Words Of Wisdom: The Best Advice Millennials Ever Got From Senior Citizens

Wisdom comes with age, and seniors have learned a thing or two about what it means to live in the world. This age group has been around for major wars, technology booms, iconic pop culture moments, and much more. Now, in their older and wiser years, they’re ready to share their knowledge with millennials who are just settling into adulthood. Whether you need advice on financials, relationships, friends, family, health, career, or just how to enjoy life, these are some expert tips from seniors to the younger generations.

The Right Job Might Just Be Around The Corner

people laughing at an office
myleon/Unsplash
myleon/Unsplash

Many millennials are finding themselves taking “bridge” jobs. These are jobs that aren’t necessarily in the field that someone wants to work in, but they’re on the road to finding their dream job.

If you find yourself trying and failing to land that dream job, it’s important to not give up until you’re satisfied with your career. Finding your dream job takes a lot of time and patience, and that dream can change over time.

It’s The Best Time To Travel

a boy and a camel laying in the desert
Atlas Green/Unsplash
Atlas Green/Unsplash

Some seniors regret not traveling more during their younger years. They realize that not everyone has the money for a vacation, but they believe that younger people should travel often.

Briana Wiest, a 100-year-old woman, said, “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” There are so many opportunities millennials can take advantage of while they travel and lots of jobs are flexible, so people can work on the go.

What It Means To Be Truly Happy

a girl with red hair and freckles smiling
Chermiti Mohamed/Unsplash
Chermiti Mohamed/Unsplash

Happiness is something that everyone strives to find in their lives. It takes work to genuinely get that feeling to stick around. An 86-year-old named Cheryl has some age-old advice on how millennials should be getting their happiness.

“You must learn to create your own happiness; you cannot depend on others to do it for you,” she said. This means that outside factors such as relationships, financial status, and career shouldn’t be the only thing someone depends on to feel joy.

Don’t Rush Into Relationships

man and woman smiling for a photo
Carly Rae Hobbins/Unsplash
Carly Rae Hobbins/Unsplash

The average age for marriage has increased in recent years, with millennials waiting much longer than their baby boomer parents did. Picking a long-term partner is one of the most important decisions someone can make, so seniors say it’s best not to rush into anything.

Lillie, a 78-year-old, said, “The biggest mistake is being too quick to enter a marriage. Get to know that person very, very well in all circumstances, the happiness part and the stressful parts.” It’s also crucial to love yourself before committing fully to another.

Take Time For Friends

two girlfriends on a beach
Thought Catalog/Unsplash
Thought Catalog/Unsplash

It’s natural that friendships will come and go, but friends need to be a priority in everyone’s lives. The digital age has made it easier for people to feel more socially isolated than ever before, but humans are a social species that needs physical communication.

Making friends can get especially difficult as people leave school, begin new careers, and start families, yet having those special people to talk to can do wonders for both physical and emotional health. A 90-year-old named Derek Taylor said, “Don’t take the good friendships you have for granted.”

Keep Your Mind Open

a woman reading a book
wocintechchat/Unsplash
wocintechchat/Unsplash

One of the most valuable traits seniors admire in others is education. They want to make sure that the generations behind them make education a priority because knowledge is a form of power.

While formal education is usually finished while people are in their 20s, that doesn’t mean people need to stop learning. Centenarian Frieda Falk said, “Learning new things makes you happy and keeps your mind active.” One of the ways people are able to live so long is because they are regularly keeping their minds sharp.

Listen To Your Friends And Family When It Comes To Love

a group of young adults posing for a photo outside
Roman Holoschchuk/Unsplash
Roman Holoschchuk/Unsplash

People often make mistakes when it comes to love, but seniors advise asking for outside help in this department. Most should be able to trust their friends and family to hear what they have to say about their partner.

When people are in love, they can sometimes be blind to major faults in their partner. Your loved ones will want to look out for you and will hopefully feel comfortable letting you know if they see any red flags in your relationship.

Tips For Staying Fit

women taking a yoga class
Bruce Mars/Unsplash
Bruce Mars/Unsplash

Healthy habits should start while people are still young, so they continue as they age. Staying physically fit is something that people of all ages need to be doing, but it can get more difficult when people reach their senior years.

A centenarian named Ruth said, “I make myself go out every day, even if it’s only to walk around the block. The key to staying young is to keep moving.” While some people don’t have time to do full exercise routines, there are little things you can do to get started, such as taking the stairs or commuting by bike.

Elders Carry Sage Advice

older man smiling and laughing with younger man
Nathan Anderson/Unsplash
Nathan Anderson/Unsplash

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “respect your elders,” then it might be time to actually listen. Seniors have been around for decades and have grasped what it’s like to live in the world. They have been able to make mistakes and learn from them in this ever-changing society.

A retiree Marine named Ed shared, “it’s up to us to mentor [younger generations], to make sure they’re doing the right thing and become better assets to the American people, and to this country.” Talking to a senior can also have the reverse effect, where they could learn new information from millennials.

Making The Right Investments

man looking at his investments on a laptop
MayoFi/Unsplash
MayoFi/Unsplash

Investing money isn’t generally taught in high school and in most college majors, so many millennials are left wondering how they should dip their toes into investing.

The best advice seniors gave about investing is to start early and do it as much as possible. Money can’t grow if it’s left in the bank, so investing gives it a chance to do so. Talking with a parent or grandparent about where to start is a great option because they will have your best interest at heart.

Don’t Stress About The Little Things

a woman stressed out and biting a pencil
jeshoots/Unsplash
jeshoots/Unsplash

According to the American Psychological Association, seniors have the lowest stress levels among other generations. Millennials are the ones with the highest stress levels due to factors such as long office hours, cost of living, and social media.

Mary E. Cooper, a centenarian, spoke about how she manages to keep her stress levels low: “I don’t let anything upset me, especially traffic. I don’t like stress. I can’t stand arguing. If anybody is fussing, I’m gone. I like to be around positive people, people who lift you up not bring you down.”

Spend Quality Time With Family

a family making a pizza
Jimmy Dean/Unsplash
Jimmy Dean/Unsplash

Betsey, a 78-year-old woman said, “It’s so important, while your kids are growing up, to be with them and support them. Because otherwise you don’t really have a clue what their direction is, what they like and don’t like, and what they want to give their time to and what they’re really doing with it.”

This means that it’s crucial for parents to carve out special time that they can share with their family. Children need that connection to their parents in order to grow up confident, intelligent, and loved.

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

a girl looking in a mirror
Ivan Lapyrin/Unsplash
Ivan Lapyrin/Unsplash

Now, more than ever, it’s so easier for millennials to compare themselves to others. Social media is a constant cycle of people posting their best moments for their followers to see.

This can have lasting effects on millennials and younger generations because it can make them believe their life isn’t ideal. Centenarian Brianna Wiest said, “Don’t compare. You’ll never be happy with your life. The grass is always greener.” Once people can learn to love themselves for who they are, they can stop the unhealthy comparisons.

Love Can Be Found At Any Age

a senior man giving a kiss on the cheek to a senior woman
Esther Ann/Unsplash
Esther Ann/Unsplash

Divorce rates are about 50 percent in the United States, which can make it difficult for people wanting to find love in their later years. It can seem daunting trying to get back out in the dating scene as people approach their middle-aged to senior years.

Seniors advise people to not shut themselves out of love, even if they are in their later years. “Love at any age is a beautiful thing. Don’t give up trying,” said an older American interviewed by Dr. Karl Pillemer.

Don’t Settle For The Wrong Job

a woman bored at work
magnetme/Unsplash
magnetme/Unsplash

Not everyone can have their dream job, but that doesn’t mean people need to stay in jobs they dislike. Even if a job may offer more money or benefits, if it makes you unhappy, it isn’t worth the stress.

“The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, and that you look forward to going to work every day,” said an 83-year-old former athlete and coach. It’s beneficial for people to explore their options to discover a career they’re truly passionate about.

Try Not To Go Into Debt

a piggy bank
Fabian Blank/Unsplash
Fabian Blank/Unsplash

Debt can be one of the most debilitating things in someone’s life if they let it get out of control. It isn’t simply just that someone owes money, but paying it off makes people work longer and harder for no reward.

Debt can make relationships with family and spouses extremely stressful and get in the way of future goals. According to Nerd Wallet, seniors suggest doing everything you can while you’re young to be as debt-free as possible, such as paying more than the minimum payment and being mindful of your spending.

Come Up With A Solid Life Story

woman writing in a notebook by a tree
Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash
Gift Habeshaw/Unsplash

Your legacy is how people will remember you after you’re gone, so elders recommend crafting an ultimate life story. This is how people find meaning in their lives and know what really mattered as they grew up.

Some examples could be creating a memoir or journaling your day-to-day life to capture the parts that truly made an impact on you. Your life story is something people can look back on to gain wisdom and guidance about the world.

Make Time For Self Care

a woman meditating in the forest
Omid Armin/Unsplash
Omid Armin/Unsplash

Seniors couldn’t stress enough that millennials need to take care of their bodies. Making time for self-care and wellness habits can make all the difference in the world.

An 84-year-old named Charlotte said, “What you do when you’re young, it will haunt you when you get old. If you’re young, take care of your body, live right, go to the doctor, and keep yourself in good shape.” Getting into these habits earlier in life can make them easier to follow as you age.

The Most Important Tip For Couples

couple posing on a bed with a pillow and guitar
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

It takes a lot of work to make a long-term partnership last, which brings up the age-old saying, “Never go to bed angry.” Couples have heard this advice for decades, but seniors are saying it actually works.

When couples choose to lay out all of their disagreements before the next day, it doesn’t give them time to fester with the negative emotions. Couples become truthful and vulnerable, which leads to trust and a deeper connection.

Be The Person Others Want To Be Around

three girls smiling near sunflowers
Courtney Cook/Unsplash
Courtney Cook/Unsplash

There are certain kinds of people that others are naturally drawn to, but there’s usually a commonality between them. Seniors want to advise millennials to be the peacemakers when they’re around others.

This means listening to others, resolving conflict in a healthy way, and taking the high road. Doing these things can take so much stress off your plate and help build both personal and professional relationships. Learning how to communicate with others is vital for keeping the peace.