"The Best Years" Aren't Real And Here's Why

"The Best Years" Aren't Real And Here's Why

To be told that any group of years in your life should be the best few years of your life is kind of a let down.
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To be told that any group of years in your life should be the best few years of your life is kind of a let down.

This isn't to say you shouldn't enjoy as much as you can, but it discredits years ahead that could be filled with far better things.

Like high school.

Honestly, high school was somewhat lacking. Maybe I was in that phase that a lot of teenagers get, where no matter where they go, they don't belong. Or just angsty. Either way, high school was not, and never will be the best years of my life. Granted, in some ways, it was definitely easier, but that doesn't make it necessarily good. High school gave almost no homework, even on an AP track, but academically I learned very little. People tend to really suck in high school too, hormones are flying is one excuse, but sometimes people are just really scummy. Other's are trying to learn who they are, and others know who they are and use it to their full advantage. Don't take it to heart, only time will show them who they are and how they got to be who they are.

For example, my hometown is one of those small cities that unless daddy was a big wig or knew someone, chances were you were just a face in the crowd and mostly overlooked. Unless you were in that elite group, you were a one of the masses. This probably happens everywhere, but where I lived it completely ruled the school.

Then there's dating in high school which can be fun, but there's almost always an expiration date on it. Besides that, people change way too much in the few short years of 14-18, and I really would rather not have people remember exactly what I was like in that span of time.

College also shouldn't be the best few years of your life. Any time can be a great time, but realistically think about where you are and what you are doing. Maybe you don't have to pay rent yet, or worry about a job. Maybe you party every weekend and not worry about a thing. But don't sit there and tell yourself, "This is the best time of my life."

You're simply discrediting the times ahead of you. There's more to life than high school football games, there's more to life than winning beer pong. There's groundbreaking research, there's holding your first child, there's getting your first promotion or pay raise. There's buying your first house, or your first apartment and actually living alone with your cat/dog/guinea pig.

However, adulthood is not monolithic, and not everyone experiences it the same way. Experience what you want, how you want. Don't let someone tell you in what order the "best years of your life" should be in, or if you should even have those alleged "best years."

Study broadly. Don't narrow life choices because there's one thing that you think you'll want to do forever, do everything you can. Do things you probably can't. But don't let time fly by without acting on it, especially if you're willing to label it "the best years of your life."


Cover Image Credit: Sonja Jordan

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.

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I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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