Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do ALL 20 year old kids know EVERYTHING?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) February 5th, 2016

The real estate class I survived this week consisted of adults, most of whom were 28+. However, I found myself next to a lanky kid who reminded me of my 20 year old grandson. I asked him how old he was. He’ll be 20 this year.
I said, “Do you have a bad attitude?” kind of laughing.
He kind of snapped, “NO!” I thought…“uh oh!”
Then I said, “Do you know everything?
He just looked at me with disdain.
As the class went on he did, as it turned out, know everything. He knew more than anyone else in the class, and he let everyone know it.
Of course, he didn’t know shit but everyone tolerated it because he’s a kid.

Did you know everything at 20? I have a bad feeling that I did! Trying to remember it though. It was a while back.

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23 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I definitely knew more when I was younger. ~

My late teens and very early 20’s I felt like I knew so much and other older adults just didn’t or couldn’t understand. As I get older I realize how clueless I am, and how much there is to know in the world.

When I was 20 I would have taken classes in things I know, and probably my knowledge would be impressive to others listening to me. Now, I would take classes I know nothing about, and be the first to admit I know nothing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, this kid comes from a family of Realtors. They’re pretty rich. They probably put plats in his playpen to play with when he was a baby. So he knows a couple of things that the average person doesn’t know. But he knows nothing about real life, paying bills, all of that boring stuff that isn’t worth his time.

Yes, I was so certain when I was younger, too. So much smarter than those old folks all around me.

JLeslie's avatar

I figured he came from a real estate background.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

No but I was hell bent on finding it all out though. At 20 I was at least self sufficient and had a plan for the future.

Seek's avatar

Well, I knew a lot then – i had considerably more practical knowledge than most of the adults in my life – , but ten years later I know a lot more.

longgone's avatar

No. I didn’t think so, either.

ragingloli's avatar

The presumption to know everything is prevalent on both ends of the age spectrum.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good point @ragingloli. (This is being moved to social, BTW, so don’t hold back!)

Pachy's avatar

Heaven save us from 20-somethings. I had my fill of ‘em by the end of my corporate life.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Val, sweetie, of course I knew everything at age 20!!! Older people existed as another species, separate from me, and all of them unbelievably ignorant and naïve.

Don’t you know that every generation invents sex, and subsequently believes that it should be the last generation to have sex? Don’t you know that older people destroyed this world, and that youth has all the quick-and-easy, and oh-so-obvious, solutions?

When that lanky kid reaches age 25, he’ll know that life isn’t so simple, and that he isn’t quite as brilliant as he’d once believed.

Here2_4's avatar

I am over 35, so I know very little, and remember even less. It is a marvel I have survived so long, being brain dead, and all.

filmfann's avatar

No. As a teen, I read a biography of Harry Truman, which quoted him as saying “It’s what you learn after you know everything that’s important!”
It reinforced to me how important it is to continue an education, and never think I’d heard it all.

Soubresaut's avatar

I never felt like I knew everything, and I don’t think I ever looked like I thought I knew everything?... When I was in kid-territory, I did think I knew more about most things than my peers did, and I was known for being exceedingly talkative… But anyone older than me I generally revered. Teen and into adult years, I tend to believe that I know less than most people about most things, and if I’m not careful, I will reveal that fact to everyone else. I watch people several years younger and several years older than me walking around and talking like they do know everything, or at least, that they have a solid internal compass to help them find their way, and I’m envious, because at least they’re speaking with conviction. Sometimes I surprise myself. I’ll say something I’m not sure about with more certainty than I should, and have to backtrack saying “wait but I’m not sure, I’m not sure” or leave it be.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I will just delude myself if I think I know everything. Just look at me.

Inara27's avatar

Nobody knows everything. Wisdom is knowing both what you don’t know and the limitations of what you do know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Inara27 The question was, do many kids think they know everything. I know I did.

Inara27's avatar

Oh, sorry, my third sentence dropped out. To continue above: Yes they do think they know everything, and have no wisdom to know its not true.

longgone's avatar

I find that the more I immerse myself in a given topic, the less confident I become about that knowledge. This is called the “Dunning-Kruger-Effect”, and it’s very common.

It is not tied to a certain age, but because twenty-year-old may be less likely to have experienced deep knowledge of a certain field, I can imagine some of them are confident when it is not warranted. Then again, I am still in my twenties, so I guess I have no idea. ~

johnpowell's avatar

I was lucky.. My sister was always there with a smile at the greyhound, When I was 17 and thought I could move to San Diego with 800 bucks in my pocket. Fun week but I ended up begging for money to get home a week later. Tried the same shit when I was 21 but with 4K in tow. Still failed and ended up living in my sisters garage. At least that time I gave up before I was begging in the gaslight for money to get home.

Not really sure what my point is here. But maybe let kids do stupid shit and hope they learn from it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, I think most of them do learn. The ones that don’t become those insufferable, arrogant pricks we all love to hate.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Dutchess_III ” The ones that don’t become those insufferable, arrogant pricks we all love to hate.”

I believe the term of art is “douchebags.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Douchebag prick.

jerv's avatar

I think that the trend actually hits both ends of the knowledge spectrum, regardless of age. Dunning-Kruger will make those who know little honestly believe that they know everything worth knowing, whether they are a kid who hasn’t had time to learn or an older person who lacks the mental flexibility to learn but refuses to admit that and thus blames the world for being too full of “stuff not worth knowing”. Conversely, those who actually know a lot tend to be just as egotistical, the difference being that they can back their claims of superiority with actual competence.

You see this a lot in competitive areas like sports or certain genres of online gaming, though the latter often extend their superiority at that game to imply superiority in all aspects of existence. Watch a football player run the ball into the end zone; quite a few of them will ditch all humility and (in the NFL) risk a penalty for “excessive celebration” because their egos just won’t let them not taunt those who they just “proved” to be inferior.

And since American society is highly competitive to the point where nearly everything is about winners and losers, you’ll see the same behavior in everyday life here that you’ll see in online shooter games. Those who excel at the game, whether literal (online shooters) or metaphorical (how wealthy/influential one is), will mirror the behavior of older folks by dismissing the opinions of those who disagree with them, while those who suck at the game will mirror youth by claiming they are perfect and the game/world is flawed, and everyone else is at fault. (Okay, maybe not “mirror” since they tend to be under 20 anyways and are just acting their age while most of the players who are actually good tend to be in the 28–35 age group, but you get the point.)

In short, it’s not a matter of age, but of ego, and those over-50 are FAR from immune to having the same flaw.

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