July 8, 2008

What Did You (Not) Do In 2008?

To the twenty-somethings out there:

Twenty years from now, when you look back on this year:

you had ideas

And you had youth and energy

you had interest rates so low they were negative relative to inflation-- you could borrow money at literally no cost.


and a ready made excuse in case of failure-- Oh, I was young then

and little responsibility, no family

You had the internet-- global distribution or marketing, for free
    information on anything, for free


And then the time passes.

At least you got your file ready for the promotions committee.  At least you got that summer job that'll look good on your college application.  At least you watched the whole season of Grey's Anatomy and only vomited twice.

I'm sure, in twenty years, it will have been worth it.

Stop trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, and just do something with it.










Comments

Best advice I've heard in a... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 10:46 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Best advice I've heard in a while.

Now I only have to take it...

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Dude, this one came at the ... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 11:01 AM | Posted by Dayvan Cowboy: | Reply

Dude, this one came at the exact moment I needed it. I've spent the last two weeks asking myself and my friends -- "what am I gonna do with my life?"

There's gotta be something more than working a dead-end job. Even if it means staying at the dead-end job (the hours are flexible and it adapts well to my screwed up [* insert lots, and i mean lots, of psychiatric labels here, officially dx'ed *] manners.

But I've been feeling I gotta do something more. (I've been taking pictures. Somewhat rewarding, but not something that makes me "horny" about it.) And whining.

That one came as a punch in the face. I guess I needed it.

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I met the guy I've been wan... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 11:07 AM | Posted by V: | Reply

I met the guy I've been wanting to for a year and it went really well. It was worth the gas.

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Bleh. I started took pre-r... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 11:20 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Bleh. I started took pre-reqs for medical school while working full time and volunteering in the ER. What did I not do in 2008? Have any fun of any kind.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
That is not remotely as eas... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 11:27 AM | Posted by Jennifer: | Reply

That is not remotely as easy as it sounds.

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Excellent advice! We decid... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 12:14 PM | Posted by April: | Reply

Excellent advice! We decided to take the leap this summer and we're living the life we thought we would have "later." One of my favorite quotes is from Cormac McCarthy's The Road: "There is no later. This is later."

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Having read that, I feel be... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Posted by MD: | Reply

Having read that, I feel better about myself.

I'm buying a condo. I finished a novel and am writing my second one. I'm applying for my master's in computer engineering.

And I'm 24.

Maybe this message would be a wakeup call for some. For me, it's an affirmation that I'm Doing The Right Thing(tm).

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you had interest r... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 2:24 PM | Posted by Demodenise: | Reply

you had interest rates so low they were negative relative to inflation-- you could borrow money at literally no cost.

"I don't have the money" is officially no longer an excuse for choosing to stay stuck somewhere.

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Interest rates are great. H... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 6:10 PM | Posted by Chris: | Reply

Interest rates are great. However, getting a line of credit is the main issue. Especially since you are singling out twenty year old young adults who may not have perfect credit yet.

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This is a great posting. I... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2008 9:06 PM | Posted by therapyfirst: | Reply

This is a great posting. If only people would truly hear such things and follow through.

I'll go to my grave knowing if there was a drug that was healthy and appropriate that could improve insight and judgment, psychiatrists would probably be out of a job.

It's not coming, folks.

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I should have read that bac... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2008 3:42 AM | Posted by Dee Plum: | Reply

I should have read that back in my early 20s. But I doubt I would have had the maturity to get the message.

Right now I would like to have some fun...but I'm too busy making up for lost time.

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just came across a grea... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2008 5:17 PM | Posted by Alone: | Reply

just came across a great commencement speech given by Patton Oswalt


Patton Oswalt's Commencement Speech

But, in truth, like most high school kids, I already knew everything, which really means I wasn't doing anything. If I had heard this in high school, I probably would have just dreamed about being a comedian, instead of the other thing I always wanted to be (which didn't happen either.) It's a terrible feeling, not trying even once to follow your dream.

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I hitchhiked from Argentina... (Below threshold)

July 10, 2008 10:27 PM | Posted by Jeremiah: | Reply

I hitchhiked from Argentina to Peru through Chile. And I'm 21.

Completely worth it.

Get over your fears and get out the door. The world is waiting.

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Newsflash: the interest ra... (Below threshold)

July 13, 2008 6:20 PM | Posted by keshmeshi: | Reply

Newsflash: the interest rate on mortgages is holding pretty much steady at 6 percent. Inflation may be on the rise, but it's not at 6 percent yet. That 2 percent interest rate that you referenced is for banks only. Good luck getting any consumer credit that low. And interest rates on college loans are skyrocketing.

It would seem that knowledge of psychiatry != knowledge of economics or finance.

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Inflation isn't at 6%? Bol... (Below threshold)

July 16, 2008 2:27 PM | Posted by Phanatic: | Reply

Inflation isn't at 6%? Bollocks. The CPI isn't at 6%, but the CPI is cooked beyond belief.

Dairy products and bread are up 15% over last year. Eggs, 26.7%. Poultry, *73%*. Those are BLS numbers. Gas is up 36.7%. Health insurance premiums have almost doubled since 2000. And meanwhile, real hourly earnings have fallen .8%.

But go ahead, tell yourself that inflation isn't at 6% yet. Thanks to the twin bullshit dodges of "hedonistic spending" and "subsitution," you can make the CPI be whatever you want it to be.

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This advice is faulty at it... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2008 1:05 PM | Posted by Kristof: | Reply

This advice is faulty at its foundation. It assumes that 20 years from now you will be looking back at your life regretting not having done things. That attidude is just as helpful as looking back at one's life NOW and regretting things from the past. Instead of working now to avoid a predicted problem (regret) from a distant future, change your attitude and live now. Without regrets, without looking back.

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"Stop trying to figure out ... (Below threshold)

July 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Stop trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, and just do something with it."

This makes as much sense to me as telling an asthmatic "stop struggling to breathe, and just breathe!"

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Leap thoughtlessly into deb... (Below threshold)

July 20, 2008 4:14 AM | Posted by Moz: | Reply

Leap thoughtlessly into debt! It'll make you feel good!

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OK... (Below threshold)

July 21, 2008 6:22 AM | Posted by Andrew Yates: | Reply

OK

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Succinct advice... and some... (Below threshold)

August 11, 2008 8:29 AM | Posted by D.M. Cook: | Reply

Succinct advice... and something we could all be reminded of, over and over.

I'm spending a term at Semester at Sea, taking classes on a ship and traveling to 10 countries in 110 days. I'm also spending my final term at colllege writing a book on consciousness and culture that has been boiling inside me since I was seven years old.

I hope there's a lot more to come-- but the important thing is to just get out there and DO SOMETHING!

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This gets at an ever-presen... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2015 5:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by johnnycoconut: | Reply

This gets at an ever-present clash in perspectives. .... It's frustrating. I think something about understanding shame is important? This is one reason I don't want to go into clinical psych. The question is so hard I don't know if or when I'll convince myself of an answer.

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