People Told Us the Advice They'd Give Their Younger Selves in Six Words
Illustrations by Brandon Celi


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People Told Us the Advice They'd Give Their Younger Selves in Six Words

"Don't go to college for tuba."

Although no one can change what’s already happened, it's hard, when looking back into your past, not to wish you'd done some things differently. On one hand, gratitude comes with hard lessons learned. Making these mistakes, failures, and fuckups shaped us all into the people we are. But man, if we had access to a time machine, we wouldn’t hesitate to zoom back a few years, stop ourselves on the street, and shout some quick advice at our younger selves: urgent health warnings, tough talk financial tips, a few no-nonsense pep talks about our social life. It could’ve saved us a lot of grief.


We asked friends and co-workers about what words of wisdom they’d pass on to a younger version of themselves in six words. Here’s what they said.

“It’s fine if you eat nachos.” - Allie, 25

“Don't go to college for tuba.” - Alex, 33

"That unicycle is a bad investment." - Drew, 22

"Transition lenses will only bring ridicule." - Peter, 23

"You're better than you think, kid." - Sloan, 25

“Drink less alcohol, love yourself better” - Eve, 24

“Stop wasting your time on idiots.” - Kelly, 34

"Do not date the band bro." - Liz, 28

"Don't wear a shark tooth necklace" - Liz again, still 28

“You're totally gay and THAT'S OK!” - Drew, 37

"Enjoy Barack Obama while you can." - Lauren, 26

“Your hangover will only get worse.” - Cari, 28

“Stop looking at your damn phone.” - Julia, 31

“Major in computer science! It's better!” - J.C., 43

“Dump the loser, focus on school!” - Caitlin, 30

“Stop putting sugar in your ketchup.” - Cara, 39

“No one is looking at you.” - Sam, 27

“Love your body as it is.” - Jess, 39

“Practice making eye contact with people.” - Sal, 32

“Save your money. Stop buying bullshit.” - Josie, 34

“Teach yourself how credit cards work.” - Kurt, 31

“Failure and criticism are good things.” - Elizabeth, 29

“Don’t eat so much ranch dressing.” - Jess, 39

“Stop blaming your parents for everything.” - Laura, 34

“Forgive without needing an apology first.” - Keith, 30

“Budget your fucking face off.” - Katie, 35

“Quit the job. You’ll be happier.” - Suzy, 38


“Take good care of your teeth!” - Matthew, 40

“Plan! Things don’t magically fall together.” - Mike, 32

“Use a condom EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.” - Noah, 39

“You’re not introverted; get new friends.” - Samantha, 36

“Don’t smoke cigarettes. Expensive, dirty habit.” - Andy, 32

“You’re going bald. Just accept it.” - Adam, 30

“Don't depend on porn for stimulation.” - Dave, 34

“Get a vibrator. Try different stuff.” - Bridget, 32

“You should’ve come out in high school.” - Eric, 33

“Drop the video games. Meet people.” - Rob, 42

“Stop being a doormat for everyone.” - Courtney, 30

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