begin to feel it in your forties and fifties. The water temperature declines just the slightest bit. It’s almost imperceptible, but you know it happened and you know what it means. You try to pretend like you didn’t feel it, but you still turn the faucet up to stay warm. But the water keeps going lukewarm. One day you realize the faucet can’t go any further, and from here on out the temperature begins to drop. And every day you feel the warmth gradually leaving your body.’ Grandpa cleared his throat and pulled a stained handkerchief from his flannel shirt pocket. He blew his nose, balled up the handkerchief, and put it back in his pocket.

‘It’s a rather helpless feeling, truth told. The water is still pleasant, but you know it will soon become cold and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is the point when some people decide to leave the shower on their own terms. They know it’s never going to get warmer, so why prolong the inevitable? I was able to stay in because I contented myself recalling the showers of my youth. I lived a good life, but still wish I hadn’t taken my youth for granted. But it’s too late now. No matter how hard I try, I know I’ll never get the hot water back on again.”

He paused for a few moments and kept looking out the window with those eyes that had seen ninety-one years on this Earth. Those eyes that lived through the Great Depression, those eyes that beheld the Pacific Ocean in World War II, those eyes that saw the birth of his three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He had indeed lived a good life, I thought to myself.

‘And that’s what it feels like to grow old.’”