18 pieces of advice elders think teens should know

June 6th, 2021

Advice is something that we all can use from time to time, especially when we’re in our teenage years. With that said, it’s not always easy to get through to younger generations – but we’ve still got to try. After all, those of us who are “of a certain age” had to learn it the hard way.

On Reddit, a user named u/Correct_Physics asked:

What advice would you give to someone who just turned 18 years old?

Here are 18 pieces of advice from elders that you’re going to wish you had when you were 18 (but probably would have ignored anyway). Those of us old enough to know realize just how important even the little things are.

You can’t put a price on good advice!

1. Exercise is important

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - MabelAmber / 3948 Source: Pixabay - MabelAmber / 3948

As a young person, exercising regularly can be something you don’t even think about but as you get older this becomes incredibly important. This isn’t just for physical health, it’s also for your mental well-being. Reddit user u/restoper suggests:

“Exercise at least enough to reduce the daily stress in your life.”

2. Don’t pay attention to peer pressure

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - ZibalMedia Source: Pixabay - ZibalMedia

As an 18-year-old, some people can be impressionable and easily influenced by “toxic” people. According to Reddit user u/geronika, the younger you learn to get these people out of your life, the better off you’ll be.

“Dump peer pressure and toxic people out of your life. You control your life, don’t let others do it for you.”

3. Relationship-building

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - Free-Photos / 9079 Source: Pixabay - Free-Photos / 9079

Building good and healthy relationships is something that you want to learn when you’re young, and Reddit user u/hahahahthunk has good advice on how:

“Learn to listen. Talk with your partner about handling conflict. If you can agree that you are always on the same side, you are halfway there. Then it’s just a matter of figuring out how to handle things together. If you each want the other to be happy, it’s surprisingly easy. You’ll have times that absolutely suck because life is like that, but if you know you always have each others’ backs, those times are much easier.”

4. Do not overlook your teeth

“Take good care of your teeth,” said Reddit user u/NennerNineNine. Dental issues can be something that young people don’t often pay attention to, after all, who wants to go to the dentist?

Anyone who has had to have a root canal can tell you why you should.

5. Walk away and come back to problems before you react

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - lukasbieri / 146 Source: Pixabay - lukasbieri / 146

Being hot-headed is something that many 18-year-olds struggle with, but Reddit user u/BlooregardQKazoo has a good tip on not saying things you’ll regret later:

“I cannot count how many times I’ve written an angry work email, walked away, and when I came back I decided to tone down the language or even completely change my approach. A clear head would have made me regret sending these emails so I cleared my head first.”

6. Make yourself proud

Happiness comes from all sorts of different things, and one of those things can be doing things that make you proud. Reddit user u/hahahahthunk says:

“To be happy, do the things that make you proud.”

7. Consider trade school

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - didvine Source: Pixabay - didvine

If you’re looking to get into a career that involves a trade, skip the expensive colleges and try out a trade school. Reddit user u/restoper says:

“If you want to be a plumber, craftsmen, carpet installer, mechanic etc. Don’t go to an expensive college. Go to a trade school, or maybe a year at a community college that specialized in programs that you wanted”

8. Hold off on the “dumb stuff”

Reddit user u/restoper was on a roll with the advice, also adding:

“The older I get before I start doing real dumb stuff (drugs, for example), the less likely I will do dumb stuff that effects me long term.”

9. Watch what you post

Remember, things you post on the internet are forever and can come up later in life to bite you on the behind. Reddit user u/restoper says:

“Don’t post things that are easily identifiable to you online that are controversial. (use fake name / account if you can’t help stop yourself from making these types of posts.”

10. Take care of your feet, knees, and back

Cheers to a (hopefully) pain-free wedding day! Enjoy this meme you other 20s folks with back pain. from backpain

The older you get, the more things start going wrong with your body. To avoid certain pains when you start aging, make sure you take care of “your feet, and your knees, and your back.”

11. Think ahead

As an 18-year-old, thinking ahead for what you want in your life can be the last thing you feel like doing. Don’t make this mistake, Reddit user u/AlegalHuman suggests:

“Start to think about what sort of person you want to be in your 30s, and identify any gaps you have to fill over the next decade or so to get there.”

12. Use your young age to build up the muscles in your body

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - marcusspiske / 999 Source: Pixabay - marcusspiske / 999

When you’re 18-years-old, it may seem like you have all the time in the world to sculpt the muscles in your body but according to Reddit user u/temp4adhd there’s no better time than when you’re young.

“You’ll never be able to build lean body mass as quickly and efficiently as right now, so pick up some heavy weights if you haven’t already. Your bones and aging body will thank you down the road.”

13. Use protection

At 18-years-old, using condoms sometimes goes out the window but it’s very important according to Reddit user u/dogecoinfiend:

“Use condoms! STD’s can follow you the rest of your life, and unplanned pregnancies can turn your life completely upside down.”

14. Start investing young

Putting away money can be something that slips your mind when you’re young, probably because it feels like you have all the time in the world to do so. Reddit user u/wopdnt suggests:

“Live on less than you earn and invest the difference. Time is your best resource when you are investing…even if it is only $20 or $30 a month. It will add up in 40 years.”

15. Don’t waste time on bad relationships

I’m with it. from badrelationshipadvice

When you get older, you start to learn that your time is actually the most valuable thing that you have. That’s why Reddit user u/CouncilTreeHouse suggests:

“Don’t waste time on relationships that go nowhere. I ignored so many red flags that I wasted a big portion of my life on men who were not right for me.”

16. Start a 401k

As an 18-year-old, you’re not exactly paying attention to your eventual retirement but it’s important. You’d be surprised how fast a simple 401k can build up money, just ask Reddit user u/Chipotlemama who said:

“As soon as you get a job with a 401K, start adding to it. Even if it’s only 10 bucks a check. You’ll be shocked at how it will add up in a few years. Then don’t touch it until you retire.”

17. People are more important than things

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay - sasint / 226 Source: Pixabay - sasint / 226

It’s easy to get excited by the things you want when you’re young, but you always have to remember that “people matter more than things and gadgets.” – r/mrhymer

18. Live within your means

We love user u/toxic_pantaloons reminder that being frugal now can lead to wealth later on. As young people, we tend to want to have all of our experiences upfront and spend our money left and right.

“Live beneath your means! Don’t worry about the latest gadgets. Constant debt will eat you up alive in interest. Buy one item at a time, pay it off, then buy another. Used clothing and cars will save you lots, if you buy good quality ones that were taken care of.”


We’re curious: what advice would you add to this?

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Reddit – r/AskOldPeople, Instagram