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jabag11's avatar

To everyone older, what general advice would you have for a 19 year old?

Asked by jabag11 (676points) January 13th, 2011

I am 19 years old and am a male. And I am just trying to acquire some general “wise” knowledge from anyone older than me, or advice. You know that phrase, “If I knew back then what I know now…”. Well, thanks to you, I can know now what you do at your age! lol.

I know I am not going to all of a sudden change, and I know that true growth seems to only come through experience its self, but I would say it can’t hurt to just tell me what you think is important or whatever, in terms of just general advice about life.

For example, one person told me, don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself, that they can only make you feel bad if you allow them to. Something like that.

So again, any old advice at all, it can be specific and precise as needed or just really broad. Doesn’t matter. Please state your age and sex! =D. Thank you!

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46 Answers

janbb's avatar

Learn to like and accept yourself now. It will make your life so much richer and easier.

faye's avatar

Work hard, don’t go into debt with credit cards, do what’s right no matter what, like the guy in the mirror. 56F

kenmc's avatar

Do good in school. Seriously. As a 22 year old male, if you try to take the easy road, it can turn out to be a whole hell of a lot tougher.

ninjacolin's avatar

Old advice makes a lot more sense when you’re older. I’ve found there was a lot of advice I didn’t appreciate when I was young. I often wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self: “I know you don’t really think this applies to you but it does. Trust me, I felt the same way and made my decisions based on that conclusion. I was wrong.”

Anyway, young man: Emulate those who are successful at the things you wish to accomplish. Do what they do, live how they live.

tranquilsea's avatar

Start saving money now. Even if it is just pennies, dimes, nickels etc. If you can become a saver instead of a spender then you won’t have to worry for most of your life (for monetary things anyway).

Become educated on credit cards. Use them to build your credit but make sure you pay it off every month. Never carry a balance. Learn what affects your credit and be wise to build a strong credit rating without getting in debt.

Lean to appreciate the simpler things in life like a walk through the park or the laughter of children.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m not “older”, but always, always treat others – no matter who they are – how you want to be treated. It’s great advice.

Kayak8's avatar

The people you meet on your way up the ladder (career, fame, other) will be the same people you pass on the way back down. Be sure to treat them as such on your way up (don’t step on fingers, push people out of your way, etc).

Don’t take up bad habits that will cause health problems later (smoking, poor eating habits, etc.). These things are easy to avoid and hard to quit.

Be sure to treat those around you (particularly family) as though you only have them for today, Remember that every day with each person is a gift that can be taken away at any time. This saves a lot of regrets.

If you decide to love someone, do it with your whole heart. Your heart may be broken a time or two, but when you find the right person, your investment will be worth more than you could ever imagine.

Stop and remember how long a year was when you were 6. Remember waiting for Christmas or your birthday. Remember how long the summer lasted. As you gain more years, each one moves more swiftly. “Killing time” sounds good when you think you have a lot of time ahead of you. Slow down and be present in the moment.


WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My advice to you is to listen to your elders when they tell you in all serious honesty that a habit of yours is extremely annoying. I am 31 and a female.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Allow your heart to be broken. Not loving anyone out of fear is worse. 41F

But don’t listen to me, Andy Partridge was my age, divorced and a few years from the break up of his band XTC when he wrote this in 1988.

thorninmud's avatar

Cultivate a tender heart.

Be content with little.

Remain open to the unexpected.

Never think you’ve got it figured out.

flutherother's avatar

I could give you lots of good advice but you wouldn’t thank me for it especially if you took it. OK, one bit of advice; don’t be afraid of making mistakes, you have lots of time ahead of you for getting over it. Being careful is for the aged, our bones are more brittle.

Cruiser's avatar

Save 10% of your income no if’s and’s or butt’s. Do not pass up on opportunities that come your way. Finish college. Volunteer your time. Do not be afraid to ask that girl out you have your eye on. There is no easy way out and if it’s too good to be true that because it probably is.

Finally, respect old farts like me because you will be one soon enough and you will sit there and go “that really sucks” when youngin’s break bad on you.

tinyfaery's avatar

Enjoy the moment, because nothing lasts forever.

Arbornaut's avatar

Stay true to yourself, follow your heart and always do what you think is right.
Dont be an ass either, what goes round comes around.

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Carly's avatar

don’t have sex with a girl unless you’re financially able to take care of her and your possible future child.

23, F

Nially_Bob's avatar

Don’t forget where you come from. You’re in a period of your life where you’re still fully embracing independence and it can sometimes be all too easy to disregard family, old friends, old habits and so such, but don’t. The older you get, the more you’ll need those who knew you when you were younger around.

Always remember that everyone who has been successful in this world has had one thing in common. From charity workers, to lawyers, to boxers, to millionaires; everyone who is genuinely successful in this world has worked hard as hell to get where they are.

Occasionally ask yourself if what you’ve done and what you plan to do has made you happy or will make you happy in the long-run.

If you need financial assistance always ask family and friends first; an hour of hurt pride is negligible when compared to 9 months of debt.

If you absolutely must get financial assistance from a bank ensure it’s designed to assist you specifically. Banks are alot more forgiving when it comes to student overdrafts or below 21 accounts than they are to credit card 9329740 that hasn’t paid for that dvd on time.

I’m a 21 year old male who’s lazy, in debt and always getting caught up in the moment ;)

Brian1946's avatar

Bag as many babes/dudes as you can up until December 21, 2012! ;-p
Also, take my advice with a pound of salt.


jazmina88's avatar

know your choices lead to consequence. Make them good.

Pandora's avatar

Learn to enjoy the little things.
Stress is a killer so don’t beat yourself up over things not in your control.
Tomorrow is another day to do things better.
Treat your body like a temple, watch what you eat and exercise regularly. Before you know it there will be aches and pains where you never had them. Usually by age 30 you start to notice you don’t feel like you did at 19. So don’t waste time.
Get regular check ups.
It doesn’t cost you a thing to smile at someone new and to be nice to love ones and strangers, but that smile may come to someone else when they needed it most.

chyna's avatar

Make memories, lots and lots of memories. Have good times with your family and friends. Go places you think you might not like, it’s still an adventure. Don’t live beyond your means. Don’t use credit that you can’t pay off each month.
Treat others well, and you will be treated well in kind.
Don’t be afraid to dance.
Love well and love deeply.

Rarebear's avatar

Get of the internet and experience real life. I’m 46 and male.

filmfann's avatar

Stay off my lawn!

john65pennington's avatar

I believe that The Ten Commandments just about covers all the advice that anyone could ever give you. john

Sayd_Whater's avatar

Never miss a chance to love and respect =)
Early determine your goals and sooner you’ll get them.
Don’t spend your youth in computers or tv…you’ll have plenty of time for that when you get older!
Carpe diem =)

stardust's avatar

Pursue your passions in life.

Fairylover78's avatar

32-F Get to know yourself and really appreciate the person you are, accept yourself so that others will accept you for you and not who you think they want you to be. Always be you. Like what YOU like, Do what YOU love, no matter what anyone else thinks. Always be your own person, never pretend to be something your not just to fit in because in the long run it’s those that accept you for you that are worth keeping around for years to come, the others dwindle into the distance the older you get.

woodcutter's avatar

don’t loan money to friends unless you consider it a gift beforehand.

choreplay's avatar

First of all I want to stand up and applaud you for even asking this question. You show yourself to be way ahead of your peers.

The strongest measure of intelligence in people is theIr ability to postpone immediate gratification for greater gain later.

How do I say this in a poignant way. Imagine two people at age 35 (I know that seems a world away), one has just bought a house that he will be paying on till he’s 50 or maybe 65 and has to figure out how to save for retirement that might take $23,000 to fund. The second figured out how to buy a small house at 20 (its not impossible), and put $5,000 in a retirement account, now at age 35 he has no mortgage and doesn’t have to break his back to save for retirement.

$5,000 is a drop in the bucket in the long run, at 8% it will be worth $160,000, at 10% it will be worth $365,000 and at 12% it will be worth $820,000 all at the age of 65.

Someday you’ll realize that 35 is young and you could be in a position that most people will work all their life to get to.

There are those that would say, we don’t know what tomorrow holds, so live today, I say you can do both. Buy that house, put some renters in it, bring friends in to rent rooms or fix it up and sell it. That retirement money, you’ll spend that much playing over the next two to three years.

Short answer, the earlier you save for retirement and buy a home the less of a burden it will be. Look around, most people are struggling to pay their mortgages and save that nest egg. TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE COMODITY.

45 male, put myself through college, own my own business

Kardamom's avatar

When you meet elderly folks, whether through your work, or just in passing (like at the store or at church or at a takeout place) make a point to be polite and friendly to them. Older folks enjoy making conversation. Just because you think you might not have much, or anything, in common with them, make a little small talk anyway. Learn how to converse freely with people and they will appreciate you so much. Also, when you talk with older folks, remember that sometimes they don’t see or hear as well, so look them in the face when you speak to them (sometimes you have to lean in a little bit too) and speak a little bit louder (but don’t yell at them either) and don’t use jargon. Just be nice and polite. Old people love me, but when I was your age, I was very shy around older folks and now I regret that. I’ve had some of the most pleasant conversations with older folks and sometimes they don’t have anyone left to give them a friendly hello on a regular basis.

Always be polite and calm, even though other people may not always be that way. Don’t fall into the trap of going along with the crowd that does stupid or mean stuff just because “everybody else does it.” That doesn’t make it right. Have integrity at all times.

Treat people with respect, even though they won’t always treat you that way. Avoid telling lies, unless they are tiny white lies to spare someone’s feelings. Don’t be mean to people by using “lies of omission” either. Learn to use tact, learn to be discreet, learn to be tolerant, learn to stick up for the underdog, to stick up for people with less power, and to stick up for people with less access to resources (money, education, the law, a home, food etc)

Be kind to animals, children, the elderly and anyone who is not in a position to defend themselves successfully. Be an advocate. Practice integrity in all things big and small.

Educate yourself about money, your health, your community, the law, the Constitution of the U.S. Drink in information.

If you enter into a relationship with a SO, be a good partner. Call when you say you are going to call, don’t put yourself in compromising positions (literally or even ones that just give the impression of impropriety) be monogamous (but use protection every single time, and know exactly how to use it and what to do if it fails) have conversations early with your SO (if she’s female) about your thoughts about pregnancy, abortion and putting kids up for adoption should she become pregnant. Do not leave this conversation until it is too late. Make sure that your SO is not the only person in your life, don’t make yourself completely dependent on this other person. Keep good friends and family, spend quality time with those people too. Get to know your SO’s family and close friends and be kind to them. Communicate clearly and respectfully with your SO regularly. Do not stay with someone who you do not consider to be your best friend. If you are going through a rough patch, get some assistance, don’t let bad situations fester. Figure out if you are compatible early on, if you aren’t compatible, don’t stay together. You’ll just be wasting each other’s time and preventing each other from meeting someone more suitable.

Use good hygiene (brush your teeth after breakfast and before you go to bed) floss, keep your body odor in check. Some young men don’t realize how stinky their pits and feet get.

Take care of your health. Eat nutritious food every day. Go easy on the junk food and alcohol. Make sure to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise everyday. Get fresh air everyday. Take a multi-vitamin. Make sure you get regular checkups with your primary care physician. If you have an illness or an injury, seek medical assistance. Don’t rely on info from the internet or folk remedies and don’t self medicate with drugs and alcohol. Take charge of your health and be pro-active. The things that you do now (what you eat, how much you drink, whether you smoke or take drugs, if you exercise, if you don’t deal with stress effectively) will have consequences later in life. Don’t go through your young life in denial thinking that you can fix things later. Learn to lead a healthy life now.

Keep your house clean and in order. Don’t let dirt and gunk and disorder become the order of the day. Take extra care in keeping your bathroom and kitchen clean, especially if you will be entertaining a SO. Pay your bills on time, everytime. Make sure you always put a certain amount of money away in an interest bearing savings account, in case of emergency. Keep emergency numbers (parents, friends, police, fire dept. poison control) in easy reach.

Be a good friend. Reach out to other people. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Some of the best people you will ever know, might be shy or older or different from you and they may be afraid to reach out. Don’t live in fear of people. Cultivate active and fulfilling relationships with the people around you (friends and family and co-workers). Don’t become one of those people who hole up in their house and become miserable and bitter and depressed. Be a good friend, be a good employee, be a good member of your family, be a good citizen, be good person.

gondwanalon's avatar

Develop good eating and exercise habits and make them part of your life’s routines (like brushing your teeth or bathing daily). Lay off the tobacco, alcohol and other recreational drugs.

Be frugal with your earnings and save/invest for your retirement.

Believe me time will pass quickly and you want to reach old age with a good strong healthy body with enough money saved to live comfortably in old age.

You may not live longer for all your efforts but you will be happier and stronger and more active and get sick less often and recover more quickly than most old folks that you see hobbling around. I’m 60 and still work full time but I could retire anytime I choose. I still participate in marathons and triathlons, travel the world and never get sick (and when I do I never admit it. HA!)

I envy you. Good luck!

rooeytoo's avatar

Find an occupation that is always in demand regardless of the economy. I have a collection of letters after my name. But I learned how to groom dogs along the way. Now at 66, it is damned hard to get a job using the degrees, but I can always, anywhere in the civilized world get a job at the drop of a hat grooming dogs.

So get your degrees but also learn a trade, welding, carpentry, dog grooming, whatever and you will never be broke or hungry.

Smashley's avatar

Wear sunscreen.

Nially_Bob's avatar

@rooeytoo Fantastic advice. I’ve got a friend who’s good with hardware. Whenever he’s out of a job he just offers to fix up friends electricals (mostly computers) for a little money.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Although I am a fan of Wearing Sunscreen, my best advice is: You have to figure out your own advice. Virtually no piece advice fits every person, and many of the greatest and most common pieces of advice conflict with each other (preparing for later and living in the now tend to be at odds with each other, for example). You have to figure out your own your own yellow brick road.

faye's avatar

@rooeytoo good, good advice. I pushed all my kids to get the letters. Now, they’ve all turned to what we used to call ‘blue collar’, not so much money but at least they have jobs.

jenandcolin's avatar

1. Travel while you are young. Specifically, travel abroad if you are in college. Not studying abroad is one of my major regrets in life.
2. Double major. Pick one major you are passionate about (regardless of the job prospects in this field). Pick one major that has a high probability of preparing you for the work force.
Ideally, your passion will do both. (This, however, was not the case for me).
3. Don’t burn bridges…ever.
4. Save a pre-determined amount of money each month, if possible. It doesn’t matter how much- it matters that you are getting into the habit and that you will have something (even if it’s not a large amount) eventually.


jabag11's avatar

WOWW, everyone had beautiful answers. For some reason I am the type of person to always think about the future, because I know it’s coming but at the same time know to think about the present. I know I sound paranoid at time with wanted to make sure I have no regrets or make sure I live the best life I can in the future, asking quetsions like this, but that’s only because I know how real life can be, and I know how deep pain can feel, I’ve felt it in a variety of fields, love, friendship, family, health, so much and I just know, it’s better to be safe than sorry and could not hurt.

You guys really, really, really gave some good and deep answers in which I even wrote down and will try to never forget, but of course will think about before taking with me, I won’t just blindly follow it, as I know certain advice and philosophies work best for certain people. But thanks again so much. I will definitely take a lot of this to heart, because I can tell a lot of you gave it from yours. Thanks again!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You have probably read it already but I think it is great!

mindful's avatar

-If you have good caring supportive parents then listen to them and respect them. Trust them only to confide your secrets. Let them act like caring parent life is short and you’ll start missing them soon.
-Don’t do alcohol or drugs even marijuana and try to stay away from the party scene at most colleges. They by themselves arnt always bad but its likely youll end up in a harmful scenario.
-Work towards a College Degree and your career
-Respect women
-Work out, live an active lifestyle, read books, news, participate in your community
-Eat healthy and indulge in your hobbies
-Don’t leave anything for tomorrow do them today!
-Make good friends and stay away from bad ones.
-Look at yourself like an adult and not as a teenager and realize that you have responsibility towards your family, good friends, future kids and spouse or gf, towards community, the nation and towards the populace of this world. be a fruitful memebr of society
-Act & live responsibly
-Respect all cultures and people who do the same towards others. Ignore and stay out of contact of people who don’t. Try not to be biased in your judgments.
-Live above and conquer Lust, Greed, jealousy and indifference.
-Try not to do what everyone else is doing and be independent in your thoughts and your actions when neccesary.
-know the value of life and respect it
Live a happy, enjoyable, beautiful life and be beacon of optimisim and support for those who can’t do the same.

tarab002's avatar

dont loan money to anybody, never cosign a loan, always get at least 3 estimates when hiring someone for a job regardless what it is(car repairs, construction, dental work, exterminator, etc) Never pay someone for a job or services until the job is %100 finished and done right.,never bring used funiture in ur home without 1st steaming it.,put 12% weekly pay straight tto ur 401K plan(comes out of ur check before taxes so ur gross amount is less..meaning u pay less taxes and best of sits and grows larger every year(unless stock maket crashes again) and ur employer probobly will match up to 4–6% of what u drop into it every week too. Dont get married until age 27. If it smells alittle funny, dont eat it. Keep good friends close..dont lose contact regardless of kids, family,jobs..etc. Respect ur Parents!! she or he or they probobly made a few mistakes along the way…which do ALL parents..were not perfect…noone is,but, they still deserve ur upmost respect. Never leave ur lawnmower outdoors at night. Learn to change ur own damn oil in ur car and check ur oil and tire pressure on ur 1st gas fill-up of every month. Clip coupons and use them. rotate ur tires every 5–7K miles(or u will ruin them), Dont wash Blues or Reds with Light colored or white laundry. Put xtra trash bags in the bottom of ur trash cans so that when its full, u pull it out and wall llaa u have a bag right there in arms reach ready to install. Never drink and drive…if u drink..never take an over the counter or perscibed pain med,even tylenol…it can kill u. Always use protection when having sex.(unless ur trying to have a baby with ur wife) Buy a vinyl cover for pillows and blankets. Call before u dig. Be sure batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working 1st day of every month. shop around for car insurance every year.. every year u get alittle older and so does the car.(it might be worth ur while)Also..dont forget to suspend ur insurance while the car is going to be at the repair shop for a while or not going to be driving it for any reason more than 30 days…will save u lots of money. Once u get a permanant job, buy a house(dont waste ur money on rent). Morgage plus escrow(property tax and home insurance) should be no more than ¼ of ur monthly income(keep it less than that if u want to have xtra cash in ur pocket at the end of the month. Always wash the undercarriage of ur car during winter months (salt and brime eat away ur brake and gas lines). Never throw water on a grease fire, Always read instructions on fertilizers and pesticides before using them.(companies change formulations often so beware..what u used last year and how u applied it -how much u applied,will probobly be different when u buy it the next time.) never buy the extended warrnty at the store at the day of purchase.(u usually have 14 days to decide to buy it or not..look online for xtended warranties there and comparison shop. When ur ready to buy furniture, invest in “top grade“leather. Its the most durable part of the hide and easy to clean and maintain. will last a lifetime, even with pets,kids..etc. u will spend more in the purchase but u shouldnt ever have to buy furniture ever again. Im 38 yrs old and already on my 3rd sofa. its shot too. (all of mine have been upholstered..not leather…lesson learned.(google“how tobuy leather sofa when ur ready to look for sofas) One of my favorite websites is “How”...this sight has everything from installing a keyless entry door lock(which i did last week) to to fix ur faucet. (doing it tomorrow).

aprilsimnel's avatar

You know the anxiety you get before you ask out that attractive person, or try out for the play or submit that writing to a contest?

That feeling of utter terror and dread?

That means you should do it and follow through.

And if it doesn’t work out?

Ask out another attractive person, try out for another play and submit your work to another venue.

Nially_Bob's avatar

@tarab002 In future you may want to work on your paragraphs. Breaking up your writing makes it more appealing to the eye and easier to read. I used to do the same thing :)

Kardamom's avatar

I agree with @Nially_Bob that @tarab002 should break up the paragraphs. But I LURVED everything she had to say. Very succint and detailed info.

We all should put together a “Young People’s Guide for Moving Out on Your Own for the First Time” by Fluther.

Anyone out there know how to create and market a product like this for real???

tarab002's avatar

thanks for the info….i do need to break up into paragraphs

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