As a second semester freshman in college, I am still in the process of integrating myself into the college lifestyle after graduating high school.
Last month while at home during winter break, I started seeing a lot of people post on social media about a problem I didn’t see anything wrong with—truly enjoying your high school years.
“If you actually enjoyed high school, you peaked in it.”
“Half of y’all peaked in high school.”
“The only people who enjoyed high school were the ones who peaked in it.”
I am not invalidating the fact that some people–a lot of people, actually–had an awful time in high school. And I am also not throwing out the idea that there are people who stand solely behind their image and reputation from high school, well after graduation.
My personal high school experience wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but it wasn’t a total representation of hell either.
I loved my high school years because I recognize that I am never going to have an experience like that again. Those four years were completely unique in and of themselves, regardless of the hardships and toil.
The next thing I’m about to say is going to sound extremely cliché, but it’s true. With the evolution of social media, it becomes so easy for us to assume that life is supposed to be picturesque and free from struggles because we are influenced by the images and profiles we see online. We focus on the negative aspects, or the parts that are not going right, which therefore detracts us from enjoying the unique life experiences that we have in the moment.
Each stage of your life only happens once, and I think there is incredible power in recognizing that. I don’t think that you have to truly enjoy only the peak moments in life, because following this belief, it becomes easy to live a life constantly disregarding experiences and waiting for “something better.”
Your whole life could pass you away and you would still be waiting for that “something better.” Instead, stop waiting for your “peak” and see your entire life as something to celebrate. And your initial response to this might be, “That’s insensitive, there are people who struggle with mental health, you can’t just say that.” My response will be, “I am one of those people that has gone through that.”
I’m not suggesting that there won’t be bad days. What I’m saying is, no matter how bad things can be at one point, you will always look back in your future years at your present self. And your perspective can decide whether that be dwelling on things that could have been or reminiscing about things that did happen.
Seeing each moment of your life as something unique in and of itself and treasuring how life can change so much between each stage, is the first step to creating a life that you love.