Will college be the best 4 years of your life?

I think a lot of thoughts.  It’s just who I am.  For awhile now I’ve been thinking about college and the severe transition that leaving was.  My thoughts have Optimus Primed into a sort of philosophy.

Have you ever heard someone say, “college is the best 4 years of your life”?  I have.  I’ve heard it a lot and I believe it’s bologna.

First of all, I’ve already proved the “best 4 years of your life” theory wrong because I went to college for 4 1/2 years.  So the timeline is clearly off.  But the length of time is not necessarily important, and it’s not the point that I have an issue with.  Because it turns out that college was the best 4 1/2 years of my life.

…so far.

That’s the big point here…so far.

I can’t wrap my mind around why everyone says that college is the best time of your life.  Sure it makes sense for some people to say it.  For the purposes of this discussion people fall into one of three categories: they haven’t gone to college yet; they are in college; or they’ve graduated.  If you’re not even in college yet then I suppose you say this because you are looking forward to it.  People in college say this because…well, because it certainly is the best time of your life.  (So to anyone reading this who is currently in college, live it up, I’m not trying to say it isn’t awesome)

But the thing that confuses me is why people who’ve left college say it.  Are you people really that unhappy?  Hmm.  Why don’t you tell your wife or kids how you feel?

"Do you love us daddy?" "Well sure I do champ! But not as much as I loved that time I bonged 6 beers in a row."

If college really is the best 4 years of everyone’s life…the most we have to look forward to…the happiest we’ll ever be, then why isn’t graduation just a mass suicide?

"When your name is called please come forward to receive your diploma and your Kool-aid cause it ain't gettin any better."

Seriously, that’s a depressing thought.  Am I to believe that the absolute best time we will ever have is from age 18 to 22ish?  I looked it up and the average life span for an American born in 1987 is 74.8 years (Google makes everything easier).  So for 52 years after college we’re just going through the motions and thinking about a time when we had so little responsibility that we spent our time caring about things that really don’t matter?

"Do you guys remember Greek Jam?"

Well I say no.  There’s no way that college can be the best it gets.  I’ll admit it was the best 4ish years of my life, but I plan on the next 4 years being even better.  And then (here’s where it might get hard to follow) I want the next 4 years to be even better than that.  And–if you can guess–the next 4 should be better still.  That way I’m having a kickass time my entire life.  Sure I’ll remember the good times, but I always want to have even better times to look forward to.

Some might argue that in terms of average-awesomeness (yes, that’s a real measure) the 4ish years of college are more fun than any other 4 year period in our lives.  I can certainly understand that argument, but I still don’t believe that it has to be that way inevitably.  Only if you let it.

After graduation I allowed the misguided mutterings of so many to make me feel like I was past my prime.  Don’t let that happen.

To steal a line from Sir Paul and that band he was in, “Got to admit it’s getting better, getting better all the time.”  Sure I have no job and I miss college, but at least I’ve got my family, my friends, and a smokin hot girlfriend who makes me sandwiches.

I’m just getting started.

…Still No Job

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4 Responses to Will college be the best 4 years of your life?

  1. Gus Skibbe says:

    This is wonderful.

  2. imakeeper says:

    Ahhhh boy, can I relate to this. I’m still job hunting for something in my field and it is tough. Everyone keeps telling me this is ‘the best years of my life,’ but I am starting to think that will be in the future- when I am somewhat financially stable, have means to travel whenever I want, and buy really expensive cheese just because I can.

    This is the limbo stage in life, the early twenties.

  3. Kathy Davis says:

    What a good writer you are, Joe! I’m very proud of you and, even better, very amused by you. You are absolutely right. Keep working at making each year the best of your life!

  4. Darren Bake says:

    Nice article. It made me think. I’m 47 and college was a really good time in my life. For heaven’s sake, I met Kathy Davis there, so how could it not be good! But other periods in my life have also been really good, too. I have a sort of contentment that I didn’t have in college. On the other hand I was young in college, and that was nice.

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