Last night, I drove past my alma mater on my way home which left me feeling nostalgic about “the best years of my life.” The campus seemed quiet but inevitably the students would wake up to their first day of classes and it would be hustle and bustle until finals end for the semester.
When I was in high school, I remember people saying how much they loved high school and how it was the best years of our lives. Not that I didn’t have a great high school experience, but I couldn’t help but think, panicked and wide-eyed, that high school could not be the pinnacle of my life (though it may be for some people). Everyone from older friends to my parents told me the best was yet to come… COLLEGE! They were right, I had one of the most picturesque college experiences anyone could hope for, as I hope everyone does. By the time college ended, I was sitting at my college graduation (check out that sparkly cap which served more as a reflector on that sunny day), with a dark looming feeling that well.. that was it. Everyone had painted a picture that those four years were going to be the highlight of my life and essentially it would all be downhill from here. As I worked like a crazy lady through grad school, I prioritized my time to give myself some time to have fun, though all my work always came first. And when I graduated with my masters, I found myself reflecting on a rigorous but rewarding two years. Were those the best years of my life?! Why did I keep needing to put that label on a block of time?
The notion that one specific block of time can be the “best years of your life” is limiting. Of course, responsibilities change and the idea of what is “the best” change too. I look back on my college experience fondly and would give my right arm to live in a hallway with all my girlfriends just a door or two away, but I strive to make every year the best year of my life. And you should too! Imagine the success you may find if you tell yourself that this year will be the best one yet. Though this is the first September I’m not going back to school in 19 years (wow), I’m still having a blast. It really does just keep getting better.
I realize this seems like somewhat of a New Year’s Resolution but no need to wait to declare this thought on January 1st of the new year. Why not start now?