20 Things I Should Have Known at 20

+Julien Smith is an amazing writer and an even more profound thinker. My favorites:

5) Don't waste time being shy (I'm painfully shy in person / crowds)
8) Find people that are cooler than you and hang out with them too (going back to my shyness thing, I'm too worried about rejection)
18) Choose something huge to do (ties into 18 for me)
19) Get known for one thing (I'm still working on that)


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20 Things I Should Have Known at 20
1. The world is trying to keep you stupid. From bank fees to interest rates to miracle diets, people who are not educated are easier to get money from and easier to lead. Educate yourself as much as p…

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About Lynette

LynetteRadio is the alter-ego of the MarTech geek Lynette Young. She's been a pioneer in social media since she began blogging in 1997. In 2006 she founded Purple Stripe Productions (now on hold due to a full-time gig she loves), a social technology and strategy firm. Lynette has worked with companies, organizations, and professionals to help them have more meaningful conversations with their customers in new and engaging ways using digital publishing platforms. She's also a makeup junkie, shoe collector, gamer geek, and fan of Doctor Who (and all things David Tennant).


  1. "8) Find people that are cooler than you and hang out with them too"
    …no you can not hang out with me…

  2. I too am painfully shy… And often feel silly about it after.

  3. True

  4. Funny how the world works, +Lynette Young — hanging out with you at the social media club meeting was definitely a fulfillment of #8 for me!

  5. +Katy Knight you are so sweet! ;) I was in 'my element' there – it's BIG crowds like +BlogWorld & New Media Expo next week I freak out over.

  6. While I realize that you have 'older' people on your list as an information source, as a parent of a 20 and 16 yo I would recommend that you move this up or create a line item for LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS. I'm not saying that as a bitchy parent of kids that don't listen (well, they don't but that's another story) but as an older person who's a parent. We TRY really hard to impart knowledge to children and young people so they don't repeat our mistakes and to make their lives easier.

    I now feel really old..

    and get off my lawn!

  7. +Lynette Young I wanna learn to speed read. That would be so useful!

    Great tips.

  8. good one

  9. Love this list! Still very relevant in my new age of 30. lol :)
    Thanks so much!

  10. A great read, +Lynette Young. Thank you for sharing. My faves are 4,18, and 19. I think they are my faves because they are challenging me to take these things to the next level. I always attempt to outdo myself, and these resonated with my core.

    "4. Connect with everyone, all the time. Be genuine about it. Learn to find something you like in each person, and then speak to that thing."

    "18. Choose something huge to do, as well as allowing the waves of opportunity to help you along. If you don’t set goals, some stuff may happen, but if you do choose, lots more will."

    19. Get known for one thing.

  11. #20… Impossible.

  12. i understand that

  13. #5 so true, #8 so wrong,#19 true, #18 not a fan of


  15. That older people will, unrequested, burden you with the knowledge of their experience. Your experience is and will always be different. Go your own way. That's what I wish I knew.

    Being 20 is not about learning from other people. Being 20 is about knowing or not knowing what books to read, what knowledge to gain in order to be successful.

    Being 20 is also about finding mentors that don't suck. Most successful people are wholly unqualified to be good coaches. There are many that pose as mentors that are trying to rip you off.

    Lastly, many older people sabotage you under the guise of teaching you "life lessons".. after all, they went thru it so why shouldn't you?

  16. Avalon Perdriel-Arons says:

    #14 & 15… I don't get lots of sleep, and though I'm young (13) I don't exercise much. I'm actually pretty skinny, but not very fit… I will take this advice to heart!

  17. quite magnifacent advice

  18. agree so true

  19. If only it were that easy. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  20. I disagree with 3, 6 and 19. Also the 8 just doesn't fare with me well because I`m introvert. Otherwise, I`m myself 24 now and I knew that stuff back when I was 16. Didn't help me much or at least I still don't feel like it had helped me. Probably because for every one thing you know, there is another one you don't.

  21. Miracle Angel says:

    OMG i luv tha EVANSCENCE she sings my immortal i luv tht song go to youtube and check tht out

  22. If i had seen this 5 years ago my life would be very different i imagine! Still young (26) but I would love to have seen this at 20!

  23. Cali Azona says:

    #1 is a definite 100% agreed!

  24. that pup is SOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3

  25. if i had seen dis when i was a child ill not let it go it so cute

  26. hi Cali

  27. so true

  28. Soo cute <3

  29. my sad story also,like I waste a my life..shadows getting long now too.

  30. Number 20 is the one I wish more people would live by :-)

  31. I agree and disagree to a certain point. While you might think its a burden wouldn't you like to be aware of things that could quite frankly, just screw you up? Example, did someone teach you to balance a checkbook or the need to pay your bills? Those are the things I'm talking about.

    Sent from my iPhone

  32. cool post…


  34. Well, it is not your fault, we are all growing and this is part of life, the problem is you need to think there is no limit to learning.There is a lot everyone should know for their age group, but some know and some don't know.I hope this at least helps:)


  36. Truee

  37. Perhaps the most important is: Just have fun and be a good person. For God's sake, you're only 20. Stop acting like the world will end tomorrow.

  38. This should be on a birthday card.

  39. i'll try to remember this-so that way when i am 20 i'll already have/ be all of these things.

  40. Shyness is my only obstacle. But it's not as bad as when I was a kid. Once I know someone, people wish I shut up xD But I also played recitals on stage so that helped. Everything else, I seem to do fine with.

  41. Love it. Thanks for the tips

  42. im not even 20 yet…………………………………………………..

  43. This is nearly like stumble, yet no way to "Love" a hot topic or something you really want to keep for reference.

    Google? Do you "Love" us? :D


  44. Try to be cooler that your friends? More like 20 ways to be a douche.

  45. believe it or not but that's really true…it's happenning…a logic that makes the rich more richer and the poor more poorer…

  46. well im not 20 yet and that dog is super cute!

  47. I want that dog !

  48. so do i +arnan muflihady

  49. RE: #19 Don't qualify yourself by a thing you do. Make your "thing" being yourself. Be an awesome person not a product or a gimmick.

  50. Francesca Azad Nelson says:

    I agreed because to have logic is to have knowledge and knowledge is wisdom. And having that makes all the difference in the world.

  51. Yasmine Saud says:

    #8 it just wrong be yourself dont depend on someone else what if they let u down

  52. the world is trying to keep you stupid

  53. +Jenny Helmer I feel that way most days… ;)

  54. agreed @ jenny helmer

  55. +Lynette Young Concerning #8, when do you stop selling yourself to people? Have you ever been around someone who was trying to be cool? Were they?

  56. believe me ..to be rejected is not that bad!!

  57. Gotta stand up for you're self!

  58. Amber House says:

    Don't agree with #8….or maybe thats just because I'm not cool…bummer

  59. is that relly a problem for you? at school i get teased but i must push through it! but good luck to you anyway.

  60. if i could be 20 again with the knowledge i have to day hmm that would be awesome

  61. Why?

  62. I'm 35 and now I'm depressed. :)

  63. 35 is to depressing :(

  64. Yasmine Saud says:

    I am 10 so I don't know about 20 but again I don't agree with 8 and I don't get teased at school or anything like and if I do I move on I don't hang on to someone "cool"

  65. I'm past this era in life but most things on this list I have tried to articulate to my younger brother but he doesn't listen. Maybe he will read a link to this and listen to someone other than myself.

  66. Cool

  67. sorry to here, i have 20 years.

  68. As a parent of one child almost 20 and one who will be there in a few years, this is such sound advice. Many we have tried to teach, some have not stressed enough. Thanks for sharing.

  69. I like #13, Learn to program. What, this person did not know that at age 20? Uhhh, yeah how the eff old ARE you and how long did it take to have this brilliant insight? Hey, even if this person is so old that computers were not around then that means they can't regret not learning any programming.
    3. Read as much as you can Like they did not know by the 2nd year or so of college, if they were there, that reading is important? They did not learn that in effing grade school?
    How about #1 If you are an idiot don't confirm it to everyone by posting helpful lists confirming that to the entire world.

  70. How old are you?

  71. +Jenny Helmer The same age as Barack Obama

  72. I like #4 and #7, I have found that sitting with older people and listening to their experiences gives one great insight. When I served an administrator of a hospital once we had a patient who was an engineer all his life, I am also an engineer and this man ran circles around me !! I used to go home shower, eat and go back to his room and sit for hours just sharing with him. he taught me a lot.

  73. I think the point of number 8 isn't to make you someone you're not, or to have you brown nose the archetypal cool kids. As someone who had dealt with shyness my entire life, funding someone who is more social can classify them as one of the cool kids. And it doesn't say to copy what they do if its not you; but if you relate to being laid back or accepting like the people in the group are, you're doing something different that's still you. Thanks +Lynette Young for sharing this article. I liked 15, I'm trying to learn but often feel out of my element haha

  74. So true and to john nash im 24 married and we have a baby now wish I had listened to my parents and understand now what they were talking about when they said LIFE no joke that it right

  75. That was very nice of you to share with me

  76. O………..K……. O-O

  77. Ok

  78. i've just turned 20!

  79. Wwwwwooooowwww!!!!!

  80. Awesome!

  81. Kind of like the last one best ^_^
    20. Don’t try to “fix” anyone. Instead, look for someone who isn’t broken.

  82. +Larry Henderson Haha i'm only 24 but it still took a bit for me to learn that one, probably because i didnt have help or didnt believe it

  83. I know right?

  84. To bad

  85. Very inspiration and motivational, kinda like the Wear Sunscreen Song from way back.

  86. hiiiiiiiii

  87. i like this one

  88. 21) Don't live your life according to the lists of others.

  89. Engyo Intonsha says:

    A bit of pain is inevitable. It is suffering that is optional.

  90. would that work 4 my kids?i m way older than 20 u might know of course.i d save that 4 them if any help ;;))

  91. I was far more conservative at 20 than I am now. I realized later that being conservative never did me a bit of good.

  92. 21 Fix yourself first, which negates all of ridiculous #20: you are someone and there is no person who is not "broken" whatever that means.

  93. Yup

  94. What?

  95. +Scott Marshall 21) Don't live your life according to the lists of others 22) Fix yourself first with a handy todo list just like the kind Barack Obama gets from Michelle:
    Obama todo

  96. What ever