My Friends Respond to Advice

Last week Thought Catalog published an article titled “25 People On The One Thing They Wish They Knew At 25.” I asked my friends to respond. Their answers are below.

1. Patti, 51

“You should move to the big city, but there are ‘big cities’ other than New York. You can get the urban experience in a lot of different places, for a lot less money.”

199379_10100398413418133_1171518_nNope, sorry. There’s only New York.-Sherry, 26 

2. John, 34

“Just because you’re young does not mean you have no value in the work place. A lot of people are going to treat you like you’re lucky to have a job, and maybe at first you are, but if you do things well you should be ready to ask for things.”

1375088_10101818765630900_557044804_nInitially upon reading this I was conflicted. As a young person, I immediately was inclined to say, “Hell yea I have value in the workplace!” The reality is that there is a place for young people in the workplace as those who usher in a new generation of innovation, advancement, and ideas. At the same time, there is also a place for young people in the workplace as students, learners, and bearers of the torch carried by those who came before. I think if you accept both of those roles, that’s when you truly find your place, optimize your performance, and position yourself to ask for things. There’s a certain symbiosis at play; young people in the workplace don’t exist without those that came before, but the work of those that came before dies without someone to carry on tradition. Where we go wrong is in seeing our place in isolation of the place of others.-Ahmed, 25

3. Karen, 45

“Let the little arguments with friends go. Yes, they hurt your feelings, but it doesn’t matter. You probably hurt theirs somewhere along the road and they are letting it go, too. No one is perfect and we’re all a little too sensitive.”

31142_955908519550_3441901_nI definitely agree. Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. Overly sensitive people who create drama over petty situations…. It’s annoying.-Hannah, 26

4. Elia, 37

“Don’t worry about what your friends are doing. It’s not just Facebook, we were always worried about whether or not we were maturing as fast as our friends. But it doesn’t matter, their happiness is not your happiness.”

unnamed-1Totally 100% agree with this one! Social media, a lot of time, seems glamorous and makes you think everyone’s life is perfect but you never know the journey of that person.  Everything happens in its own timing and worrying about when it will happen to you will only bring stress and wrinkles.-Carmelle, 26

5. Rich, 50

“You have no obligation to keep hanging out with the people you grew up with.”

207119_743197968177_7788042_nBut do we ever have an obligation to hang out with anyone? So clearly I don’t think it’s obligatory, however if you don’t want to be sad and lonely when you go home for Thanksgiving/Christmas, it may be a good idea to stay friendly. -Jordan, 26

6. Marcus, 31

“Spending a ton of money on alcohol is just about the dumbest thing you can do with your life. If you’re going to spend money on going out, at least spend it on dinner, because then it’s an experience you remember.”

unnamed-4Marcus can spend his money however he wants. Life is a constant series of choices. 8th grade detention hall always started out with writing that statement. Marcus can use his money to buy dinner, buy alcohol, save for rent money, save for travel, buy clothes, or do whatever he pleases. The economy blows-I’m going out and buying some drinks with friends and soon to be friends. Cheers!-Brittany G., 26

7. Aisha, 29

“Traveling has to be a priority, if it’s something you want to do. You can’t just say ‘I want to travel’ and hope that you will find the right moment. You don’t just stumble on the right moment, you have to make it and fight for it.”

262961_1953984369620_3251078_nThere are two types of things that happen to people.Things that happen and things that they make happen. Things that just happen include the rain, slipping on ice, loving massages, hugs, and birth. Nearly everything else in life we make happen. If you want something else to happen either you or someone whose life path crosses your own has to make it happen. So if you want something go out there and create it.-Jovan, 25

8. Jerome, 40

“You’re never going to be perfectly happy in a relationship, but you shouldn’t expect to be, especially at that age. There’s too much change that creates natural tension at that point in your life.”

unnamed-7This line should be cut to “You’re never going to be perfectly happy in a relationship, but you shouldn’t expect to be.” I believe that relationships aren’t about making yourself or another person happy, but about growing with someone. Accept that regardless of when you’re happy, sad, angry, disappointed, etc. that this person understands you and will always be there.-Nick H., 25     

9. Vera, 56

“Don’t settle for anything. It kills you quickly.”

263860_10100131330329985_6479783_nI agree. Keep doing things you’re passionate about. Isn’t life too short to do anything else?-D.J., 26

10. Therese, 67

“You’re so, so young.”

unnamed-15I guess so-Ian, 25

11. Charlie, 41

“Dress well, and take care of yourself. Manage your appearance, because it influences other people’s expectations of you, and it lets them know how seriously you take yourself. Always look like you know where you’re going.”

unnamed-10I agree in a sense. Personality and life stories are reflected in ones image. It’s the first impression. It’s not everything but you never know who you’re going to run in to. -Kimberly S., 25

12. Jeanne, 70

“Always look for a good deal. Save your money where you can.”

406522_10101160550334643_1719603086_nYes, but when a person really “needs” and/or wants that item, it’s always a good deal. Saving is the last thing on one’s mind when their mind is made up about the purchase. Instead we find ourselves at checkout justifying the purchase. -Marquan, 25

13. Helen, 33

“Don’t let people tell you who you are, even if you really want to be their friend. If you feel like you are playing a role when you hang out for someone, that means they have more power than you. Don’t let them.” 

417017_10100283222596494_1382889745_nBeing in your twenties is all about finding yourself…over and over again…whether you are wrong or right, although you are mostly wrong because you are twenty something. Be who YOU want to be and don’t apologize for it!-Kim B., 28

14. Julia, 49

“Getting married can wait. Build something.”

29016_4531083631302_750873510_nMoney is a major issue. Period. If it don’t make dollars then it don’t make sense. You never lose women chasing money but you do lose money chasing women. I’m out.-J. Johnson., 25 

15. Clara, 45

“Spend more time on kisses, and wait longer to have sex. Let anticipation build.”

I don’t like that advice. Who said that?- Don’t quote me, 25

16. Mike, 28

“Just remember that pretty much everyone has debt and that it shouldn’t stop you from going for what you want. Don’t kill yourself trying to pay it off as fast as possible.”

47165_1934473922005_75445327_nThese sound like the words of someone who is purposely avoiding their problems, and in doing so, making them worse. Saying everyone has debt ignores the real issue of how much debt one has. If you’ve made some spending decisions that don’t align with your earning situation, you need to make a change, either temporary or permanent, to avoid getting yourself into a lifetime of playing catch up. 
I agree you don’t need to pay all your debt off as soon as possible if it means missing out on great opportunities that don’t often come your way. However, I worry that those words will encourage people to pay off their debt as slow as possible, while over extending themselves on frivolous things. -Mike M., 25

17. Sarah, 53

“People care about themselves 99 percent of the time. When you find someone who actually cares about you, hold onto them. It’s very rare to find someone who actually listens when you are telling a story.”

unnamed-5She hit the nail right on the head. I find it extremely refreshing when I meet someone who is a good listener who doesn’t just ask you questions for the hell of it. They actually care what your response is and don’t respond to your stories with “run of the mill” responses like, “oh interesting” or “that’s great.”  When someone cares enough to listen to you blabber; THAT’S when you need to realize to never let them go. It takes way more patience,thought, and kindness to be an active and good listener.  No matter who the conversational partner, everyone needs a really good listener in their life. -Camy, 25

18. Len, 44

“Get out of your hometown. Maybe come back someday, but for now, leave. See something else.”

21550_1247437862446_7570334_nIt’s easy to keep doing what’s comfortable. Move around. Get out there. Meet new people. Explore new places. It’s never going to be the ‘right’ time to pick up and leave, but it’s only going to get harder as the years pass. Your hometown will be waiting for you when you’re ready to return! But you’ll miss out on some great friends & experiences if you stay put.-Marisa, 25

19. Joy, 48

“Be on time, because there is nothing worse than someone who has a reputation for always being late. It tells people that you don’t care, and it sucks!!” 

575357_10102210714986290_472531947_nJoy is just itching to be the first in line to die. What’s the rush? No, really?! I’m waiting and I’m totally fine if that comes across as a little tardy. -Alex, 27

20. Christophe, 35

“Invest in a good pair of shoes.”

378484_10100683362028912_1812415232_nI like that. It just confirmed that I can indeed keep my new pumps- Vernona, 26

21. Justin, 29

“If someone acts distant and not interested in the first few weeks of dating, don’t pursue it. It just makes you look like an idiot.”

184656_10100393203229393_7921506_nHmmm. I disagree. I’d say act a little distant as well and see if that improves things. Sometimes people don’t know they’re coming on too strong. If after a week or two there aren’t any changes, then move on.-Brittany, 25

22. Marie, 47

“Your friends don’t know any more than you do. You might look at someone and think that they know exactly what they’re doing, but they’re struggling and living life and making mistakes. They just put on a better show.”

unnamed-14I remember listening to a Ted talk in which the presenter was urging her audience to “fake it until you become it.”  As 20 somethings, we are all grouped in the same category “zygotes in the real world”, some of us just have more degrees, money, social capital, or exaggeration skills that we leverage to impel others to believe we’re light-years ahead of the game. Social media is an enormous tool to showcase said exaggeration. No matter how you stack up today, we’re all struggling to figure out exactly what we want to do with our lives and how we are going to get there;  we are learning through every mistake; and living in hopes that one day we will reach that pinnacle of success. There is power in our common experiences, which is why it’s extraordinarily important to keep like minded, insightful,  honest and motivated 20 somethings in your circle. -Rebekah, 26

23. Jean, 74

“Always have a clean house and something to eat for when people come over. Make people feel happy in your home.”

unnamed-13I think I’d like Jean. This is good advice! I’m not sure if I’m always successful, but I always try to have a clean house (apartment) and something for my guests to eat (and more importantly, drink) too! -Lauren, 25

24. Annie, 36

“It’s never too early to start thinking about money.”

564929_10101701820574743_1948519466_nYea, no shit!-Mike, 25

25. Camille, 29

“You’ve already lost a lot of friends in the past few years because your lives are changing so much, and you’re going to lose more over the next few. But that’s a good thing. If all of your friends stayed the same that would mean that none of you was evolving or doing new things. It hurts to say goodbye to people, but it’s even worse to always stay the same.

1383190_10101276443713531_1310976960_nMake new friends and keep the old. Some are silver, some are gold and some may fall off. This is what I’m hearing from Camille.-Me, 25  




Next Tysomeones interview? Twenty Someone Joe Leskody coming up this week!


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