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Because There’s No Better Time Than the Present

 

The other day I was complaining to my mom about how I’ve been uninspired, and probably very uninspirING, lately. Nothing has really moved me; nothing has really touched me deeply. You know what I’m getting at? No thought-provoking, life-changing, out-of-this-world thoughts had crossed my mind for what felt like an eternity and I was starting to worry that I would become what every person our age fears they will become: NORMAL. I shudder at the mere thought but then I had an epiphany.

To all of the people who complain and gripe about how “twenty-two is so OLD”, please stop talking and keep those thoughts to yourselves. We are barely entering into our prime, for Pete’s sake, let alone approaching any age that is even remotely old! Seriously people, let’s ditch this mentality because it’s nothing but detrimental.

We are so young (I mean, 22 is closer to fifteen than it is to thirty) it’s almost nauseating – we’re about to graduate from an incredible institution and we have the world at our fingertips. Now is the time to experiment with life: we can be totally and completely irresponsible, yet we still get a chance to start over. We can, quite literally, be anything we want to be at this point. Mistakes are okay. In fact, mistakes will shape us into the people we eventually want to become. Maybe I’m being naïve, but I think that if you haven’t made a lot of mistakes and if you’ve spent your life playing by the rules, you’re doing it wrong.

For anyone who knows me, I thrive on spontaneity. I get a weird, almost sick high off of being spontaneous and I actually start to go crazy when I feel like my life has been nothing but mundane for weeks on end. I went skydiving once and I’ve never felt so alive. I love going to new places and meeting new people. I strongly dislike doing the same things day in and day out and lately I’ve been terrified that entering into the “real world” won’t allow me to be the person that I truly am, or the person I truly want to be.

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This is where my epiphany enters the story. We are the creators of our own story. The only person in the driver’s seat of your life is YOU. Not your boss, not your job, not your schoolwork, not your obligations, not anyone; Just you. By that same token, no one can make you do something or make you decide to live your life a certain way: only you have the power to do this. I feel like all too often we blame external factors for taking up too much of our time or for making us tired when in reality we have complete control over everything in our lives. Feel like you’re losing your grip on the reins? Reel them back in. It sounds simple because it IS simple. Life really isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be.

I realize that college is only four years of our lives, and most people say that these four years are the best we will experience. But do you really want your life to have peaked at the mere age of 18, 19, 20, 21, or even 22? I’m guessing (and hoping!) not. If you’ve made the most of your time at this school and during this time of your life, that’s more than all you can do.

These are our years to be irresponsible with relatively little consequences, so take advantage. Do wildly irresponsible things and don’t play by the rules. Make the wrong choice and figure out who you are, but don’t spend too much time trying to figure yourself out. Accept the things that happen to you and remember that you always have a choice. Use the lessons you learn now to live a fabulous life decades down the road. We might get older but we can always be young at heart. The future will come on its own, so why spend too much time thinking about it anyways?

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Alex is a senior at the University of Notre Dame who has a passion for running. If you can't find her training for her next half marathon (or marathon, if she's feeling ambitious), you will probably find her globe trotting, browsing Lululemon's amazing workout clothing collection, or frantically cramming for her next exam. Alex has just recently been getting into meditation and yoga...stay tuned for updates! Namaste, ladies.
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