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Great point here as well.

People often feel like they wasted their youth regardless of how they spent it. They always feel they could have done more, could have been more. I have heard the same stories from friends who made it to a very high level in sports - they feel they dedicated too much of their life just to one purpose too. The same goes with the socialites - they often feel they just wasted too much time at parties and all those blend together with time.

It actually reminds me of a key point in my life when I was talking with a close friend of mine. He had just returned from an amazing trip backpacking through South America for 4 months and he told me he was envious of how I could be so stable and driven towards my one goal of starting my own company. I was shocked, because I felt the exact opposite and wished I had went on that trip with him.

Such is life, and it is full of compromises.

>People often feel like they wasted their youth regardless of how they spent it.

"Youth is often wasted on the young" - George Bernard Shaw

Well, I'm youth. What would you do if you were in my place? (High school, likes hacking, general geek, plays DnD, etc)

I'm actually sincerely curious, since somehow lately I've been feeling that I'm not doing anything significantly awesome or useful - nothing I'll remember in a year or two.

I originally wrote more, but thought better of it. All the things I listed, I heard when I was also in HS, but they meant nothing until I actually had to deal with it. Advice is tricky business. So here's two for the immediate future.

Date girls and get use to rejection - Things don't 'just happen' for guys (assuming you are one), so get out there and make some magic happen. Keep in mind that girls (and guys) sometimes have no idea what they want, and it's not always you. I use to think this was a natural thing, but like most anything else, it just takes practice. The skills you learn here you'll find applicable to a lot of situations where you'll have to deal with others.

Cultivate a sense of curiosity - For that, I refer to you Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes http://home3.inet.tele.dk/stadil/spe_kc.htm

Thanks for the link! I found it a very refreshing essay.

Seriously, bulk up, dress up, and use your geek-built analytical skills to do well in the social scene. Nice thing about high school is that nobody's really any good at that stuff yet, so climbing the curve is a matter of just getting out there & trying it. Everyone fucks it up constantly, so it's just a matter of hit rate. And getting some big knock downs is a plus here: tough skin later on's absolutely wonderful.

It's pretty liberating to pwn both worlds. B/c once you realize you're not limited to other people's pigeonholes (OPP), you look at the world differently.

For a good look on how not to do it, look up "The Game" By Neil Strauss. http://www.amazon.com/Game-Penetrating-Secret-Society-Artist...

It doesn't sound like your high school is offering you much. If you're even reasonably smart, don't bother with high school anymore at all. The limited curriculum and social life dictated by high school alphas is a waste of your time. Apply to college early - a large one with a great CS department, get your GED and get out!

Once you're at college, you'll find a better and more diverse community of smart people, where you'll be able to have a more valuable social life, find more stimulation and still be relatively insulated from real world repercussions when you make mistakes. A university or college will have much broader resources to offer you, and there will be others like you.

When I was 27, I went undercover back to high school to research a screenplay. It was a shock. It's not the best environment for anyone to grow and develop, except for a very few super-average people who look good. For everyone else, it varies from eh to outright hostile - a holding tank to live out your adolescence until your hormones normalize enough for you to join the workforce or go to college.

If you can actually seek out a better environment, you'll flourish that much sooner and have that much more to contribute, and be that much happier, confident, and yes, laid. No one I know who has gone to college early has regretted it. You don't have to be a genius, just want something other than what high school offers and convince the admissions people at the school where you're applying that you'll flourish there and have the maturity to do well.

Not to mention that you'll make an average of $100,000 per year more during your lifetime for each year earlier you leave high school for college. (I have no attribution for this, read it somewhere on the web so it _must_ be true!)

> No one I know who has gone to college early has regretted it.

I know some folks that have gone to college early (like 14ish) and regretted it, sometimes so much so that they have to give up and come back home.

I prefer the path I took: go to college late (I was 20), but start taking college courses early (I took my first one when I'd just turned 15), and sprinkle liberally with internships and work experience. That lets you stretch the adjustment process out to a time period that makes sense for you, and gives you perspective that you wouldn't otherwise have, eg. working for a startup before going to college.

> People often feel like they wasted their youth regardless of how they spent it.

I wasted my youth on a a variety of physical, mental, and social pursuits; all for the purpose of improving my life. :~/

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