Now that I'm finally settling in from a whirlwind August, I'm excited to return to you - vast blogging world!
It didn't take long to notice that while I was away, other people were settling into Ann Arbor. I refer to them as the "kids," although I take full responsibility that that isn't polite. That word would make my teenage self cringe.  Now, I sit in traffic in a college town, waiting for the Uhaul trucks to move out of the way so us adults can get home to our dogs and be in bed before 11 pm. I see parents walking their children around campus, each having an obvious nervousness but for different reasons, and somehow that feeling resonates so well that I return to that day of moving in.

You see, I was 100% the wide-eyed, bushy tailed young adult who couldn't wait to escape a small town and discover the big world: COLLEGE!
The memory of waving goodbye to my parents on the front steps of my college dorm is etched so vividly into my mind. My every thought mimicked a teenage girl who simply couldn't wait to be an adult (you know, the kind of adult that lives in gross college dorms, eats pizza, and pulls all-nights for exams)

I read an article the other day that talked about what the author would tell "kids" scurrying off to college this Fall. Then, serendipitously, I might add, Brad Paisley blew through my speakers with "Letter to Me," while I waited in a line of traffic as curious souls trampled through the intersections like they already own this joint.
I was left thinking, "What would I tell them?"


It would go something like this:



Dear College Student, 

This may sting a bit at first, but I promise it will get better.

Here's the truth: People will lie to you. 

That's what I want you to hear loud and clear. Because sometime over the next few years, the lines will begin to blur and you'll be left wondering if there is more to life. Good news- there is!

You see, our culture has this sick and twisted way of telling you that you don't experience college unless you drink a ridiculous amount, define yourself by your sexual partners and have multiple  facebook pictures of yourself dancing on top of a table while attempting to bong a beer, a night you're sure to remember. (FYI, pictures don't delete well from the internet. Fair warning.)
And guess what? If you don't have sex, get plastered or pay for a spring break where pictures are your only memories, you certainly haven't experienced college. At least that is what you're told.
But before you go trotting off to the next frat party and believing that's all there is, read on.

Because there is more, SO MUCH MORE to this little bubble you have the privilege of being in. This life experience is sold to you by horribly scripted movies that lessen it to short-lived moments of 'satisfaction,' for lack of a better word. Complete with what are sure to be numerous regrettable moments. Trust me on this, life is so much more than that, so much BETTER than that.

But, again and again you will be told by peers, our culture or Ms.Cyrus herself that this is what life is about.
That this is what is important.
It's a lie.

Here's the truth:
College is ridiculously fun. It's freeing and challenging. You'll make mistakes and learn to pick yourself back up. You'll discover all of these new interests and be able to explore every one. You will learn to be a better friend, work hard, contribute to the world, and make an impact on people's lives. The people who impact you will be far greater, and for that your life will be enriched. I would bet you will have moments of panic, then come to realize that your problems are actually not real problems at all, and life is quite wonderful despite a getting a B. (This happens, just ask my parents!). You get to pursue multiple passions and live in this safe haven called COLLEGE.
All of this stuff, it's important. Your decisions, your imprint, your passions and pursuits, the way you treat people, the friendships you form, the lessons you learn = important.

You see, you have the world at your fingertips. Truly.

So, sweet college student, don't cheapen this privilege you have before you. It's far too good to be wasted (no pun intended.)


With love,

Adult.


P.S. Just because you hit the crosswalk button doesn't mean you can walk immediately. No one wants to run you over, especially not this adult.






2 Comments

  1. Good advice! I would also add a warning to watch out for the guys who want nothing more than sex. Ugh, absolutely hated dating creeps like that

    ReplyDelete

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