I was talking to a good friend last Friday about college and how we cannot wait to get out and go on to bigger things, and she said something that really struck a chord with me. There are two types of people in college, or cities, to continue with the metaphor..
First, you have the people that take, "These are the best years of your life - enjoy them!" quite literally. This mentality often leads people to lead a life that's all *insert university* all the time. AND THAT's OKAY! These people often believe that post-college, everything else could possibly be sub-par to what life is today. There is nothing wrong with this mentality, however, I think it is all about how you set yourself up for the future. If you use these years to have a good time, accomplish things, and line yourself up for whatever your 'dream career' may be, then absolutely, these could be the best years of your life! There is a back side to this card, but life is your decision and you're holding the cards. I may be wrong. Maybe this mentality actually makes life better later because of the experiences you had in college.
Second, you have those of us who believe that college is just a stepping stone, and that it is a way to build on greater things that will happen later. To quote my fiancee's response to her dad using the "these are the best years of your life," line a few years back, she said, "Then that's a sad statement on the rest of my life!!" Granted, I believe this was final exams time, but I feel like life is a set of decisions we all make, and we can choose to do many things with it. I am using college as a way to better my environment while I'm here, and work for the improvement of future opportunities based on what I can accomplish today.
Most people that know me would tell you that these probably won't be the best years of my life because I come across boring. I do a lot of homework, go to a lot of meetings, attend a lot of classes (yes, that has to be said), and am always laying out what needs to be done today, for tomorrow and ten years down the line. I think it's quite the inverse. I do these things, but through the process, I have met some of the best friends I could ask for, gotten involved in great organizations that gave me opportunities to travel to Washington, D.C. (twice), Kansas City (twice), Virginia Beach, Minneapolis (twice), Nashville this February, and hopefully Des Moines in June. Opportunities are endless when you put yourself out there, and it is all for the better good of everyone in the long run. Obviously I live in the second "city."
On a side note, Purdue is amazing, wonderful, and I hope you'll consider it yourself, encourage your siblings, children, etc., to come here. That sounded sarcastic, but if I had not come here, the opportunities I have had would not be the same, and I'm proud to say that I'm a Boilermaker. Purdue Agriculture, above all, is beyond amazing! I will never say enough about the College of Ag! (Yes, our football team is struggling - We know...)
"Whatever you do in life, do it all the way," was a line I was told years ago. I took it to heart, and encourage you to challenge yourself to do the same! You never know where it may lead you.
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College is a lot about people. Some great people for sure!