What one thing would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity? Hacker News posed the question — borrowed from the Twitter@ayoungerme account — to its community and got some interesting results — some flip and some philosophical.


“If I only knew then what I know now.” Depending on your age, I’m guessing you’ve said that to yourself quite a lot.

Taking its cue from the Twitter @ayoungerme account created to crowd-source responses to this question, Hacker News posed the same query — What one thing would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity? — to its demographic and got some interesting responses. Some facetious, some most definitely not.

For example, user Mindcrime responded:

Assuming you mean some general life advice sort of thing, and not something like “The Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, bet on the G-men” or something, then I’d say: “Don’t over value the whole ‘good things come to people who wait’ thing. Be really f%!#ng aggressive in going after what you want, life is short, don’t wait around.”
or something to that effect.

IsaacL added his own practical take: “It’s like the guy said in ‘The Graduate’ when asked for career advice: just one word, ‘plastics’. For my younger self, the word I’d use would be ‘smartphones.'”

Another participant, JoeDoyle23, also stuck to business. He would tell the younger JoeDoyle23:

Someday Apple stock is going to be less than $5 a share. Buy lots of it and hold on to it until you have the ability to talk to your younger self. :)

And there were some snappy exchanges. When Majorlaser said: “I am 21 now, but I would tell my 18 year old self to spend less time reading reddit/digg and start building more stuff. And also, finish your projects and focus,” Ralith responded: “Your future self asked me to tell you to spend less time reading [Hacker News] and start building more stuff!”

Some of the Twitter responses touched on technology:

And another:

So now it’s my turn: What one thing would you tell your younger self? Please post your answer in comments.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Pashin Georgiy

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  1. Tell her how you feel.

  2. Always take the blue pill, always.

  3. Listen to your parents, they were right. Don’t waste time dating that asshold. Drink less, focus more. Save 10 percent of your earnings from your very first job!

  4. You will rarely use almost everything you have, and you will never need almost everything you want. Reduce the cost of maintaining your real-world technical debt.

  5. Keith Townsend Thursday, July 19, 2012

    I like the way you turned out. You have a great thing don’t screw it up.

  6. I love these comments. One of the responses on Twitter was “Don’t smoke. I’ll be the one who has to quit and it’s REALLY HARD!”

  7. Fcuk more, less study, build more friends, buy domain of Us companies in each other country, brake up relations firts, be more egoist, never take a loan, save money, have a gay experience ;)

  8. Matt Terenzio Thursday, July 19, 2012

    The winning lotto number will be . . .

  9. Don’t. Give. Up.

  10. Carolyn Parker Friday, July 20, 2012

    Learn early how to live within your means and protect your assets. And most of all, don’t let the outside world corrupt your goals.

  11. Loose yourself and have more fun girl

  12. Finish college early; pay off your student loan as soon as possible and don’t take out any more loans or build any debt as much as possible; travel as much as possible before having any children; LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS!

  13. Don’t worry. Everything works out in the end.

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