I Hope College Isn't the Best Years of Our Life

They constantly tell us college is the best years of our life. They say these are the years that we will long for once they have come and gone. They claim our college years will contain our most fond memories; memories that we will one day be bragging about at lunch when we are 40-something and married with kids.

These golden 4 years of our young adult lives is when we get the “ultimate college experience.” These are the years where we first get the taste of freedom, party like there’s no tomorrow, have a coffee induced all nighter at the library, expand our horizons with mind blowing knowledge, meet our ride or die friends, experiment with new unchartered territories, find out the person we are and the person we want to be. 

They tell us college is and will always be the best years of our life, but I hope they are wrong. For if college is the best years of our life, then what more do we have to look forward to? By constantly living up to this mantra that has been drilled into our heads, we will not be making the next 50 or more years of our life any better. College is some of the best years of our life, but not the only best years. Truly, we are just getting started.

I hope life continues to be just as exciting once we graduate. I hope this isn’t the height of our intellectual capacity, but rather a signal of our brains potential. I hope we have more nights of fun where we can loosen up and maybe wake up with a slight hangover because we obviously did not “just have one drink” (but to clarify, don’t be that old women getting white girl wasted as she tries to relive her glory days). I hope our group of friends who are the best of the best keeps expanding day by day. I hope we don’t lose the spontaneity of adventuring far and wide to discover someplace totally unlike where we’ve been. I hope we constantly try new things and step out of our comfort zones in order to spice things up a bit. And though we never want to have another study all nighter once we leave this campus, I hope we can say those nights when coffee flowed through our veins and we suffered from sleep deprivation were well worth it in the end.

In order to stay at this pinnacle of best years, we must hold on to our college mentality that makes life so unforgettable. Being a college student is so exciting because we are fearless, growing, spontaneous, energetic, determined, opportunistic, and unfathomably ourselves in all ways possible. We need to adapt our college vitality to our life once we step into the real world.

As we wave goodbye to the academic institution we’ve called home for the last 4 years and grasp that diploma in our hands, we will undoubtedly feel nothing but gratitude for the good times we had while there. Without them we would surely not be where we are today, for it will end up, without question, that each one of us finds ourselves amidst the twists and turns of our college life.  

But don’t hold fast to the idea that this is as good as its going to get, for there is so much waiting out there for you to live in once you step outside of the Cistern as no longer a student, but an alumni.

Look back at college as those defining days that prepared you for a lifetime of other best days. Whether you have way more to go or are nearing the final stretch, relish all the experiences you have left in college and then keep on relishing more experiences once you’re done.

Ultimately, I hope in the future when we reminisce those college glory days and feel a tinge of “Man, life was better back then,” we remember that the person we were then is still here. Those moments and feelings that you had in college are ceaseless as long as you never allow yourself to believe that your best years are solely in the past.

Always keep your thirst for knowledge, your wild ways, and your go-getter-attitude. Strive to make each year incomparable to the other. And never let yourself settle on the idea that college is the best years of your life.