The Best Four Years of Your Life
This past weekend, one of my sister's friends asked me, "So, was college the best four years of your life?". With zero hesitation, I responded, "No.".
Now don't get me wrong. I LOVED college. I love Indiana University, I love the friends that I made there, and I wouldn't trade my experiences throughout those four years for just about anything. And like most college seniors, I thought, "How does it get any better than this?". Well, here's a little surprise, college kiddos. It does get better than "this".
I went on to explain to my sister's friend that each stage of life comes at the right time. Each part of your life is great in its own way, and if you're open to seeing that, college won't be four years that you wish you were living everyday for the rest of your life.
Graduating college was bittersweet, and if I'm being completely honest, I HATED the first 6 months of life in the real world. I was certainly not a fan of my job, and even though I stayed in Indiana, it was hard to make friends. Whether you realize it or not, college is like a bubble. It's a built in social circle. The real world doesn't provide that for you. Once you get over that hump, though, and find your friends out in the real world, it's great. It's like college with money and without the schoolwork, and what's not to like about that?
Obviously, the real world comes with more responsibility, but with that comes more opportunity and in some ways more freedom. You want to live in Europe for a few years? Great, pack your bags and go for it. It's not like you're going to miss class. Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to make oodles of money? You can do that. Your college education has provided you with the tools to do these things, and if you want them badly enough, you'll make them happen. Whatever your passion, goal, or life's desire is, there's nothing holding you back from it in the real world. Your fate is in your hands.
I've officially been a member of the real world for almost four years now, and while it's been different than college, it's been just as wonderful in its own way. And what's even better is that I know there are incredible things to look forward to in the future that will be even more amazing than anything I've experienced thus far. I haven't even gotten married or had babies, and as far as I'm concerned these are probably two of life's greatest joys.
Lastly, have an open mind, a positive attitude, and welcome each stage of your life with open arms. It's easy to dwell on the past and wish you were still there. If you continuously do this, you're never going to be happy. Reminiscing is one thing, but be sure to be happy with where you're at presently. Live in the moment. Enjoy where you're at in life. Don't live in the past, and don't yearn for the future. Happiness is about enjoying where you are at this very moment, taking it all in, and appreciating every single moment you have. When I get to the end of my life, I don't want to be able to look back and pick out the four best years. I want them all to be so incredible and full of life that it's impossible to choose the best ones.
Sorry for the novel today, but I felt each word was necessary. Good luck and congrats to you, graduates of 2012! Your future is bright.