I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but unless you’re still in your heyday college years, it’s all downhill from here. It’s no longer acceptable to stay up until 3:00 a.m. chatting with friends, partaking in Thirsty Thursday rituals or painting your chest a sea of colors on game day. These days are gone. The freedom and ridiculousness of your college years have passed.
Any blunders you make now cannot be waved off with a simple, “She’s in college, let it go.”
Instead, you must watch your every move.
Better make sure your devious Uncle Fred hasn’t posted a picture of you on Facebook with a beer in your hand from last week’s family BBQ. Even worse, you’d hate to be caught actually SMILING in the photo. A smile implies enjoyment, and now that you’re officially an adult, you can no longer have fun.
Sudden fits of laughter, excessively teethy smiles and other such symbols of merriment are confined to the naive and carefree youth of the world.
You do not fall in that category.
You must come to terms with reality: the best years of your life have gone by. Every 10 years or so you have an opportunity to re-live a few of those moments at reunions. But you and your friends mostly just talk about your past daredevil adventures, rather than try to match them. Instead of 2-story beer bong races, you’re racing (or at least speedily walking) to the nearest bathroom.
This is just part of life, right?
After all, when you were in college, didn’t older, wiser folks tell you to “enjoy this time, it’s the best time of your life?” I certainly heard it. At the time, I relished those words. I, like most others my age, believed I needed to live life to the fullest while I still had the opportunity.
I was determined to make those years pretty darn good. On top of studying, I attended nearly every home football game, dressed up for some of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the nation and spent an entire semester eating endless amounts of gelato in Italy.
At the time, it certainly felt like those were the best years of my life.
But, unfortunately, four years goes by quicker than one might imagine. Before I knew it, I had moved into my own apartment, started my own “grown-up” job and fell into a routine. It was, by most, seen as the “adult” thing to do.
Yet, three years later I simply couldn’t quite accept the notion that I had a pretty bleak future in store. If my best days had occurred during college, then what did I really have to look forward to?
Fortunately, I wasn’t content on believing all of that old time wisdom. I was bound and determined to make my college years just one of MANY unforgettable years of my life. And, I think you can, too.
Despite having more obligations as adults – mortgage payments, mouths to feed and bills to pay – we shouldn’t ever feel that the best of anything is in the past. Sure, life may be less complicated when you’re a 21-year-old college junior, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some incredible memories as a 54-year-old accountant.
I think the secret is to not think in terms of age, but rather in terms of attitude and outlook.
So many people believe young twenty-somethings are given the opportunity to flourish and live life to the fullest because of their age and circumstances. But I believe this line of thinking is wrong. I don’t think it’s the age or situation of young people that makes them act in such a carefree, nonchalant manner, but rather their attitude.
Students are urged to enjoy to enjoy their college years. And, when society gives you permission, you tend to shift your attitude to align with the status quo. The same could be said for older generations. Society expects all of us to show greater maturity as we age.
Ultimately, it’s a shift in attitude that takes place.
But what if you refused to let that happen? What if you decided that you weren’t going to simply let the best years of your life stay with your 21-year-old self? What if you decided that enjoying life and being responsible didn’t have to mutually exclusive?
The best years of your life are gone, unless YOU decide they aren’t.
Tell us how you continue to enjoy life in the comments section below!