I saw this excellent blog post - "What a High School Student Learned from Paul Graham" - and I was really impressed with the author. He sounds like he's going to kick lots of ass.
I commented on his site, and I like how this comment turned out. Here you go -
Impressive, very good attitude. Godspeed in your endeavors.
A quick thought - don't wait for permission in any area of life. It's rarely that people will throw open the doors to you. Most forms of adventure and worthy causes and prestige can be walked into with a small amount of money as long as you're willing to try.
It costs maybe $500, max, to get a basic scubadiving license, and it's one of the most enjoyable things you'll ever do in your life.
If you can save up $3000 (and you can, it's not hard), you can travel the world for very cheaply on that. If you haven't traveled internationally, start doing so, it'll change your life. Do everything you can to keep your rent number down, don't buy junk, research a lot, and eat cheaply including at grocery stores. You can absolutely travel through most of the world for a few months on $3k, including airfare, if you're careful and spartan about it. Do it now while you don't have obligations, it's good to do in the summer between classes. Bring a laptop and you can work on your startup.
Go into the highest end department store in your city. Look at stuff, touch it, feel the material, maybe try something on. Go for it. No one's going to invite you. Once or twice per year, they'll have a sale where things are 70% off. You can probably get another voucher or coupon too, so you'll be able to buy a $1200 jacket for $250 at that point. Having clothing like this helps when you go to meet a banker. I started in business young, and wearing $4000 worth of clothing will help you look older than 19 or 21 or however old you are. You'll eventually be able to pick up $4k worth of clothing for $500 or less, but you need to start learning about quality stuff now. Again, don't wait for permission - it ain't coming. Go try some stuff on.
When you inevitably overdo it, burn out, and fall off a cliff, fundamentals are the way back. Exercise, good diet, time in nature, and trying to keep a normal sleep schedule. Fundamentals are the way back after getting lost. Also, ask random people for help. "I'm XYZ young years old, admire you a lot, and could I have about six minutes to ask a very quick question for advice?" will open lots of doors.
Your attitude is great, and you sound like you've got the makeup and awareness to do fantastic amounts of stuff. Godspeed, I think you're going to do awesome.
If anyone needs details on how to do more of these things - scuba, travel, dressing high end on low-ish money, fundamentals, or reaching out to people - let me know in the comments or email me. I recommend reading the original author's post too, it's sharp stuff.
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