Sometimes I think that the Internet is made up of only two things: cat videos, and advice columns on how to navigate the tumultuous waters of our twenties. There are literally thousands of these columns. Some have good advice passed down from CEOs. Some have bad advice given by our peers that have even less of a clue than we do. Hell, some are just a list of 21 Times Ross From Friends Explained Being In Our Twenties. One thing I did notice, however, is that none of them are passing along the amazing advice we would get if we listened to our younger siblings. Think about what being 18 felt like. You knew everything about everything, right? Why wouldn’t we take that advice? So I asked my little brother (who graduates from high school on Friday) what his life advice would be for all of us trying to figure out our twenties. His thoughts are in italics.
On work: If you don’t find a job doing something you love every day, you need to find a better job. Life is too short to do something you hate, and I’m never going to get stuck in a job that’s not my passion. If I can’t find something that’s fun, I might just start my own business or make a popular blog and just get money from that.
I am going to love watching this kid change his tune in for years. He’s going to be sitting on like 60k in loans from UCLA and reaching the conclusion that his true “passion” is to not live at home, and he’ll take any job that lets him pursue that “dream.” Yes kid, we all want to make bank off a successful blog, but we can’t all be the Grandex crew. The world needs junior account executives.
On travel: Seeing the world is my first goal after college. I’m going to take a year off, travel the globe and immerse myself in other cultures. Staying in one place your whole life is like only reading one page of a book, and I want to experience everything before I have a chance to get stuck somewhere because of a job or a wife or a house.
All I could think about when hearing this is how this advice is coming from a kid who once flat out refused to go to Chinatown in San Francisco because “it’s too dirty there.” I can only imagine the emotional collapse he’ll have once he gets out of North America/Western Europe. Also, my parents laughed in my face when I brought up the idea of them paying for me to travel to Europe for a couple weeks, so I’d love to see how he funds this year-long adventure. However, if you get beyond the air of douchey condescension dripping from his words, this is not bad advice. I agree that travel is a great thing and opening your mind to new experiences can better you as a person.
On relationships: I’m going to stay single forever. Why would I let a girlfriend or wife come between me and everything I want to do? I don’t want to have to answer to someone, and I sure as hell will never become one of those guys stuck trudging through Bed Bath & Beyond all Saturday, hating their lives and probably still not getting laid. I’m gonna Clooney it.
I’m not gonna lie, this brought tears to my eyes. Yes. Yesss. Stay single forever, my dude. We were all like him at one point. Then we woke up and realized that our single friends are dropping like flies, and the once vast sea of girls is now an overfished stream. The thought of spending all Saturday trudging through a department store, looking four matching duvet covers or whatever is suddenly extremely appealing compared to the idea of wandering through this cold world with no one by our side to offer love and support. Shit, sorry, that got too real. Also, I guarantee those married couples are fucking a hell of a lot more than this cocky bastard. He was home from prom at like 11 p.m., for god’s sake.
On personal growth: I’m not sure what this means. Like going to the gym or learning how to play the guitar? Is this some couples counseling shit that old people have to go to? I want my Insta to go viral and break a thousand likes. Does that count?
Yes, yes it does. I’m six years older than him, and if I dropped a fire Insta that cracked a thousand likes, I would legit celebrate at the bars like it’s my birthday. I’m not even really sure what personal growth is. Maybe maturing and having hobbies other than drinking? Clearly I haven’t figured this one out either.
On finances: I can’t wait to have a real job and make money. I’m going to save part of each paycheck for concerts, travel, and some to donate to charities so I can help those less fortunate. I can’t wait to have a dope car and an awesome apartment with a view. I’m going to throw the fattest bangers in it.
This would be hilarious if it wasn’t a direct insult to me. This kid has seen my apartment that I share with two roommates, and he knows I drive (read: park in a garage) a 2001 Toyota Camry with missing hubcaps. Not only is this kid fucking delusional, he’s straight up saying he’s going to make my life look like shit in six years. He’s going to be splitting his paychecks the way we all are- student loans, bills, 401K, rent- and using what’s left over to get hammered on the weekends. Also, I know he just added charities because my mom walked into the room and could hear him on the phone. He’s not fooling anyone.
On friendship: Tyler, Cal, Josh, and I are going to be stay friends, obviously. I’m sure I’ll meet new friends in college and then have a giant friend group I can always rely on. We’re going to tear up the bars when we turn 21, and every Thanksgiving when we come back for Black Wednesday, it’ll be a shitshow. We’ll probably all move up to San Francisco and get a place together after college. Multiple boys’ trips a year are a must.
I didn’t even have the heart to tell him that within ten years, his friend group is going to be scattered around the country, wrapped up in their own careers and families. I’m fortunate enough to still be close with high school and college friends despite moving across the country, but I know it doesn’t work like that with everyone. You’ll lose some friendships, but keep the ones that are real. Even though you may only see them once every few years, it’ll seem like no time has passed. Plus, you’ll make new friends and bond over bottomless mimosas and shitty bosses, like adults.
Damn, that’s solid advice. If you aren’t listening to every nugget of wisdom that’s coming out of my little brother’s mouth, your life is going to end up in a pile of shit. Eighteen-year-olds are our smartest and most vital resource, and I for one am going to hire him as a life coach. I may have to, he sure as shit isn’t going to get any other job with that English Lit degree..
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