Because I'm in school at this stage in life, I've developed friendships with people who are the ages of my sons. 18 to 25 year olds (my sons are 18 and 20) who have their entire lives in front of them.
Some of them are irresponsible, lackadasical and carefree.
Some are hard working, have a goal and working toward that goal, but love life, have fun with their friends and enjoy each moment of every day.
Other's are so focused on their futures that they have no time for the here and now.
Each grade, each class, each decision made, on a daily basis, impacts their future. (or so they think).
They spend their days fretting about how they are going to get there, what they are going to do when they get there, what job they will have, where they will do that job, what city they will or will not live in, who they will or will not be married to and how many kids they will or will not have.
They worry about if they will have kids, how they will balance their career with those kids and they worry about choosing a career NOW.
They spend so much time in the future that they are not experiencing life at it's fullest. They are missing out on the joys of early adulthood. They spend most of thier time with the older students like me, asking questions and basing decisions on choices that my peers and I did or did not make. They mistakenly see me as a peer, when in fact, my peers are the non traditional students going back to school in middle age.
Asking for our wisdom ..that's one thing, but balancing their lives on our answers ...seems to me to be a way to miss out on some important experiences.
I so wish that I could tell them ... for this night, put down the books (unless there is a test or a paper due tomorrow) and go to that pool party you were invited to. Go shopping with your girlfriend. Go watch that 4th of July fireworks display. Sit in awe at the meteorshower display with your friends ..while all those whose bodies have long since decided that midnight was too late to be up have gone to bed. Enjoy this moment of your life. It WILL pass too soon and when it is gone, you cannot retrieve it.
You cannot relive it. You cannot have these days back ... they are yours for the grabbing ...so grab them! SEIZE THE DAY!
The time for careers and choices is coming all too soon.
When you're 45 and you're in college and you have no degree ...that clock is truly ticking ...when you're 20 and you're in collge ...do your best ...get the grades, but live this life ... your clock is ticking too ..but not the same clock ... it's a different one .. one of freedom and fun and fearlessness ...
Please .. please put down the goals for tonight and pick up the beach towel ... enjoy yourself while you can. Your career will be there ... I promise you ..tomorrow will be here all too soon and you'll wish these days were here again.