Is College Really the Best Time of Your Life?

I don’t get why people say that college is the best time of your life. You’re stressed out a lot, you barely sleep, you make little money at your entry level job, and you’re working as hard as you can to get somewhere when you’re older – maybe as an anesthesiologist or statistician or even a teacher – to have an easier time as an adult. How is that even considerably the best time in your life?

Frankly, if this time of my life is the happiest and the “best,” then I’m not exactly sure if I’m going to accept it. I don’t believe that the “best time of my life” can be squished into four or more measly years of self-described pain of working, schooling, and all other balances of life. I’d like to believe that the best times of my life will be after marriage and growing old with the man I love. But nonetheless, everyone has their own descriptions of what “the best” means.

There's much to look forward to. (photo by mikebaird)

There’s much to look forward to. (photo by mikebaird)

Thought Catalog speaks it well when they say:

You are TOLD that your college years WILL BE, UNDER NO UNCERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, your best years, making very little space for anything else to even dare happen. Apparently, if you aren’t crystallizing every opportunity that comes your way, then shame on you. It’s an odd notion, to expect greatness from years that are yet to be.

I feel that I must stress that I am someone who currently, albeit ON THE WHOLE, loves being a student. I am having a pretty swell time. It’s just all the hysteria that gets on my nerves, all of the buildup.

For some people, who will be fortunate enough to reflect on their lives at the grand old age of 80, perhaps yes, college days were indeed the best days of their lives. For others it will be simply be a prelude to greater things, things that will be attained during work, bills, and other words that fill many of us with unfounded agitation. No one pays heed to the idea that one day, while we’re at home working out our finances or planning an outfit for the next day at the office, we may smile inwardly at the sudden realization that we really do like ourselves, and our pleased with how far we’ve come. Maybe we’ll come across doses of self-respect that we could have only dreamed of in freshman year, when that boy said that thing to that other boy about that thing we also didn’t like about our own face.

Trust me – I’m not trying to be self-righteous or stick my nose up in the air – but you don’t have to believe that these are the best years of your life. As you grow up, try to look at the brighter side and realize that you’re limiting yourself if your “best years” are behind you. Everyday is a new day and it’s up to you to make it how you want it to be.

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