Wednesday, May 20, 2009
All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in My Last Weeks of College
To be quite honest, I've been avoiding reality for awhile. As anyone can see, I have not posted since the end of April. It is now getting close to the end of May. Most everything in my life got pushed to the side for the sake of savoring every last second of a once in a lifetime experience known as "college." Nobody could be more surprised by how much they enjoyed college than I. Mostly because going into these four years, I thought of it as a limbo period between your youth and the real world. An almost waste of four years if you will. For this reason I decided to start out at Loyola University Chicago to at least be near that big and bustling real world out there. While I would never trade in my freshman year for anything, a little over a semester into it I started realizing something was missing. Maybe it was the Greek life, possibly the big football games, perhaps just the college town atmosphere, but whatever it was I could not find it at Loyola. So even after a five hour long car ride of tears home from the big city, I made the transfer to Mizzou - a place I tried with all my might to avoid in my college search process.
It would be impossible for me to put into words the laughter, tears, excitement, adventures, and importance of my three years at Mizzou. And through it all I never realized just how much I should have been appreciating all of these anecdotes until my last few weeks of college. I suppose just as you would in a race, you start seeing that finish line and then make the most of every stride you take. Those last few weeks were, hands down, the best days of my life and taught me everything I need to know before I enter the real world.
1. RSVP- We're all invited to many things in our lives from big affairs such as weddings and galas to smaller things such as a dinner date with friends. We should never forget the thought that goes into any invite, and respond regardless of our choice because it does actually matter. And even though many things may not appear like something we would want to partake in, if we have the availability there is no reason not to go and possibly learn something or meet someone new. This is how we become more well rounded.
2. Drink to the Day, Don't Let the Day Drink You - No matter if you enjoy a martini or a nice glass of lemonade to relax to, remember that it's only the good stuff that's worth celebrating. Often we use our baggage, faults, and mistakes be reasons to escape. The truth is we can't escape from ourselves and our lives. It's the only life we have. So as many fallbacks and coulda woulda shouldas as we may have, we have just as many things to smile and toast to.
3. Groove Is in the Heart - When I was just a young teenager and online personality quizzes were all the rage, it was assessed that "Groove Is in the Heart" was my theme song. I never knew how much this was true until I was older and I was faced with the harsh cold reality that my dance moves were no where close to the caliber of my peers. Instead of embracing my unique interpretation of dance, I usually took to the sidelines and threw out the line "I just really cannot dance." I missed out on a lot of fun because while I may not be a Britney Spears, neither is anyone else. Dance to the beat of your own drum - it's there for a reason.
4. Always Follow Your Sense of Wonder - Everyone always knows they should keep their sense of childlike wonder, but few know to follow that sense. The thoughts, ideas, and dreams we hold in our daydreams shouldn't just be that because otherwise what fun would life be at all?
5. Just Keep Going, Just Keep Going- There are a lot of ways to move, but the only direction that will get you somewhere is forward. Whatever happened yesterday has already happened, so moving backwards will only make you behind. Moving to every side of the spectrum is nice, but will only make you stuck. Accepting your decisions of the past and future will give you a great and confident leap forward.
6. Remember the Little People - In the end you will do it on your own, yes. Every person is created from the help of a lot of other people though-your friends and family. No one person can survive without them.
7. Real as We'll Ever Be - My whole four years I was always preparing for this supposed "real world." I realized recently how disappointing this term is. What was I living in before then? We're all real people dealing with very real problems and experiencing real joys. Therefore, I don't see how there can be this real world we somehow leap into just because we take a job or reach a certain age. So perhaps we should carry on just as we always have, instead of shielding ourselves from this force of evil others refer to as "reality."
It still has not fully hit me that the days of lunch hour gossip and nights of picking the perfect outfit, just to wake up with late night food stains, are over. Maybe, if I'm lucky it never will either. Because through all of these post-formative years I have made some of the best friends who each gave me a wonderful package of memories to take home. Where ever we go and whatever we do, I know all of us will always keep a little part of that college girl at heart, and be ready for a toast to bring her out again in our pages to come.