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[Thread]: 18 Things I Wish Someone Would've Told Me When I Was 18

1.) The college you attend doesn’t matter as much as you think it does, UNLESS it’s truly a top 10 program at a top 10 university (see: entrepreneurship at Babson).
2.) Be an engineer. Seriously, if you have the capacity for it, be an engineer. You’ll have job security and solid wages forever.
3.) Don’t let fear hold you back. Learn to quiet your lizard brain and always ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? Don’t be careful, don’t move slowly and don’t compromise. Taking risks will separate you from the people who are scared to, who are comfortable.
4.) Learn personal finance. It amazes me how terrible people are with money. Avoid credit card debt at all costs. Learn to automate your finances so that you don’t have to think about them and everything is systematized to work for you.
5.) DO NOT take out student loans unless you absolutely have to (see number #1).
6.) Work for free. @charliehoehn's Recession Proof Graduate is the best primer you’ll read on the subject. Acquiring unique and significant experiences from/with intelligent people in your field will really separate you from your peers.
7.) Unleash your inner entrepreneur – the ability to make money on the side when you’re in a pinch… that’s real job security. Companies are not as loyal as they were “back in the day.” If you get laid off, side project money can sustain you until you get back on you feet.
8.) Chase the 💰💰, not passion. This will be counter intuitive to the advice you normally hear, but very, very few of you truly know what you want to do when you’re leaving college, much less high school. Passion isn’t something you find, it’s something you cultivate over time.
9.) Stop being so entitled. We got a trophy for participating and now we think we deserve $60,000 and a corner office fresh out of college. The truth is you don’t and nobody owes you anything. Put your head down, start grinding and prove yourself.
10.) Never stop learning. Ever. Read books, read blogs, watch TED talks, but don’t ever stop learning. Americans watch insane amounts of 📺 every evening. I think The Wire is phenomenal, but build in a couple of hours a week to learn something new. It’s a great way to get ahead.
11.) Find a way to separate yourself from your peers. Whether it’s a niche you’re passionate about or just something you have an aptitude for, find a way to be a little different.
12.) Always, always do what you say you’re going to do. Part of this is managing expectations, but beyond that it’s about building trust that will serve you well in the workplace. Your integrity is your most valuable asset — treat it as such.
13.) Be likeable. People hire people they like & would want to work with. Your managers can teach you what they want you to know, but they can’t teach you to be an awesome person. If the qualifications are even marginally close, the person they like the most gets hired every time
14.) No matter how awesome a potential significant other is on paper (i.e. he’s tall, she’s smart, his family is great, she’s wealthy), you can’t make it work unless there’s excellent chemistry. And IF there is excellent chemistry, those other things matter less than you think.
15.) Stop eating so much crap. You’ll probably have lots of boyfriends/girlfriends, tons of different jobs & live in countless places, but you only have one body. Eat healthy and work out. A poor diet and a lack of sleep adversely affect your entire life.
16.) Experiences are worth more than gadgets. I realize our phones are an extension of us now, but aside from that, you’re going to remember the spring break trip you took with your friends way more than your PS3. Simplify your life; you don’t need more stuff.
17.) Ask for help. Many people have too much pride to ask for help, but very few people “got to the top” alone. Try to provide value to the other person first, but don’t hesitate to ask for help.
18.) It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it. You’ve probably heard this before, but there are few statements as true and as important to your happiness as this one.

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