Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and college students are flinging their mortarboard caps into the air as they step into the abyss of adulthood. Happy graduation! Now what?

In this episode of Motley Fool Answers we draw from experience, expertise, and personal regrets to offer our very best life and money advice for college grads. This is our gift to you, kids. (Or, for the adults out there in need of a heartfelt, thoughtful, and free last-minute graduation gift, send the grad in your life to iTunes or Stitcher to download this episode. They'll send you a handwritten thank-you note. We'll make them.)

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

My fellow students, distinguished faculty, and alumni: This is Motley Fool Answers. I'm Alison Southwick and I'm joined by Robert Brokamp and Dayana Yochim. It's May. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and college students are throwing their mortarboard caps into the air as they step into the abyss of adulthood.

Watch the first step -- it's a doozie! But today we're going to give our very best money advice for college grads, which includes learning from some of our mistakes. If you are forced to listen to this show by an elder, someday you will thank them (maybe even with a written note like your mom always tells you to do). And listen to her!

We're going to offer, I don't know, seven, eight, nine, 10 -- try to keep track -- pieces of advice. [Editor's note: It's eight formal tips and some bonus advice at the end.]

ROBERT BROKAMP:

We graduated from college a long time ago, so we can't count anymore.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I can't count anymore. I usually use a calculator.

And the first piece of advice comes from Dear Auntie Wet Blanket. Take it away, Dayana!

Tip 1: Live like a poor college student for as long as possible

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Well, kids ... my piece of advice is to live like a pauper for as long as possible. Live like the poor college student you were ... in that grimy basement apartment you shared with five guys eating ramen and drinking no-name beer.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

We talked about this before. It's Oly and Hamm's. That's what you're drinking.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Because you've gotten used to that lifestyle and you're not going to make a lot of money...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

No! In fact the average college grad in 2013 made $45,000, which, by the way, is like Scrooge McDuck money compared to what I made when I graduated from college.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah, I looked that up. I saw that the average grad makes $48,000. I was surprised at that.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

I am a little surprised, too, but remember inflation and all that. I made $17,500 and I think I had to like scrounge and beg for that final $500.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Well, I had Scrooge McDuck money compared to you, because I was making $28,000.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Oh, man. But the point here is that there's this law (Robert looked this up the other day) and it's called Parkinson's Law. The idea here is that your expenses rise to meet your income. This happens to everyone all throughout your life. It's also called the hedonic treadmill. You get what you want. You get used to a certain lifestyle and then you crave more. You're not satisfied. You want better, bigger, faster, more speed, and bells and whistles.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Right. You buy a new house and you think, "Wow. I don't have any furniture to fill this house." Then the next thing you know you're like, "We need a bigger house!"

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

DAYANA YOCHIM:

"Look at all this great furniture from Value City!" So the idea here is really just to keep your life small. Live small for as long as possible and save that money that hopefully you're able to live on. We'll talk about that a little bit later -- what to do with it.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah, this is a piece of advice from Alison's mom. It's what she always did when she determined how much her hourly take-home pay was. And then whenever she wanted to buy something, my darling mom would sit and think, "Okay. It takes me an hour to make $15 and this sweater is $65 so I would have to work more than five hours." I'm not doing the math right, but whatever.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

And that's before tax, right?

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Well, so I tried to do some math and I'm going to need your help on this. Not to be like I'm such a Malibu Stacy but seriously, I don't have the patience for math. I can do math, but I just get really bored and don't want to bother being accurate, so I'm going to need your help here.

But assuming that the college grad did make $45,000 -- how you figure out your annual salary into an hourly salary -- a rule of thumb is just divide it by 2,000. That gets you to $22, but that, before taxes and whatever you're contributing to your 401(k) ... more on that later. So what you're left with is, I don't know, maybe $17 an hour. Which is how much like, at some bars in D.C. a single cocktail costs.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

If you want top-shelf and the umbrella.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Right. And like some ice that was chipped off of an iceberg and shipped directly.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

With a gold icepick.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

So I'm talking about this for too long, but the point is if you're a college grad, before you buy something really expensive, stop and think, "OK, how many hours would I have to work to pay for this?" It's pretty sobering.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I actually like Alison's mom's rule of thumb there.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

My mom is very good with money.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Go Sherri!

Tip 2: Explore payback options for tour student debt

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

All right, the next piece of advice comes from Robert Brokamp because chances are, in America, if you're a college student graduating this May, you are being saddled with a lot of student debt.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right, and the average is around $30,000 but for some people it's as high as six figures. There are so many ways to approach this, so the main piece of advice is just to be educated and to know about your options.

There are plenty of resources out there. Studentaid.ed.gov. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website. They have all kinds of tools where you just put in the types of loans you have. They might ask you what your income is and then they'll give you options.

There are some more income-based repayment plans ... some situations in which you can get loans forgiven or forbearance if you join like AmeriCorps, or the Peace Corps, or FEMA Corps. Did you know there was a FEMA Corps out there? STEM Corps for science, technology, engineering, and math, Alison.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I'm telling you. I can do math. I just don't enjoy it.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right. There are all kinds of different options, so just become educated about those. Some employers will actually help you pay off some of your student loans, so it's something to look for as you're looking for a job.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

We could probably do a whole episode -- we could -- we could do a whole episode on advice for paying off student loans.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right. And one thing that I think is completely underappreciated is selling your body for science, of course. You can take part in clinical trials and make some decent money -- and I'm not just joking there...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

[Laughs]

ROBERT BROKAMP:

You could call 1-877...

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Oh, no!

ROBERT BROKAMP:

... MED-HERO. Find out if there is a clinical trial in your area. I did this when I was in my twenties. This is how I got some money. This is how I got my wisdom teeth pulled for free. I totally recommend it.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

So what's the weirdest thing they ever did to you for science?

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Um, I used to be a woman...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

No!

ROBERT BROKAMP:

No, it was some pain medication...

DAYANA YOCHIM:

I'm not loving this advice: "Take some drugs that you may or may not need."

ROBERT BROKAMP:

It was at the NIH. I mean, it's got to be safe, right?

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Of course.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

This is getting pretty bad if we're recommending things like plasma donations. There, I solved it. The end. Thanks for listening.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Whatever. All right. Our next piece of advice comes to us from a woman who likes to create artwork with doll heads and toy instruments...

DAYANA YOCHIM:

[Laughs]

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

So Dayana...

Tip 3: Get the "kid discount" as long as you can

DAYANA YOCHIM:

This piece of advice is, don't be in a hurry to grow up. Play with your toys -- or dismember them and attach them to other things.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

We'll have to post a picture of one of your creations on the website.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Yeah. That'd be great.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Which is Fool.com/answers/podcast, by the way. Slash -- look at this. Slash -- the horror. No, your doll monsters are kind of cute, actually.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

But, seriously. Channel your inner kid and here I'm talking about hold onto your student ID after you graduate. You can still get those discounts if you're just out of college. Another thing is stay on your parents' insurance policy for as long as possible, because if they're going to be generous and kind to you, that's a great gift ... it saves you a lot of money. And you can do this until age 26 when you've now really got to grow up and get your own insurance.

That's a pretty good rule of thumb, actually. At age 26, get your act together.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Get your act together. Yeah, I like that.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Mark it on a calendar. That's your D-Day.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

So that advice was "mooch like a child." [Laughs]

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

All right, Robert. What's the next piece of advice for our recent college grads?

Tip 4: Do awesome things while you can

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Well, it's to do awesome things while you can. You probably have had some visions of working overseas. Seeing exotic places. Doing things that may not make a lot of money. I really think once you graduate from college, assuming you are not overburdened by debt, that's the time of life to do it.

One of my first jobs out of college was the teacher service corps for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Fifteen of us living in an old convent and working in inner-city schools in Washington. They paid for our graduate degrees to get a master's in education. It was a lot of fun.

People teach overseas. My oldest daughter actually worked at a women's healthcare center in Bali called Bumi Sehat. B-U-M-I S-E-H-A-T. I only say that because you should Google it and look at the logo...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

No! No, you should not...

ROBERT BROKAMP:

We're not going to describe it. Just look at it.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

No, you can't un-see it. Trust me.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Don't go look at the logo.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

But here's the great thing about that. She was able to do things that you couldn't do in America in terms of helping actually deliver babies. She had experiences she just couldn't have in the U.S. besides just living overseas, so it's the time of life to do it. Although I like this 26-year-old rule of thumb. I mean, obviously you can't do it forever. It's before you have kids. Before you have a huge mortgage. It's the time of life you do it.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

You've got to do this stuff before you have kids, really. Because you're not going to go to Bali with a toddler and be like, "Sit there and wait while I deliver this baby."

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Yeah. Kids, and mortgages, and other big adult obligations.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I wish I had done like an ESL stint in Japan, or something like that. I regret that I didn't do that, but I was like working in D.C. at a PR firm and schlepping it.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

My now-wife (and then-girlfriend) -- we were looking at becoming tutors with the circus. They need people to travel with the circus and teach the kids of the circus performers. That would have been awesome. And I would have learned how to do the trapeze. Bonus.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Would they really teach you that?

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I'm sure. I'm sure. It would have been awesome.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Go ahead and feed the lions, Robert. Timmy here, who owes you some math homework, will show you how.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

[Laughs]

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

But I actually did some interesting -- just as an aside. I dug into the Peace Corps a little bit, and it turns out there are only 220,000 people who have served in the Peace Corps. I thought the number would be millions of people because it's almost like a cliché to be like, "I'm going to go serve in the Peace Corps." Only 6,800 people are currently serving in the Peace Corps.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Wow.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Mostly in Africa.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

And there's so many. There's Teach for America. I actually was going to teach in L.A. with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps originally, and then I just stayed in the Washington, D.C. area. There's so many. I looked at a program where you could teach in Prague. How cool would that have been?

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I know! And this is the one where we told you, you were going to learn from our mistakes and this is, I feel like maybe one of them.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

We have major regrets. Let them be life lessons for you.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Go have fun and do wild, crazy things, because we told you to.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

For a while.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Safely.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Until age 26. And then you've got get your act together.

Tip 5: Take any job you can get in your industry or at a company you admire. Any job.

All right, Dayana, so for a lot of grads, of course, the most important thing is going to be getting a job. The numbers I found was that the unemployment rate for recent grads was about 8.5%, but about 44% are underemployed, which means they're in a job that didn't demand a degree.

Are those depressing numbers? I didn't think they were that depressing.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Well, getting a job where you're not using your degree, that's understandable because maybe you've got a degree in the history of women's studies courses.

But it's great to get your foot in the door in the industry that you want to be in. And when you graduate, be willing to take the low-paying or even unpaid internship because it's all about making connections there. And it's all about getting on-the-job experience (even if it's not specifically something you're going to do). It's about being in the environment that you want to be in. You might actually discover that you don't really like that industry. I know so many ex-lawyers, it's crazy.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah, that's a really good point.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

But make connections and just find something to do with that company. And if you have not yet graduated, here's a time to think about maybe getting a part-time job while you're still in school at a company that you're interested in.

A friend of mine started working for Patagonia, just in retail. And she's so great (really smart and reliable) that she was offered manager positions, then she also started talking to them about their online presence and doing things for outreach. So she had the connections because she's actually been there. She's not someone just coming off of the street and making a cold call...

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

... calling corporate headquarters.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right. Just a résumé. At that point you're just a résumé.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Right.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

So, in addition to slumming it in your basement apartment with old seventies shag carpet with five roomates, also think about slumming it on the job a little bit. It's not beneath you. It's a good strategic move for job hunters.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

It's easy to think it's beneath you, though, because you just graduated from college where you were top of the heap, and you were just told that you accomplished an amazing thing. Here's this piece of paper. And then you're going to go work at the front desk and you're going to go get coffee, and it's going to suck ... but we all had to do it.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

And we've had amazing people work at the front desk here at The Motley Fool who have worked their way into other departments doing some great things.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah. We have, for example. ... You guys know Adam.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Yeah.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Adam, two years ago, was making guacamole at Whole Foods. Then he came to work here in an entry-level position in office ops, which are the people who like restock paper towels and clean up the counters and stuff like that. And he was so great that he's now in charge of a department in our tech team. So you've just got to get that foot in the door and just like suck it up.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah. We have a colleague who, back in the early days of the Fool, applied for a job here. Didn't get it. And then he said, "OL, I'll tell you what. I'll work for you for a month for free. You don't want to hire me then -- fine. If you want to hire me, pay me for the month and give me the job." And he's been here 17 years now, maybe. Something like that.

Now I've talked to so many sharp people and they say, "I hate when people do that." But give it a try, especially if it's a smaller company.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Just not here at The Motley Fool.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right. Forget it. It won't work here anymore.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Been done. Buck ruined it for everyone. All right, so once you get that miserable, low-paying job, Robert, what's next?

Tip 6: Take advantage of company benefits -- right away

ROBERT BROKAMP:

So then the next thing to do is take advantage of all the benefits. The rule of thumb, generally speaking, is when a company hires someone, they've got to pay you salary. And then they're paying at least half that for your benefits (your healthcare, your 401(k), all the other things). So if you're not taking advantage of those, you're missing out on what they would like to pay you.

So me being the guy who writes a retirement newsletter, the first thing I, of course, will point to is the 401(k) at your job. As soon as you start working, you can contribute to that. You want to do it as soon as possible. I have a little math for you here.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Bring it.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

All right. So my research indicated $48,000 as a starting salary. Let's say you are 22. You save 10% into your 401(k). You make 8% a year in returns. By the time you're 67, you have $3.7 million.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Who's the boss now?

ROBERT BROKAMP:

If you put that off for 10 years -- so you don't start saving until your 32 -- now you've dropped to just $2.1 million.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Who's middle management now?

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Wa wah!

ROBERT BROKAMP:

That's right. So the sooner you do it, the better. Now I think it is fine for those first few years to do all these other things we're talking about (the no-paid internship or teaching overseas), but by the time you're 32, you've got to start buckling down, at least when it comes to your retirement savings. Because if you wait until you're 40, you're going to have to save like 25-30% of your compensation if you want to retire in your 60s.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

So we've established that at age 26 ... start growing up, man. Get a real job. And no more overseas free travel for you.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Age 32 -- you've really got to start growing up.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

We're serious, now. What's your piece of advice, though, for people who are like, "Well, I can pay down my student loans or I can contribute to my 401(k)?"

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Great question. Certainly if there is a match to the 401(k), I think you should participate at least up to that point. That means you put money in and then your employer puts in money, as well. There are tax benefits to a 401(k) that are also going to basically lower the overall cost of you saving, so if you're putting in $3,000 on an after-tax basis, you're only cutting your salary by $2,000 or a little bit over that. It depends on the interest rate, too.

Some of those school loans are at 3.5% or 4%. That's pretty low and it's tax-deductible for most students. If you're getting to the point where they're 7-9% (and you can see that on some private loans) then paying that off might be your better bet.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah, Dayana and I were speaking in front of a women's group. What did she ask? She had a student loan with an interest rate of like 10%. Dayana looked like the girl smacked her in the face. She was like, "Did I mishear you?"

DAYANA YOCHIM:

"What? Who lent...? What?" But it makes answering that question -- should I invest or pay down debt? -- difficult. Usually when we've talked about good debt versus bad debt, bad debt is high interest rates like credit cards and good debt is lower interest rates and things that appreciate in value or have gotten you something that is going to help you improve your human capital to earn more in the future.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Right.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

And when we're talking about student loans with a 10% interest rate and a credit card with 11% -- oh my gosh.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Good luck out there. We're rooting for you. All right, let's move on. Now that you've got your job, and you're contributing, and you're acting like an adult, the next very adult thing we want you to do is to...

Tip 7: Use credit, don't abuse it

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Establish some credit.

Here's the idea. You've graduated. You've gotten a job. You can show earned income. You should get a credit card in your own name. And don't necessarily go for the best rewards card out there, or the one with the wingdings and bells and whistles. Those might cost you. You might have to pay an annual fee. But also, those kinds of incentives tend to encourage people to use their cards more.

I always say credit cards are a lot like poker chips. They don't really represent cash to people the way their minds handle it. They're not seeing their capital disappear every time they whip it out, so you tend to spend more on it mindlessly.

Get a credit card. Use it regularly. Pay it off every single month. That will give the credit reporting agencies some good news to report about you.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah, because the sooner you establish credit history -- and good credit history...the better your score is going to be. And then by the time you're ready to buy a house when you're what? Thirty-two? Is that what we decided? When you're a grown-up.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

That's a good age to be grown-up.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

At twenty-six you stop binge drinking. At 32 you've got the house and your own wine fridge at this point.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

[Laughs]

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Oh, it's funny because it's true. All right. So you guys have given us some pieces of advice, and I actually have one piece of advice I want to share.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Please do.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I think it's a really good piece of advice. And that piece of advice is to not be a jerk. And the reason why...

Tip 8: Don't be a jerk

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I wish someone had told me that one earlier.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

I know. Well, I'm here to tell you now. The reason why is because when they say "it's not about what you know. It's about who you know," it's so true ... and it is so important that you have a network of people that are supportive, and awesome and that you have not annoyed, because they are going to help you immensely. It's actually how I got the job here at The Motley Fool, because, here's a little story. I'm going to take you into the way-back machine.

I was working someplace else, and every day I would walk past The Motley Fool sign on the building to the Metro and I would schlep into D.C. and go work somewhere. And I would think, "Man, wouldn't it be awesome to work there," because I knew about the company from being younger since I was a kid, and obviously I would not have to schlep on the Metro to get there.

And so one day, while I'm at my job in D.C., I go to do an interview at NPR and who should I run into but my old neighbor, Dayana Yochim. I don't think we knew each other very well.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

No. You had moved out of the building pretty soon after I had moved in.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah. I don't think I knew you worked at The Motley Fool either until we were at that NPR interview. But I emailed her later and I was like, "Hey. Do you guys ever hire people who do PR"? And she said, "No, but why don't you come in and we'll talk." And we did.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Yup.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

And because I knew Dayana, I was able to get this job.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

And, when I moved in that apartment building, Alison left home-baked cookies for me on my door, welcoming me to the neighborhood.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

That's right. I did.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

That's nice.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

It was! If I hadn't left those cookies, I probably wouldn't have left an impression on you and I wouldn't have gotten this job, and I wouldn't be sitting here today with you guys. So it's important to remember to...

ROBERT BROKAMP:

... make cookies.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Be nice to everyone, because you also never know who's going to get some awesome job at some other company that's going to help you leapfrog someplace else.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah. A nice little line I read somewhere (and I don't remember where) but it definitely is "your career depends on your affability as well as your ability." Getting along with people, being nice, being courteous, being the type of person that people want to be around is very important.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Be the type of person that you'd want to work with.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Yeah. Take a shower and that type of stuff.

Bonus tips!: Learn from our regrets

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

All right. Well do you guys have one last piece of advice -- not money-related -- that you would give yourself? Like if you could write an email to Robert Brokamp when you were 22? What would you write in that email to your younger self?

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I think I would have done more of the fun stuff that I wanted to, but I was kind of chicken. I played guitar a little bit, but I never felt comfortable being in a band, or going with a group of people, and saying, "Hey, I can play guitar." Also I was English/premed in college. I think if I were to do it all over again, I'd be drama/premed and I would have been more into theater.

I've been to a few musicals over the last several years, and I'm think, "You know what? I wish I would have given that a try."

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

It's not too late.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

It's the kids thing again. I mean, maybe when the kids leave the house, then I'll ... I don't know what.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Have fun again?

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I guess.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Maybe you should establish a circus troupe.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

The Brokamp Family Circus. Your daughter's already amazing in gymnastics.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Well thank you very much. Yeah. We see Cirque du Soleil in her future, for sure. It's pretty cool, yeah. Anyways.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

The last course I took in college -- I think I was three credits shy from getting my journalism degree -- and it could be any class out there. I ended up taking metalsmithing, because I'd done nothing in the arts, yet I come from a family of artists and musicians...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah, you do.

DAYANA YOCHIM:

I'd played music all my life, but the last course was metalsmithing, and it was funny because I thought, "When am I ever going to use this?" I really enjoyed it and I regretted not exploring those kinds of classes before then.

But it's funny. It did come in handy (not the hands-on part of it). But my second job out of school was writing for a fine jewelry magazine, which also gave me all of that world travel that I had missed out on when I was younger. So I hit the home run there.

But having had that experience with metalsmithing and jewelry making made me better at my job. I could actually have conversations with designers and manufacturers more in-depth than had I just relied on my journalism degree. But I still regret not doing more of the fun, artsy stuff.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Is it just because of who we are that when we look back, we regret the fun stuff we didn't do? Is that because of our natures?

DAYANA YOCHIM:

Of course everybody regrets the fun stuff.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

But not necessarily.

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

But I sense that there are some people who are like, "Man, I had way too much fun in college."

DAYANA YOCHIM:

"I wish I had had more heartbreak."

ROBERT BROKAMP:

But we're relatively financially responsible people. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there. "Oh man, I wish I had saved for retirement earlier. I wish I didn't go into so much debt," or things like that. So I think there are people who probably say, "I wish I were more responsible."

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Yeah. We should just like go take a day off, and we'll all go slack off and do what we want to do. You can go do a metalworking class...

ROBERT BROKAMP:

I'll join the circus...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

And I'll go to Japan just to start.

ROBERT BROKAMP:

Just for a day...

ALISON SOUTHWICK:

Just for a day. Try to teach them English.

Well, that's the show, folks. It's edited by Rick Engdahl. Theme music is composed and performed by Dayana. Our email is Answers@Fool.com. Let us know what pieces of advice you'd give your younger self, because it's probably going to be interesting. Also don't forget to rate us on iTunes and Stitcher because we really love that, because we love you and hopefully you love us. For Robert Brokamp and Dayana Yochim, I'm Alison Southwick. Fool on!

[End]

John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Alison Southwick owns shares of Whole Foods Market. Dayana Yochim has no position in any stocks mentioned. Robert Brokamp, CFP has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.