"You're just a kid, you don't have the faintest idea what you're talkin' about."
– Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
"When I was 18, I thought my father was an idiot. By 21, it was amazing what the old man had learned in three years." – Anonymous
I'm going to tell you something that seems very hurtful, but which is for your own good:
You're a moron. So is pretty much everyone your age. It's OK, I was also a moron. I still am at 34, in ways I am aware of and not. What’s worse, you and all your friends are steeped in a culture that venerates young morons as the great geniuses of the age and holds "older folks" in contempt as yesterday's news.
You think that access to tons of information on the internet makes you wiser than the previous generation; you are dead wrong. There is a human wisdom born of personal, physical, and emotional experience which cannot be replaced even by consuming every library on earth. And constantly turning to people your age for advice is like the blind leading the blind off a cliff.
Older generations of men, the ones before the 1960s, knew better. Every human culture you can think of respected not just knowledge but human experience; it was not for nothing that the elderly were respected and often trusted more in positions of leadership. Moreover, the tradition of older men showing young people the ropes goes back as far as humanity has existed.
Why? Because the young are and always have been the overenthusiastic greenhorns who think they know everything and want to "think out of the box" and "break the rules." They're the new recruit to the army who thinks he can charge a machine-gun nest single-handedly with his bare hands.
Previous generations understood that such a greenhorn needs a wizened master sergeant or officer who's seen a thing or two in his life (and who was once an overenthusiastic moron himself) to temper that greenhorn, teach him what the box looks like and what the rules are and why they exist, and help turn callow youths into confident, mature, and effective men.
Your friends who are addicted to youth culture may be hopeless. You are not. If you wish to improve and have a better, more fulfilling, and purposeful life, you need to seek out older male mentors to help get you there. Yes, male mentors. Just as daughters often need female mentors to teach them to become a woman, the same is true of you and men.
Ideally, your first port of call should be your dad. Unless he's an SOB who's abusive or neglectful or what-have-you, even an "average" father can be a boon for giving advice, a source of pride and encouragement, and just someone whom you naturally gravitate towards and trust to discuss "guy issues." Yes, you think he "doesn't get it" now, but in all likelihood you'll eventually realize he's smarter than you think.
But there are plenty of other sources of male mentorship out there, if you only look for them. Even the west's female-dominated education system tends to have some men on hand, even if only as handymen or gym teachers. I've heard of how both often serve as mentors for kids in school. That's to say nothing of the army, university (professors really do love helping those who want their advice and instruction; I know, I'm the son of an academic), and all sorts of clubs.
I say mentors in the plural form because I don't think it healthy to become too dependent on any one person for inspiration or instruction. This can often lead to hero worship bordering on the pathological, which paradoxically may leave you as immature and childish as before. Even if only one or two people "really" teach you most of what you know, have a varied toolbox of people you learn from. Ideally, you will outgrow mentors at least partially, and always seek out others to grow even more.
You have a choice: deliberately remain a clueless kid, or learn to become a confident, mature man—from men who've already taken the journey. Choose wisely.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.