I Don't Miss College
I don’t miss college.
And I thought I would. I really, really thought I would.
I began reluctantly counting down the days to college graduation well before Belmont had even announced a graduation date for December 2014. “Oh no, 365 days until I graduate! Oh shoot, 6.7 months until all is lost!” My final semester of Belmontonian life was characterized by those what-the-eff, head-spinning moments of realization that my time - not just in college, but within the education system that I’d been revolving my entire life around for the past 22 years - was coming to a close. A scary, who-knows-what’s-out-there, slam-the-door, no-going-back close.
It’s been almost four months since I graduated, and I can confidently claim I don’t miss college.
I was under the impression that college was “the best years of my life” and all remaining years thereafter were a haze of settled, uninterrupted routine – a job in a cubicle begrudgingly working 9 - 5 every day, eventually marriage, the blessing slash curse that is offspring, spending the following 18 years raising said kids, having said kids move back home because they majored in the liberal arts and now can’t find a job, retiring with a decent 401(k), maybe taking one of those riverboat cruises around Europe that retired couples take and then finally dying (surrounded by my loved ones and with an aged-yet-still-talented Harry Styles singing me into heaven). To me, life after graduation seemed rather dull. To me, life after graduation meant the best years of my life were over. Done. C’est finit!
I was wrong.
You know what constitutes the best years of your life? It’s choosing work that fulfills you, crafting a career path that forms to your passions, your purpose and your priorities. It’s meeting new people, making new friends and deepening your own self-awareness. It’s spending your time how you want to spend it, pursuing the projects and the adventures that your heart yearns for.
It’s buying a plane ticket to England for two weeks because why not. It’s sitting in a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning writing a blog post because right now, my schedule is flexible enough to allow me to sit in a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning writing a blog post. It’s eating noodles multiple nights a week because money is tight, but that’s okay, because the current freedom I have to travel and work toward the career that I really want outweighs the fact that my bank account is laughingly low.
College as the best years of our lives? Hardly. The best years of our lives are just getting started.