We've heard it all before. High school is the worst, you don't have any freedom. Adulthood is so boring, no one wants to grow up. I can guarantee every single person who reads this has had someone tell them that college will be the best four years of their life and that you should never wish it away because it won't get any better than this.
I promise you, those people are completely wrong.
The idea that college is supposed to be the greatest time in someone's life has brainwashed millions of kids into rushing through high school, forgetting to cherish some of the purest moments in their life. As a freshman in college, I can guarantee you that the people who said high school was a terrible experience just did not have the right group of friends. There are days when I wake up and would give anything to sit in a basement with my best friends on a Saturday night after a dance and laugh or skip a whole day of school just to bake hundreds of Christmas cookies. If you do it right, every day is a new memory worth cherishing.
Adulthood is scary and maybe not as fun as skipping school or going to a party every weekend, but no one said it had to be miserable. What is wrong with pursuing a career you worked to earn a degree in for four years? What doesn't seem exciting about having a family and a group of friends to constantly bond with? Somehow everyone gets the notion that once you graduate, life is only about work, death, and taxes. It is so much more than that.
At the end of the day, your happiness is determined by who you surround yourself with. I have met college kids who wake up miserable every day, even when they go to one of the best schools in the nation, simply because they can't make good friends. I've heard stories of school being the worst experience for some people and being the best for others. Some people don't start to thrive until they are officially adults who work and provide for themselves. No matter where you are in your life, it is important to focus on the moment and who is sharing it with you.
Take leaps forward. Choose a ridiculously hard major because you know it will lead you to your dream job. Go on an adventure that doesn't necessarily fit your schedule but you make time for anyway. Find someone who you know you can love forever. Develop a hobby that will never feel like a chore. Establish friends to share these moments with, especially when you need some cheering along the way. The right group of people in your life can make every moment more enjoyable than the last, I speak from experience.
So whoever is reading this article, no matter what stage of life you are in, remember your best days can still be out there. No one said you had to sit around and wish your college years back, and no one said you have to wish them away. As humans, we spend too much time worrying about what is next, neglecting to notice the moment we are letting slip away without a care. Forget about the material aspects or the time, surround yourself with amazing people and make this moment the best moment yet. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."