33 People On The Smartest Things Young People Can Do To Prepare For The Future

Office Space
Office Space

Found on AskReddit.

1. kswervedirt

Don’t give in to the little voice saying, “oh I can just pay it off later.”. That’s a demon talking. A rich, gold chain wearing, con-artist of a demon who never tells you about interest. He’s a real prick.

2. Sayitwithmepeople

Don’t just go to college for a degree. If you don’t know what you want to do, seek those professionals that are in those positions you are interested in. Ask them everything! Do some research before you get yourself into debt. I have a lot of friends who got wasted all 4 years of college, graduated with a bs degree and now are miserable and not going anywhere in their career. This also goes to those who are making a shit ton but don’t have any free time to enjoy it. It’s all about a healthy balanced life.

3. YellowSnowDemon

Get in shape. Read books. Pick something you wish you were good at and get fucking good at it. Don’t use a lack of talent as an excuse. Don’t be that old guy that wishes he learned to play the piano when he was younger – learn to play that fucking piano.

4. spriteburn

VLOOKUP in Excel. Shit will get you laid.

5. Rimbosity

There is no force in the universe more powerful than compound interest.

This means two things.

One: Start your retirement plan NOW. $100 per month now is worth more than $1000 per month ten years from now.* If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), get a Roth IRA started. Grab a big index fund (S&P 500) and research later why it’s the right thing to do. NOW!

Two: Do NOT get into credit card debt. The interests rates there will KILL you. If you have some, focus everything you have into paying it off right now.

*Edit: As /u/I_RAPE_MY_SLAVES points out, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but the earlier you start, the more you get later.

6. horse_you_rode_in_on

Get educated.

This can mean going to university, but it doesn’t have to; you could equally well go to a technical college. The point is that you’re not going anywhere with just a high school degree – pick something you like, and learn about it.

7. captainrawrpants

Good posture, saving money, learn to cook for yourself, exercise.

8. rainydayman15

Any time you walk through a doorway make sure you stand up straight, its a habit grandpa taught me.

9. –__________–

Learn to love exercise. I enjoy exercise now, but I can’t help thinking “I wish I started properly 10 years ago”

10. REDwill

Do everything you want to do. FUCKING DO IT ALL (don’t go full yolo). You think the guitar is cool, guess what YOU CAN BE A MASTER GUITARIST. You think all the girls/girls love hot buff guys/girls, guess what YOU CAN BE A BEEF CAKE. You ever wonder what it would be like to ride camel back? GET A JOB AND THEN QUIT AFTER YOU CAN PAY FOR A TRIP TO INDIA.

tl:dr Do as many things as you can while you are young and pour every ounce of energy into everyday. Everyday can be an experience.

11. garmachi

When I started running and working out, I fucking hated it. For reasons not relevant here, I joined the Marines, so I pretty much had to exercise whether I wanted to or not. I could barely do ten pushups. I honestly thought I was going to die from running a mile. This is not hyperbole, I literally thought I was going to die from running.

It doesn’t take very long at all for your opinion to change. Within a couple weeks, you start to see very small improvements. Shortly after that, you start getting excited about your gains and without even really meaning to, you start to do more, you start to push yourself harder. You go back and easily do the exercises that you used to think would kill you.

Next, you reach this weird upside down and backwards universe where you start to feel like shit if you don’t exercise. It becomes a regular part of your life and you don’t really think about it anymore.

Then (oh and here’s where it gets good!) after just a couple months, you start to notice that your clothes don’t fit anymore. Your pants are baggy, and your shirts are tight around the chest and shoulders. Surely this is your imagination, but nope – time to go get new clothes.

You sleep better, and wake up feeling great. You start to stand up a little straighter. You’re in the habit now of challenging yourself and succeeding, so without even realizing it, you’re becoming more confident. People start to notice.

That confidence leaks into other areas of your life. Maybe I really can write that book, or learn the guitar, or ask that girl out. Maybe I do deserve a raise.

It becomes part of your life, and as the years go by you get to watch your high school bullies grow old and fat on facebook, and meanwhile you and your hot wife just finished your fourth round of P90X, or climbing to Machu Picchu.

It literally changes who you are and makes you live a longer, better life.

TL;DR: It sucks at first but is totally worth it.

12. skrilledcheese

Exercise is a lot like eating vegetables, or anal sex; the more you do it when you are younger, the more you love it as an adult.

13. brolin_on_dubs

All this financial advise is great, yes start an IRA if you can, yes always keep track of your finances, of course learn to love exercise…

But the single most important thing you can do in your life is develop a genuine interest, curiosity, and kindness towards other people. Think about it: the complexity and depth of your life, your emotion, your curiosity and intellect, you as a person– that’s literally everybody else too, but in an infinity of different ways. You can scarcely imagine the untapped well of humanity that is every other person around you.

Life can be a predictable, skin-deep train track on which you size up every person based on their facial expression at the moment you happen to pass them or what little you know about them from your confines of your limited encounters (think coworkers, people you meet in public, even friends and family that you really only sort of know), or it can be a truly, incomprehensibly rich and colorful experience with unlimited potential for exploration and learning. The difference is entirely your attitude towards other people.

14. the_sam_ryan

Overall, I think the issue is that for many families, money is this topic that you don’t discuss. Kids have more knowledge of the birds and bees when they graduate high school then how to make a simple and logical budget for money.

By the time many people start to become educated on money, they are in their late 30s and have a whole bunch of fixed expenses (car payment, house payment, daycare) so it takes a few years to turn that around to get back to base.

15. Duvidl

Brush your teeth. Seriously. It’ll get fucking expensive once you’ve reached a certain point.

16. notsoawkward

I would say learn to play an instrument. When you get older you won’t find the time to do it.

17. Cantfindafuckinusern

Personal finances should be a required course in the school curriculum IMO. Even if its a parents responsibility, a lot of parents themselves have no idea how to manage their finances and this dooms their children as well to poor financial management. (Not all, some figure it out on their own, but a lot)

18. robinson217


19. SinisterKid

Wear sunscreen.

20. desert_wombat

The sooner you start, the easier it is to keep saving. It could mean the difference between a comfortable or difficult retirement.

21. Bangkok_Dave

Have as much fun as possible.

Seriously… there’s time for all the rest of the bullshit.

21. OstmackaA

Give everything you do in life 100%, regardless of how you feel about it. Success is a choice you make every day; it is not dependent upon results.

22. flyer488

Be born rich… and ridiculously good looking. but definitely be rich if you must choose between the two

23. ThaddeusJP

Make connections. If you’re in HS or college, join clubs and organizations.

You know that old saying “Its not what you know, its who you know!”? Well that is the damned truth. Some of the connections you make when you’re young will be helpful in the future.

Oh, tell your parents and people you care about you love them. One day they will not be around and you’ll wish you had done it more.

24. scoobertron

Get into the habit of getting up early.

25. ADirtySock

Programming, start programming.

26. JunahCg

My grandpa always shakes his head and says “Stay young kid. And if you can’t do that, stay in shape.”

27. Brewand

Whack it while you still can

28. dxnxax

learn and assimilate these things:

  • collect skills, not things
  • there is always someone bigger, better, meaner and faster out there.
  • money does not equal happiness.
  • success is not defined by wealth or power.
  • beauty is far less important than character, empathy, kindness, compassion and humor.

There is much more, but that’s a good place to start.

29. Mrswhiskers

Put $5 away every week into a savings account. At the end of the year put that into a long term CD. Keep adding to that CD every year. With Compound interest you’ll be a millionaire in your 40s or 50s.

Also NEVER go into debt. No credit cards. Don’t take out a car loan to get a new car. Get a decent used car that you can afford. 40% down on a house so you have a very small payment. Try to buy as much as you can with cash, and save up for it. The reward is so much sweeter when you’ve had to wait and it really makes you reevaluate how much you want that $700 phone.

Never start smoking or doing drugs.

Experience life and find out what you want to do with it.

Don’t waste your time in college. Not saying don’t go to college but if you do don’t waste the time that you have there. Learn as much as you can. And do everything you can not to have to take out student loans.

Develop a SKILL. Something you can always fall back on if you’re unemployed. Ex; being a handy man, fixing cars, wood working, plumbing, etc.

And stay in shape. Nothing is going to ruin your life like health problems.

30. thelaughingpear

Might not apply in your exact case (don’t know your age), but practice making phone calls and talking to people IRL. Applying to jobs feels like a lot less of a hassle when you’re not having anxiety over asking to see the manager or stumbling over your words because you lost all eloquence on the phone.

31. fareven

For when you hit college, and even later on:

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

32. HansChuzzman

Buy land..god ain’t makin’ any more of it.

33. fareven

Make a habit out of challenging yourself. The worst thing you can do with your life is never fail at anything.

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