1. It’s time to tell your parents how you really feel about them. And if they are not around write them a letter. Now is the time to calmly tell them how you have experienced them. If you don’t you will never really become yourself.

    And hug them. If you don’t you’ll regret it when they’re gone.

  2. Getting drunk will stop being fun. Right now alcohol can still awaken you to some truth about yourself. Reserve a night with yourself or with your best friend or lover and drink purely for insight. Veritas in vino. Except that the introspective boost of alcohol fades when you get older. Use it wisely.
  3. Most of the new people you meet now won’t be in your life in ten years
  4. Get a summer job in factory. Your body can handle it. You will make quite a lot of money. For the rest of your life you will be grateful that no matter what you are doing at least you’re not working in a factory.
  5. Learn a new language right now. The most unlikely one possible. As long as it appeals to you.

    If you do it for the rest of your life you will keep bumping into native speakers of this language who will positively influence your life. Spanish, English, German, French are great to know, but add a language most people foreign to the country of origin will never learn. Go for Armenian, Finnish, Croatian or Vietnamese. I won’t say Dutch, cause am biased.

  6. The worst that happens when the cute stranger rejects your offer to go for a drink is that you won’t go for a drink with the cute stranger. That’s it. And if your offer gets accepted, well, all the better. You will go for a drink with the cute stranger. It’s a very simple question.
  7. The enthusiasm of youth is contagious. Most adults outside of your family will be supportive of your plans if you share them and ask for some help. Just jump into some creative project. If it sucks everyone will be forgiving. If it’s great everyone will be blown away. Cause you are super young. Take advantage of it.
  8. If you’re going to do drugs then don’t do them alone. And get it from a source that is at least somewhat of a guarantee that you won’t be snorting rat poison, ground paracetamol pills or washing powder. Read about the effects before you do it. Better to know what to expect. Sort of. Seek help if you find yourself doing drugs for more than a few days in a row…. Occasionally, five times in one year, is an experimental phase. Every day for two weeks is a serious habit.
  9. See a college degree as a goal for personal growth. Don’t assume that once you get it you will hit the jackpot on the job market. You can learn many things in college, in and outside of class. Probably more outside of class, but some interesting stuff in class as well. Will it have a lot to do with your future job? Probably not, unless you are studying to be a physician or an engineer perhaps. A degree gets you a foot in the door. The real learning starts later.
  10. Learn the price of stuff. Fast. You need to know what a reasonable price is for a kilogram of apples and stuff like that. Even if were born into a rich family learn the value of money. Regularly cooking for yourself and buying your own groceries will help.
  11. Go and read a book by the psychologist Alexander Loewen. Realize how much everything you are is lodged in the relationship you have to your body. Everything can be changed.
  12. Discover if one of your parents didn’t live the live he/she really wished to live. Because there is a big chance that those unlived aspirations will influence you. When people have the unexplicable drive to something there is a good chance it’s because mum or dad wanted to do something similar and never did. Are you doing it for you or out of love for your parents?
  13. You can learn a lot by simply having something useful playing in the background at all times. I learned German – among other things – by constantly having German documentaries and interviews playing in the background via YouTube. These days you can become an expert on many topics simply by constantly listening to experts online. While brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, folding clothes, cooking, working out, walking down the street…. Music is great, but won’t pay you many dividends later. Give this listening strategy a shot.
  14. Take care of your teeth. Oh dear, take care of those babies. After this never again go to bed without brushing your teeth. Hell, dental health even influences sperm quality. Yes, really.
  15. Don’t put a laptop on your balls. Get enough zinc. Keep your phone away from your testicles. Don’t get those boys too warm. If you want to have children that is.
  16. One day the best feeling in the world will be being able to put food on the table for your child. Whatever you care about most now it risk becoming trivial once you become a parent. It’s a very big decision to have children. They change your life in ways you can’t begin to imagine. If you don’t feel ready don’t do it.
  17. If you don’t love yourself others will often use you and move on. Whatever it is that stops you from loving yourself find out what it is, deal with it. Talk about it with people you trust or seek professional help or reach out to someone willing to listen. Don’t confuse self-love with narcissism either. A narcissist loves a fictional tale about himself. It has nothing to do with real self-love.
  18. Watch out for patterns in your behavior. Do you always end up falling for someone who is ultimately unavailable? Do you end up in projects with a partner who eventually bails and leaves you alone with the project? Do you attract people who break their promises? Does every boyfriend you have end up cheating on you? Do you end up cheating on every boyfriend you have? Look for patterns. They point to inner wounds that need attention. The sooner you deal with them the better.
  19. Get a mentor. Youth is wasted on the young. So they say. You have so much energy now. You have no idea how much. You can survive on beer and toast for a week and not feel any worse for it. Use it! Challenge yourself. Sign up for a tough course. Go build schools in Africa. Enroll for an exchange programme. Get a crazy night job or stay up all night reading any book that really speaks to you and go to class the next day like you slept like a baby. At 19 you can. Ideally, find a wise mentor to give some guidance to all that ferocious energy.

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