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#tellyour21 - "What advice would you give your twenty-one year old self?"

Jeff Heckman

Reggie, Age Unknown

 Harlem, NYC

Harlem, NYC

I would understand more that life come in quarters. Life is quarters, I’d break it down in that way. 1 through 20 is a very important quarter. You know you basically graduate, get about two years of college in. And you know, try not to get into any type, you know, I would say incarseration positions. Because all of that plays a factor on your record. And try to make sure you get good credit, start credit now. Start building your credit if you can. And 1 though 20 if you do that, than the second quarter 20 through 40, you’ll have a better chance at basically setting up your retirement. Most people wait until they’re 40 to 60 to start, in the third quarter, to start thinking about retirement. But I would think about it between 20 and 40 if I had a chance. Which I did start thinking about it at that time…at 32 and that’s pretty much why I did some of the things I did. I own real estate…when I used to be homeless (laughs). So I did a lot of things that I wish I wouldn’t have done. Try to take a little more patience and focus on my future instead of just at that age, when you’re 20 you’re just having a good time, you wasn’t thinking about certain stuff. So it plays in effect now, what you do at an earlier age. If you do good doing that. If you take that very important quarter, which is that second quarter 20 through 40, if you do that, you’re third quarter is beautiful, 40 through 60. And you can imagine the fourth quarter, 60 - 80. Some things we would we could do, we can’t, but don’t let it stop you. Pour another glass of milk, pour it bigger and keep on going. Don’t cry about the spilled milk.. That’s my greatest advice that I can give to anyone.


Seth, 787

 Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

Take it slow homie.

Diana, 57

 Highland Park, New Jersey

Highland Park, New Jersey

I would have loved to travel, would have loved to have gone to college, learn how to be on a bike, ride a bike a lot, go on tours. Running, I would have loved to run. Learn to read more. Learn to have read more and teach other kids that, to be respectful.


Johnny, Age Unknown

 Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts

"Ah, twenty one is the year when you can legally go crazy….don’t do it. Because it can turn into a mess. Just, have fun, but don’t go too crazy, that’s all I got.”

Jules, 29

 Red Bank,  New Jersey

Red Bank,  New Jersey

"My name's Jules Friedland and I'm 29 years old. I would advise my 21 year old self not to create expectations for myself that come from outside influences. To go at my own pace and to make sure I'm doing what makes me happy."


Mike, 49

 New Brunswick,  New Jersey

New Brunswick,  New Jersey

If I could talk to my 21 year old self, I would tell him to pay more attention to your surroundings. Have a focused plan on what your direction should be, your life should be. Listen to your father because he was right. Say everyday I feel more and more like I’m turning into my father and I’m proud of that. Do right by other people. And basically to focus on the task at hand because it’s gonna come back around to get you if you don’t.


Monica, 47

 East Brunswick, New Jersey

East Brunswick, New Jersey

I would say…to put a little more thought into your future endeavors, like you’re enjoying the moment, and that’s ok, but you’ve got to put a little more thought into what you’re going to do with your life. And that being said, it’s also good to pick areas of interest to you. However, weight out the odds and if there’s an area of interest such as plants, instead of settling more maybe a more manual role in that. Go ahead, get the education seek out a higher level so that you can continue on and not physically kill yourself (laughter).


Yup, yea, look at the different demands physically of any job. Weather that’s hairdressing, horticulture. And think about, realistically, how long can that go on and can this position even evolve into something else and strive for that something else.


Jaynellen, 49

 Highlands,  New Jersey

Highlands,  New Jersey

To follow my brain and not my heart. To think more about my education and my future, than the love in my heart.