Some of the best days I ever had were in college (insert shameless plug for the best school ever, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I got an amazing education and an unforgettable college experience all in one!). I was young, naive, blessed with parents who supported me in many ways, and lucky to meet my life-long best friends within my first terrifying week in the freshman dorms.
I know that not everyone who has the opportunity and resources to go to a university has this same positive experience, but in general, going away to college can be like spending a few years in an imaginary world where you get to live with your best friends, ditch class if you just don't feel like "adult-ing" that day, and going to "the library" could either mean going to study for midterms, or going to happy hour...(mom, if you're reading this, it was always going to study).
Of course I may be looking back through slightly rose-colored glasses, and there are definitely a plethora of life-changing challenges and stressors that come crashing down during this time too. Those 4-5 (or more) college years can be extremely trying, in between trying to balance work, classes, the social pyramid, figuring out an identity for yourself, and not completely disconnecting yourself from your family and friends from home (yeah, you may have to force yourself to call your parents back every week and humor them with your latest updates on life, but it's worth it). College is a huge transitional period, and transitions are naturally extremely difficult, and often trigger some pretty deep psychological and mental health issues.
But I think the biggest and most shell-shocking transition for many, starts to kick in that last semester before graduation...when you wake up one morning and look in the mirror at your youthful yet exhausted face, and suddenly realize that you're supposed to know what you're doing with your life after all of this comes to an end!!? All of a sudden, those feelings of security and invincibility begin to fade.
Life after college isn't as glamorous, freeing, and fun as it may seem...and that can be a very rude awakening. The "entry level jobs" you're qualified for all seem to require 5 years of experience or a masters degree...and you may not get the job you really want for a very long time...or even know what job you want in the first place...and when you do start working - you'll get tired of the day in and day out of the "average adult day" real quick.
Whether a college student/grad or not, we've all experienced this daunting and terrifying question of .... Now what??? during some transitional point in life - because life is full of them.
Change is scary, but the best part about change is that it usually includes having some sort of choice. And the choice here has to do with deciding what your life is going to be...
I beg any college student or recent grad to watch this video, and pay special attention to the words, because I wish that I had heard this speech on my graduation day....But I also encourage anyone under the sun to watch and listen, as it provides a refreshing look on perspective, awareness, and the human choice we have to decide how we are going to think, see, and experience the world...and that, my friends, is true freedom.