Advice: Experience generalized

Most advice is generalized, personal experience.

You live a certain way, learn a certain lesson, and then generalize that lesson so it applies to everyone (kind of like quotes). That’s one of the reasons we end up with such conflicting advice from different people.

For example, I finished my undergrad degrees in three years total. If you’re a long-time reader, then you know I usually suggest that people plow through a lot of classes at once (see here and here). On the flip side of that advice, though, I’ve heard some great people recommend taking the least amount of classes possible, prolonging the college experience so you have time to work on other projects at the same time.

Those are completely opposite approaches, but I like both of them. In some ways, I wish I could go back and try the other version.

The reason you end up hearing the conflicting advice, though, is because two different people had two different experiences. I enjoyed my experience, so I generalized it to apply to everyone. Same thing for the guys who recommend the “spread it out” approach.

So, it’s something to be aware of. Whenever someone’s giving advice, they’re usually generalizing their personal experience and apply it to you. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not necessarily good either.

And see, even this is just my experience, and I’m generalizing it for you.