The other day I had a dream. One of my older friends, a scientist had figured out how to soup up a DeLorean. It was the mechanics for street racing or anything like that… but when it reached 88mph the car had the ability to go back in time! I know it sounds crazy, but go with me on this one. I thought about what I might tell Lazy Man back in high school and came up with the following:
15. Learn about Compounding Interest – There’s a reason why Einstein called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe.” (In reality my high school math teacher pushed this on our class, so I did know this in high school.)
14. There’s a young woman who lives less than 8 miles from your home. You’ll end up marrying her, so perhaps you should get started now before she moves 200 miles away and ten years pass.
13. I know it seems like you are saving a lot of money now. You are really doing a good job, but expenses will arise soon.
12. The Internet company that gave you a raise to 90K at age 24, will end up laying off the entire department with in a year…
11. …so you probably shouldn’t buy that new sports car convertible – even if it is under 30K. Plus it won’t impress that girl nearly as much as you thought it might.
10. However, don’t give up that summer in Newport, RI. You’ll have so many memories that will last a lifetime.
9. You won’t end up associating with any of the friends you have now.
8. Day-trading Internet stocks (you’ll understand what an Internet stock is later) is fun – like gambling… because that’s what it will be. You’ll end up losing… Plus… doing your taxes will be a pain as well.
7. Stay away from girls from Maine or named Shannon. You’ll meet quite a few of each and neither will be good for you.
6. The Computer Science degree is great, but really look into getting a MBA.
5. Look into gathering domain names of generic items and concepts as soon as possible.
4. Avoid buying 250-300 CDs, you’ll have better things for money such as…
3. … buying real estate. Seriously look into a home as early as possible. Mom will help you if necessary.
2. You were far ahead of your time with that purchase of Founder’s Growth in high school. Excellent plan to put $50 a month in there. You’ll be even smarter by betting on Bill Miller in two years and getting 10 years of S&P 500 beating performance… just stick with it and don’t cash it all out.
1. Put some time into learning how to read quickly (without compromising comprehension) and write effectively. You are going to have a series of horrendous English teachers that will make you read books like Ethan Frome. You are going to doubt that there’s really anything of any practical use. Dig deep into what they are saying or learn on your own, because it will be more important than programming language you’ll ever learn.
Here are some things that others would say to themselves in high school:
- Rich Minx – agrees with the CD savings. Don’t tell Lazy Man and Health, but spending all your money on alcohol sounds link fun.
- Susanna in the comments says “don’t let your fiance run up his credit card balance.”
- Brip Blap regrets doing vodka shots with Russian Mafiosos. Yes, you read that right.
- Blunt Money sounds like she would tell herself to be more confident.
- Cannibal Crowley wish he tried out for the football team. I wish I did as well, not because I’m athletic, but because I love the game and would like to be closer to it.
- Smith’s Trading Posts had some great thoughts about high school.
- Hockey Mom seems to have remained friends with all her high school friends. That’s the exact opposite of me. Then again that comes as no surprise, since I’m about as far as a Hockey Mom as you can be.
What would you tell your high school self? If you write about it and drop me an e-mail or a comment I’ll highlight your story above.
Wow, that is a weird dream.
I’d get seriously worried if you followed it with a dream that the same friend took you to your future, and then to the old west!
-> 7. Stay away from all girls from Maine or named Shannon.
Thats pretty funny because the Maine part applies to high school me as well.
Spend your first year out of school eating ramen saying every penny (live at Oracle they will think you are dedicated). Then in early 2000 use options to short Internet stocks. Pay particular attention to pcorder.com, pets.com, webvan (what a great idea too bad on this one). And once you think the shorting is done and you are a fat cat. Short Exodus the last of the might to fall (a good 4-6 months after the dust had settled).
Now Buy as many bay area houses as you can. Don’t worry the mortgage. Take out exoitic mortgages. Sell all the homes in 2006.
Rent, play golf, and live happily ever after.
At The Bottom says
#5, oh, oh, #5. I would have invested in domain names more than stocks. Like sex.com, selling for either 12 or 20 million. Buy it, sell it, retire.
I wish I could have been making 90K at age 24 as a software engineer. I am 25, and making chicken scratch.
And Yes, MBA is nice. I hope I stay at my company long enough for them to pay for me to get it.
Rich Minx says
Nice post! Here’s my effort: http://www.richminx.com/2007/06/15-things-id-like-to-say-to-high-school-rich-minx/
Neat idea. I was actually thinking about this recently. I’d tell my high school self
1. Don’t be a martyr. Go to the damn party.
2. Do the paperwork for the scholarship transfer. You will need that few extra thousand dollars down the road.
3. For heaven’s sake, get your driver’s license updated when you move! This will save you hundreds of dollars in car insurance.
4. Ask for more raises and higher salaries. The dot-com riches won’t last, so make hay while the sun shines.
5. Don’t let your fiance run up his credit card balance.
6. No matter how upset you are, go to Grandma’s funeral.
2 BROS BLOGGING says
Number 4 is so true. Why did we all do that?
Amber Yount says
Nice idea…I wish I could just go back about 4 years and I would be ok… :P
Her Every Cent Counts says
heh, that post made me laugh out loud. there are 20 billion things i would have told my high school self, and i think tomorrow when i have some time i’ll write up a post just like this and link to yours, because it’s a good idea. :)
Loved that post. I actually sat around (then posted) 15 things I would tell myself. It’s an interesting exercise because you realize there are a few of those things you can still do something about.
Act Your Wage says
Isn’t it amazing that for every lazy man in high school, there was a lazy woman dating him — or, at least, mirroring his bad habits. Hello.
I would say don’t worry about getting a job in school- use your time to work on your academics, projects and community service. They’ll net you a lot more than a summer job in scholarships and grants and bring you more recognition.
Buy an old truck instead of that fancy sports car.
The parts/mechanics are cheaper, girls (guys) will still like you, the cops will leave you alone, you will get more of your money back when you sell it.
You also become an instant friend at moving time.
I kept thinking about what I’d say to my high school self and I had to write a similar post in order to get everything out of my head.
Grant Thorpe.com says
I believe No 14 is so true! How many people have not taken the chance to be with their soul mate. Its like in a Movie when you see the couple that should be together, parting because they have a job transfer, or live in another city or come from different backgrounds, and you watch wishing they could just leave all that behind and make the right decision to be together, after all that is what life is all about- isn’t it?
A Tentative Personal Finance Blog says
Here’s my post, thanks for the inspiration, need a free post to do some free writing.
Here’s mine :)
Baz L says
That 90k raise thing really sucks man. I can see how you’d go from total joy to “WTF do I do now?”
Well, I hope you put away some of that 90K while you could.
I see a lot of highschool kids that are clueless yet they think they know it all. I remember being that young…they can’t really help it. However, when I have counseled these teens, my words seem to go in one ear and out the other. Everyone must graduate from the school of hard knocks though.
My mother told me something that really stuck in my brain: Don’t grow up to rely on a man to support you. This goes for guys too. As the times change, I see a lot more guys living off their girlfriends. The thing is, nobody knows what the future will hold so it is wise to have marketable skills, and know how to manage money.
I was lucky to be taught how, some adults don’t. There is also a satisfaction that comes with being self sufficient and it is degrading to have to ask someone if you can buy this or do that.
I absolutly agree that most highschool friends are not life long friends, no matter how close, no matter how much they promise they will stay in touch. We tend to follow different paths and get wraped in our individual lives. Next thing we know, we have lost touch.
Popularity is also such a joke. All the cool kids that wouldn’t even aknolege other students unless they were wearing Gap or Nikes turn out to be junkies, alcoholics, or wind up birthing 5 kids in a matter of 4 years. Social skills are important popularity is not. It’s a front for total insucurity and a way to boost the self worth.
Super Saver says
Great post. I always think it would be great to be 18 knowing what I know now. But then life would have been too easy :-)
Don’t fall for that very stupid first high school boyfriend. Run, run away fast. But then if it wasn’t for my desire to leave home so early I wouldn’t be where I am today and whom I’m with.
Totally agree about girls named Shannon…dated two of em, neither one worked out too well for me