Answer by Brandon Cho:
1. There are always going to be people who are smarter, better looking, more sociable, and just all around “better” than you. In fact, you’ll learn there are LOTS of people who fit that description. To be happy, then, you have to learn to accept yourself and your shortcomings.
2. Success does indeed come from hard work. Hard work without talent doesn’t ensure success, but talent without hard work ensures mediocrity.
3. It’s unlikely you’ll become anything close to your wildest ambitions, simply because you’ll learn everyone has big ambitions, and there’s only so many slots in this world.
4. Idealism aside, money = opportunity and therefore matters. Relationships and power matter more.
5. Friendship isn’t forever. Social and economic status does create divides and strains in even the oldest relationships.
6. Your parent(s) basically gave up their freedom to raise you, and deserve a medal. You know this because with only one job on your plate, you already have no time.
7. Adult life is about learning to live with ambiguity. Remember when you thought you’d have it all sorted out by 30? No. Whether it be your career, your relationships or your beliefs, you will always question whether you are making the right choices and will have to deal with regret.
8. Metabolism slows.
Answer by Arjuna Perkins:
1. Humility. This is the decade of failure. And that’s ok – it’s probably the first time in your life you’ve had to contend with most of the things you’re taking on. Supporting yourself, managing your time / stress / relationships, figuring out what role you want work / study / spirituality / etc. to play in your life. Very few get through their 20’s without some serious soul searching and questioning of fundamental beliefs and habits… And I don’t envy those who do. This is the best time in your life to be making mistakes. It gets steadily less socially acceptable as you progress in age, so go crazy!
2. Honesty. You don’t get away with anything. Anything. If you’re full of it, people will see that, no matter how vainly you struggle to hide it. The truth has a way of rearing its ugly head, so the sooner you can come to integrity with yourself and the world at large, the sooner you’ll be able to get working towards what you really want, who you really want to be. That ugly person you may think you are inside is actually going to be the most compelling, most interesting, most powerful manifestation of yourself.
3: Health. You also don’t get away with self-abuse. Just because you can stay up all night drinking doesn’t mean it’s not taking its toll on your body. You get a bit older, and you start to meet people in their 30s, 40s, 50s who kept up that lifestyle, and believe me, you don’t want to be one of them. Have your fun, but remember: they call it excess for a reason. Eat well (whatever that means to you), get exercise, get enough sleep, and try to have a steady sex life if you possibly can.
4. Having said that, pay close attention to who you find yourself attracted to. They will tell you more about yourself than almost anything else.
5. Get used to being wrong. Conviction can be a symptom of narrow-mindedness. Chances are, whatever you believe now will be out the window at some point in your future, so get used to being open to other assessments of what’s true. Chances are also that someone out there – maybe a lot of someones – knows a lot more about X, Y and Z than you do. Let go of having to be right about things – this isn’t a contest. It’s not a game. You don’t win at life. So say, “Thanks for your perspective. I’ll think about that.” or “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”
6. Perseverance. You will fail in life, over and over and over. It won’t feel fair. Maybe for decades. You’ve got to keep moving forward. Keep going. Keep going!