I’ve been an associate at Techstars’ Kaplan EdTech Accelerator for three weeks, and I’ve never loved a job more. (The super serious photo of most team members above may give you a hint why.)

You could say I’m a little unusual for the position. I’m still in college and don’t know a thing about business. But I do know a bit about education, communication, and startups. And just like everyone else who’s part of this program, I’m learning so much every day it’s hard to absorb it all.

In an effort to at least begin the absorption process, here are my 10 top realizations about life in a startup accelerator. Listen up if you’re thinking about starting a company, no matter how old you are.

  1. Everything in business is communicated through acronyms: API, KPI, UI, UX, SEO, SEM, you name it. TLA’s, amirite?

  2. If you don’t know what an acronym (or anything else) means, speak up. There’s no reason to fake it till you make it. We all learn by asking questions, so ASK!

  3. People starting companies are better at accepting criticism than anyone I’ve ever met. In fact, they’re actually hungry for it, which is refreshing and disconcerting.

  4. The people running startups are not of this earth: they don’t sleep, they don’t get paid, and they move to strange cities not only in spite of these things, but to embrace them.

  5. Successful people are incredibly generous and enthusiastic about helping other people achieve success in the ways they did.

  6. This one’s crucial: It is nearly always better to apologize and ask forgiveness than to ask permission. So just do it.

  7. Donut holes are the key to happiness for all.

  8. People love being asked questions about their ideas and their products.

  9. The Foursquares & Tumblrs of today are the tech startups of yesterday. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but every entrepreneur started out with a very blank canvas. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow and all that.

  10. Techstars Accelerators accelerate everything. Success, failure, friendship, falling-outs, and most definitely my desire to get in on the action myself.

Techstars Boston Demo Day from 2012. Looking forward to ours on September 11th!