Why College Isn't Meant To Be The "Happiest" Time Of Your Life

Why College Isn't Meant To Be The "Happiest" Time Of Your Life

... because that will come much later on.
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If you are a college student, you know all too well how valuable time is. Whether you are planning on staying in school for two years, four years, or much longer, a college experience is one that comes about only once in a lifetime.

Before you get a taste of this experience, others probably told you that college “would be the best years of your life,” and they weren’t wrong. College, and all that it entails, is going to be something you remember forever. The places you go, the people you meet, and the things you get involved in are irreplaceable, however, this does not mean that it will necessarily be the “happiest” time of your life.

College is a time of fun and games, but also a time of stress and uncertainty. Each and every day can be a new challenge for some people. As a freshman, the adjustment of living from your safe-haven house from home to your own little dorm room with a stranger can be a scary and nerve-racking process. Odds are you don’t know anyone, don’t know your way around, and are stressed with classes and homework on top of this. The following years come with even more unpredictability. The responsibilities pile up as you move from the dorms to a house and, all of a sudden, you are in charge of paying bills, doing laundry, cleaning everything, and maintaining a social life. Throughout all of this, the hunt for jobs and internships become fierce and competitive, while you also have to stay on top of your newly hard classes and projects. The overwhelming nature of college is one that is frightening, but that should not stop you from attending such a marvelous and sensational place because college is when and where you make your very own home away from home.

Through the stress and the tears and the all-nighters of schoolwork, you become who you are. You learn your boundaries, and then adjust them when you are ready to grow. You take risks that you never would have before. Whether that be going out for a club you always wanted to be a part of, or asking that boy or girl you have a crush on out for a date. It is an emotional roller coaster that has its fair share of ups and downs, but is something you should stand in line in and experience because it is one hell of a ride. The inconsistency and variability of life is not something to back down from, but to take advantage of. There will never be a time again where you can encounter all of your potential at the tips of your fingers.

College isn’t meant to be “happy.” College is meant to be exciting, scary, risk-filled, and mistake loaded. It is meant to be unstable and rapidly altering. So, if you are struggling, or something seems out of place, remember there will come a time in your life where stability and happiness triumphs all. Until then, know that college is meant to be terrifyingly beautiful. Accept it, embrace it, and thrive in it; you will never get the chance to do so again.

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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