How can one make the most of one’s youth?

Answer by Feross Aboukhadijeh:

In no particular order…

1. Prioritize learning.

  • Start early
  • Read a lot. 2-3 hours a day, at least

2. Don’t talk about doing stuff. Do stuff.

3. Figure out what you like. Try to become the best in the world at it.

  • If you start early, you will have time to change your mind.
  • Don’t worry if it’s not “prestigious” or won’t make you a lot of money. If you’re good at it, you’ll make it prestigious.
  • Read “How to Do What You Love” by Paul Graham http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html

4. Experience stuff.

  • Watch epic movies/books/music
  • Go on adventures (road trips, travel to other countries)
  • Talk to interesting people and really LISTEN

5. Spoil yourself on the stuff that matters.

  • Eat well, sleep well, drink (water) well
  • Buy a good bed (you spend ⅓ of your life in your bed)
  • Buy a good computer (since you will spend so much time on it)
  • Similarly, good chair, keyboard, mouse, etc.

6. Ignore the opposite sex until you are 20.

  • Middle school / high school romance is pointless
  • Or, if that’s too broad a statement, then at the very least don’t feel bad if you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend before age 20. You’re not “missing out” — in the grand scheme of things, it’s not very important.

7. Work hard to get into college.

  • In high school, try to get all A’s — even when the class is unpleasant.
  • University is such a formative experience, you’ll make lifelong friends and business partners, and learn a ton about yourself.
  • ^ You’ll want to do this at the best possible school you can get into.

8. Don’t worry about your grades.

  • Once in college, don’t worry about grades (caveat: unless you plan to go to grad school, especially law or PhD programs, or apply for a competitive job)
  • Optimize for learning and personal happiness
  • Find time for side projects

9. Be genuine. Be nice.

  • Being a generally nice person will make you so many awesome lifelong friends
  • Being genuine is freeing since you can just be yourself with everyone you know — you won’t have to worry about keeping lies straight in your head

10. Learn to delay gratification.

  • Ability to delay gratification predicts future success (http://www.ted.com/talks/joachim…)
  • Those who succumb to pressures and do what’s immediately satisfying miss out on later satisfaction.
  • Ex: Kids in high school who partied every night are bagging groceries at Safeway now, while those who delayed that “fun” for just a few more years get to work at their dream job for the rest of their lives

Probably more…

(This is all just my own opinion. I’m not trying to make a value judgment on anyone else. This is just the advice I try to follow every day.)

How can one make the most of one’s youth?

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