It’s funny how each generation thinks they’ll be different. They don’t need to listen to sage wisdom about life from the older because times have changed, but here’s the thing – people don’t change all that much, even when the world around us definitely does.

Which is why these 18 life lessons are not only tough, but are tough on everyone – because we all learn them the hard way, sooner or later.

18. You might not get another chance.

Try every experience you can! Go to concerts of bands you’ve never heard of, take road trips and vacations in places you’ve never been, eat new foods, talk to everybody, learn everything you can about any subject that comes up, and take every reasonable risk.

Your life is incredibly short and once it’s done you don’t get to make up for missed opportunities so do it all now. Even if an isolated experience isn’t the best, the process of experiencing it will usually be something you are proud of.

17. If you know, you know.

Never trust a fart while on antibiotics.

16. It’s really not.

Be nice to people, it’s not that hard.

15. This is sad, but really true.

Have zero expectations from anything or anyone and you’ll live a peaceful life.

Disappointment is the worst

14. It’s not always about you.

Sometimes it doesnt matter what you do/said someone will be annoyed by it and that has more to due with them then it does you.

As a person with low self esteem for a lot of my life when I had a fight with a friend or parent I always assumed it was because of me when them having a bad day was the actual reason and it was nothing that I did.

13. Also never say too much.

HR aren’t your friends! They aren’t there to manage the logistics of benefits. They are there to avoid awarding benefits.

Never go to HR with a question about benefits or rules in general. You will always get the most conservative answer possible. Go to your boss and hope they have your back.

You never get a straight answer. It’s always some noncommittal nonsense.

“Well the short answer is…”

“Yo Tyler let me be real with you for a moment I am asking about the technicalities of my 401k vesting which is one of, like, three reasons I do this job. I want the longest possible answer. I want you to answer until you drop from thirst.”

12. Eat the cake.

You could be the healthiest son of a gun there ever was and cancer can still take you at 40.

Life goes on regardless.

11. It’s a sliding scale.

Everyone (including myself) is generally less intelligent and competent then we think we are.

I like to say “Just because you’re smart, that doesn’t mean you aren’t dumb.”

Some of the smartest people I’ve met are also shockingly stupid in different contexts. Some of the dumbest seeming people can have profound insight into things they know well.

Intelligence isn’t a linear scale, its more like a skill-tree. Everyone has a certain number of skill-points to spend when they’re born, and education and experience can help you earn more. But if you put all of your skill-points into a few obscure stats you can be wildly under leveled for something mundane.

10. Learn to think on your feet.

Stability does not truly exist you’re going to have problems your entire life. The thing that changes is your ability to deal with them.

9. When it comes to being an adult, anyway.

Nobody knows what they’re doing.

Fake it til you make it and know that you’re not alone. I look at is as “don’t be afraid to ask questions” and “keep learning as you go.”

8. Don’t be afraid to take a chance.

Making friends as an Adult is hard. I’ve learnt that if I feel a ‘spark’ of friendship/connection with a new person (which is rare), I put lots of effort into getting to know them. So far in the last year and a half I have made 3 new friends!

My lesson would be to not ignore when you have a connection with someone.

7. Anything can change.

To contrast “it do be like that sometimes,” my biggest mantra is, “it don’t have to be like that.”

I encountered a rude person and I could be angry in response? It don’t have to be like that. I have a shitty job with which I could barely afford rent? It don’t have to be like that.

Terrible mental health, eating disorder, messy backyard, bad romantic partners, IT DON’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT. I CAN CHANGE IT ALL IF I JUST CHANGE IT.

(And I did, by the way.)

6. Pretty much across the board.

80% of life is just showing up. The rest is just trying not to lose your mind.

It definitely works with work and parenting.

5. Take the time off.

Working hard, doing extra shifts, taking on more responsibilities at your job will mean absolutely sweet FA to your boss in the long run. You’ll burn out while being paid the same and all of the extra you did will be used against you.

In the same vein, no company cares how long you have been there. Ensure you have a proper work/life balance.

I have mate who is working on work stuff during the weekend and I ask him are u getting paid ? He says no but it needs to be done because my boss asked me, he’s working until like 20:00 even tho he does 9-5 which is crazy.

4. Wait for your head to catch up.

At some point, your feelings don’t matter. You should treat your feelings with delicacy and respect, but understand that they are only feelings and often should not control your actions.

3. A very important list.

Ladies and gentlemen of Reddit:

Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists. Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked

You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future

Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday

Do one thing every day that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts

Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t waste your time on jealousy- Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’. On your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much. Or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room

Read the directions even if you don’t follow them

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past. And the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go but a precious few, who should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard

Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it; Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

2. Remember to love yourself.

I used to do a lot of procrastinating, but I’d always be punctual if other people were involved. A coach at my uni told me “treat an appointment with yourself as an appointment with another”.

I still procrastinate, but not as much and the quote has always stuck with me.

1. Emotions are healthy.

it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to have emotions. My whole life I was told to “man up.” Emotions are human. you have them, don’t hide them. When I couldn’t show them, I would cry in the bathroom for hours and eventually attempted suicide. Don’t do that

If people tell you not to show emotions, don’t listen to them. They are trying to dehumanize you. Don’t let them, they are not worthy of your attention. I hope this helps someone.

Definitely think every last one of these are true (even the tongue-in-cheek ones).

What would you add to the list? Drop it in the comments!