There are some things you can learn from a teacher; and there are some things you can only learn from life itself. Intelligence is no substitute for experience, and there are kinds of knowledge you can only "own" if you have acquired them directly. The talented youth must purchase experience with his most valuable asset - time.
The irony of this purchase is poignant on two levels: First, that is he unable to appraise this asset until it is almost gone. Second, that he rarely values what he received in exchange for it - experience.