8

When something is temporary, but it is beneficial for you, you try to get the most for it and profit from it as much as you can. For instance:

Scenario 1 - We all are well aware that time flies and one would age too faster than what they can believe. So a father asks his son, do his best in his studies, in his job in other to make a better life while he is young.

Which one of the following self-made sentences is the most natural to you? (Actually, I've found only these expressions related to what I'm going to convey, but I would be thankful if you let me know better and more natural choices here.)

  • Try to get the most bang for your age.
  • Try to get the most for your age.

Scenario 2 - Suppose there is a very knowledgeable university professor who is approaching the end of his life. Another professor of that university asks privately the students to learn from him as much as they can because everybody considers him (that knowledgeable professor) a phenomenon of that scientific field and there is only one professor with that grade of the knowledge.

  • Try to get the most bang for him.
  • Try to get the most for him.
  • 1
    "Try to get the most bang for your age/ for him" "Bang" on its own is the wrong idiom here, unless the advice really was that someone should have a lot of sex, or smoke a lot of pot (a mis-spelling of "bhang"). The phrase "Bang for your buck" doesn't have those connotations. – alephzero Aug 27 '16 at 17:50
17

I think you are thinking of this idiom:

bang for your/the buck
value for the money spent; excitement for the money spent; a favorable cost-to-benefit ratio.

I don't think bang for your [noun] works outside of this expression. So your examples that use bang don't work.

Get the most out of could work:

get the most out of someone or something
to achieve the greatest output of work, effort, production, etc., out of someone or something

For scenario 1,

  • Get the most out of your age.
  • Get the most out of your youth.

By themselves, these statements apply broadly to the son's life. In other words, the father is telling the son to have as many (positive) experiences as he can as a young person that he won't be able to have as an older person. The context will imply if the father wants him to focus on school, work, etc. Or the father can be specific and say

  • Get the most out of your studies.
  • Get the most out of work.

On a related note, there is also the idiom

make the most of something
to make something appear as good as possible; to exploit something; to get as much out of something as is possible.

So for scenario 1

  • Make the most of your age.
  • Make the most of your youth.
  • Make the most out of your studies.
  • Make the most out of your work.

For scenario 2, it's possible to say, "Try to get the most out of him." But, I think it sounds a little strange. It sounds like you are trying to get the professor to overexert himself. Instead, you could talk about the professor's class, for example.

  • Try to get the most out of his class.
  • 1
    Agreed on "make the most of". – stangdon Aug 27 '16 at 13:20
14

Make hay while the sun shines.

To act while an opportunity exists; to take action while a situation is favorable.

Example:

I've got a few hours to finish the housework before the kids come home so I might as well make hay while the sun shines.

11

To strike while the iron is hot.

Which means:

To take an advantage of a situation when the time is right.


Example 1:

Alice: I’ve been thinking of going to university, but I’m not sure if now is the right time.

Bob: You’re 18, single and have extra money. You should strike while the iron is hot and go to university now!


Exampe 2:

When the stock market goes down, lots of people try and buy, because it’s a good time to strike while the iron is hot.

Source for both meaning and examples: Idiom Meanings

Secondary source for meaning:

When you have an opportunity to do something, do it before you lose your chance.

Source: The Free Dictionary

2

carpe diem (seize the day)

In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero, which can be translated as "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)". The ode says that the future is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all one can today to make one's future better. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpe_diem

Also:

ride the wave

to be helped by being connected to something attractive or interesting http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ride+a+wave+of

and

jump on the bandwagon

to become involved in an activity that is successful so that you can get the advantages of it yourself http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/jump-climb-get-on-the-bandwagon

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