As we navigate through the ups and downs of life, it’s natural to look for guidance from those who have walked the path before us. For young people just starting out on their journey, advice from adults who have already been through the trials and tribulations of life can be invaluable.
Whether it’s learning how to manage finances, finding the right career path, or building strong relationships, there are certain pieces of advice that can help young people navigate the challenges of adulthood.
Recently, u/SoleJam_18 posted a question to the r/AskReddit group asking about this very topic:
1. “It is okay to take your time making decisions. Don’t let people rush you into big life choices.” — u/Ecljpse
“This is true, but requires a serious caution: Don’t keep putting off decisions ’til later. It is easy, when you’re young, to think of the future as unlimited. Deadlines come and go, and opportunities are missed. Take your time, but don’t be reckless about it.
You will make some wrong decisions, too. Better to make them early when there’s time to recover.” — u/Ryclea
“There is also no ‘perfect time’ for many big life events — and we humans are nothing if not adaptable. Studying, traveling, being in relationships, and even having kids can all be learned on the go, and waiting for the stars to align can leave you without instead.” —u/pygmy
2. “Do stretches and fix your posture because you will not enjoy your spine being dusted by your mid-30s.” —u/NoBussyHussy
3. “1) Once you get into your 30s, you have enough life experience that you should have learned to make safer bets, mind your own business, and understand what social priorities you have (like going to the club on Saturday nights vs. going to the grocery store).”
2) Listen to your body. You’re not supposed to constantly be in pain, exhausted, etc. This is common, but it’s not normal.
3) Drink water even if you also drink soda and other unhealthy stuff. A good rule is to have one glass of each on your desk and switch back and forth so you don’t feel deprived of the drinks you want.
4) Learn to communicate with your partner. Arguments will happen. Screaming at each other and calling names is not an argument, it’s verbal abuse. An argument is both of you expressing how you feel about your situation and what resolution you each want, then debating both sides and figuring out what to do. If you can’t agree, leave it on the table and come back to it later. If you’re getting angry or nervous, tell your partner you need to step away and calmly leave the room. 30s is far too old to be doing immature shit like slamming doors and stomping.
5) If you think you’re depressed, have PTSD, autism, etc., figure out your possible options for assessment. The sooner the better. No one likes hearing bad news, but you need that information, and people who care about you do, too.” —u/CuriousRelish
4. “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
“All that really matters is now. You cannot change what happened. You can change what you do today, which will lead you to tomorrow.
Whatever your age, a better life can begin today. Seek therapy, take up that hobby you are interested in, and stop the addiction you feel is holding you back.
Reflection on the past is only useful to move forward today.” —u/korinth86
5. “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
“This, and start your retirement account as early as possible.
It SUCKS spending below your means. It SUCKS watching all your friends buy cool things and go on cool trips while you just watch some numbers in an account go up. It SUCKS right up until it doesn’t, and then, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
A couple of years down the road when you look at the retirement account and it has $20k in it, you’ll think to yourself: WHOA. When your savings hit $10k and you don’t have to sweat that cool $500 purchase that just came up because you have a routine of putting that money away for savings, you’ll feel really good.
And then, your income probably starts to rise, and now you have good financial habits, you’re safe and secure when it comes to your bills, you have less stress — and as you’ve advanced at your job and career, you start to be able to afford even cooler things than you missed out on when you were younger because what you didn’t realize is all your friends who you were trying to keep up with were either going into debt or spending money that wasn’t theirs in other ways. But now, you’re doing it all on your own within your means.” —u/These-Ordinary-3744
6. “Anger is healthy and rational in many cases, but it is damaging to live in anger or hate all of the time.”
“Your time is incredibly valuable, but it’s ok to ‘waste’ some of it in the name of mental health.
Start a Roth IRA and contribute the maximum every year. Make this your number one financial priority. Compound interest is AMAZING. Also, an S&P 500 index fund will outperform managed funds given time.
Live in more than one place if possible.
Someone who is nice to you and rude to others, especially wait staff, is not worth your time.
Don’t be afraid to cut off relationships. Talk to people before you do, but if you can’t talk to someone about what they are doing that bothers you, it’s a bad sign.
Make sure you are capable of being alone for extended periods. If you’re not, understand why and maybe do something about it.” —u/FreakyBlueEyes
7. “‘Anything worth doing is worth half-assing.’ What I mean by this is going to the gym for 10 minutes is better than not going at all. Kind of learning a language is better than not learning at all. Reading one page of a book is better than not reading at all. Brushing your teeth for 30 seconds is better than not brushing at all. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get so caught up in having to be perfect that it often translates into me not doing anything. Giving myself permission to half-ass things lets me start good habits, and now, I have more bandwidth to whole-ass things.” — u/TraumaWard
8. “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.” —u/Angela_Brook
9. “Chronic bad luck? Pile of trash in your car you’ve been meaning to clean up but never have the chance? You’ve been meaning to donate a bag of clothes but it sits in your closet? Lots of parking tickets and late fees? Always late for appointments? Focus a little too much on things you forget to eat, drink, or sleep? Trouble doing administrative tasks like filling out paperwork? Need extra time switching from tasks, while others seem like they can just pick up and go? Hundred of browser tabs open? Feel intense anxiety when someone points out something you forgot to do? You might have adult ADHD. It is very very treatable and could literally change your life and help you accomplish your dreams or help you just manage your life.” — u/bad-fengshui
10. “The people you choose to allow into your life will make a huge difference in how your life turns out. Especially romantic relationships. Choose wisely.” —u/formidable-opponent
11. “When I’m talking to a loved one or…really anyone I like, I always try to end the talk in a friendly, happy atmosphere. It will happen (and it happened a bunch of times now to me), that this will be the last time you speak to them, as someone will surprisingly die without any prior warning. And the little consolation you’ll have is that the last words you exchanged were nice, or else it will live rent-free forever that that last moment was wasted for useless negativity you can never undo.” — u/Satures
12. “Don’t think too much about what people think of you.” —u/gndmrksm
“‘Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.’ Once I really started taking that to heart, I became a lot happier.” —u/vk2786
13. “School isn’t everything. But education/learning is. You don’t have to go to the best college (or any), get a master’s, and please the professors. Just keep learning your way and increase your knowledge of the things you care about most.” — u/famous-clairvoyant
14. “Don’t focus too much on having the perfect body. I’ve put [weight] on in the last year after years of wanting to be super skinny, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Learn to appreciate your body and keep it healthy; it doesn’t matter if you have a bit of a belly or bigger thighs, etc.” —u/megan99katie
15. “Travel earlier rather than later; it will be easier, and you will be significantly freer.” — u/pathofnomad
16. “1) Your brain isn’t fully developed until you’re around 25, so what you like, who you are, and what you want can drastically change, and that’s perfectly normal. 2) Get into healthy habits. Nothing crazy: just water, gentle exercise, and a varied diet. 3) You’re young, free, and single. This may not always be the case, so enjoy your youth and your freedom. 4) Don’t get hung up on ‘milestones’ or what you think you should be doing/what society expects of you. Find what makes you happy, and do that. Whatever that looks like (as long as you’re not hurting yourself or other people).”
“5) Don’t get hung up on the superficial, it seems so much more important when you’re young (spoiler: It isn’t).
6) Be kind. It makes you and everyone around you better people.
7) Get to know what a bad or toxic relationship looks like and how to work on it/leave it. Emotions can be extra intense when you’re young, so leaving toxic situations can feel even harder, but sometimes, stepping away is the only option.” — u/Lauralaurs