A Conversation with Myself, 6 Years Ago

by Kevin on May 8, 2008

Debt Kid has an interesting article up about what he would tell his 18 year old self if he had the chance. That’s a very interesting take on things and sounded like a great kick off to a new article.

Six years ago I was just about to graduate high school. It’s nuts to think about that as it seems like a terribly long time ago, but at the same time it feels like no time has passed at all.

A Recap of Major Life Events, 2002-2008

  • I graduated high school in 2002, and graduated college in December 2005.
  • I got engaged October 2005, and married the woman of my dreams in January 2007.
  • I’ve worked two real-world career jobs.
  • We bought our first house last summer (remind me to write about this at some point).
  • We got a dog two weeks ago.

What I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self

These are in no particular order, lest you think me a cold hearted man.

  • Get an internship for every summer between school, even if you have to pay out of pocket.
    • I turned down an internship with BMW USA in New Jersey because it didn’t pay enough to even pay rent up in New Jersey. In hindsight it was a great opportunity, but the program seemed very unorganized (no list of available corporate apartments for interns, etc.). I may have missed the boat with my favorite car company.
  • Network more.
    • I was brought up to believe that hard work and good grades were what it took to succeed in life. I’ve learned over the years that a significant portion of life is who you know. It may not be fair, it may be kind of cynical, but it is definitely true. I would network with more people and put the books away more often.
  • Be appropriately frugal.
    • I’m definitely pro-frugality. Just don’t let it affect your life. (Psst… take your spouse on a date.)
  • Walk in the rain with the one you love.
    • Be silly. It can be fun. Branch out a bit.
  • Life is short.
    • You will know people who die young. Your family isn’t getting any younger, either. Call your parents. Call your wife’s parents. Stay in touch with friends.
  • Figure out how to get organized.
    • By far one of the most important things you can do. Come up with an organization system and stick to it.
  • Get engaged later or marry faster.
    • You and your future wife will both agree waiting 14 months to get married is far too long, you impatient jerk.
  • You can do a long distance relationship and make it work.
    • When it becomes a short distance relationship, you will truly appreciate it more. It sucks for now, but stick it out. She’s a winner.
  • Don’t forget how to dream and thank God for every day. Repeat: Life is short.
  • Take risks. Repeat: Life. Is. Short. Live a little.
  • In fact, don’t forget to live.
    • You’ll end up writing a personal finance blog and focusing on money a lot. Don’t let it take over your life. Life each day to the fullest. Take her to Brusters. Get ice cream. Rent a movie. Don’t be an old fuddy-duddy.

That wraps it up for now. What if we turned this into a meme?

What would you tell your 18 year old self, Cash Money Life, Being Frugal, and Master Your Card?


Matt May 9, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Networking is a incredibly important. Its one of those things that you never think about when you’re a kid. When you’re in school you’re either shy or you’re outgoing. The reality is that doesn’t matter you can still network with the best of them and be shy.

Shawn Knight May 9, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I agree that networking is very important. If I could go back seven years in time, I would tell myself that college certainly isn’t for everyone… and don’t be afraid to take risks for the things you love and are passionate about.

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