Something my father always says is “Youth is wasted on the young." Naturally, as a child, I never understood what he meant by that. I was always dreaming of the future.
In middle school, I wished I were in high school; going to football games, singing in the choir, and getting involved in anything and everything there. In high school, I wished I was an adult, beginning a section of my life that was chalked full of independence and new experiences. I wanted to be in college, taking classes on my future career, making adult connections and starting to work and save money. I was always wishing for a part of my life that I wasn’t ready for yet. I wasn’t worried as much about what I was doing that day, rather what tomorrow could and would bring.
Now, I’m in college and am beginning to understand what my dad’s been trying to say. Being an adult isn’t always what you dream it’ll be: it’s not easy. It’s piles of homework that you work feverishly to get done on time. It’s going to advising appointments and career fairs to make connections with future employers and working to make yourself the most marketable potential employee you can be. It’s moving out on your own; cooking, cleaning and creating a schedule for yourself to get everything you need to get done.
Do I still love college and the life I live right now? Of course. But, no matter how happy I am, I still crave the next segment of my life; that being settling down and having a stable career and a family of my own.
It’s okay to think about the future, we all do it. But I’ve realized that I’m living in the future, and not taking in the present. I’m always thinking ‘what’s next?’ as opposed to ‘what am I doing right now?’ and I need to take a step back and really look at what my life is like at this moment. Because before I know it, I’ll be living that settled life, with my stable career and family of my own, wishing that I could be 19 again and quoting my father saying “Youth is wasted on the young.”
Take in the now and stop wishing for the future all of the time. Whether you’re 16, 26, 56 or any age, try and live life one day at a time and soak in every memory you create.