BEER and BOOKS. If I am being honest, these two words pretty much sum up what I thought college would be like before entering. Endless dirty-bronze rivers flowing with keystone ice and endless stacks of papers and homework. The beer is plentiful and the homework is sufficient, but my college experience has far exceeded these expectations.
Naturally, this post will not suffice to impart on any reader the absolute treasure of my college experience but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least jot down a few reflections from my time here.
1. Simple is beautiful. There have been a lot of momentous times here at college but what I will miss the most is waking up every morning and drinking coffee with my best friend. To quote Ben Rector, “Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between.” Never fail to recognize those little things that make life beautiful. Treasure the walk to class. Cherish the spontaneous trips to get milkshakes. Be content drinking a beer with a few friends or watching a movie on a friday night. There is a time for everything and if you aren’t content, your attitude is probably at fault.
2. Discipline is a seed and it bears satisfying fruit. Be a responsible human, manage your time, do your work well. There is incredible value in not only the results of discipline but discipline itself. It will make you a better and more effective person. Laziness is the inability to see the worth of time as it passes you by. Discipline allows for more satisfying work, play and rest.
3.Learn to learn. All of us (humans) are on a journey. We are are all here on this little blue planet trying to figure out what’s going on around us, why life is the way it is, why we think how we think. Life’s a puzzle and the pieces have brains. Never stop investigating, never stop wondering, never stop contemplating. Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is deceit. Seek truth, seek knowledge and do it all for the sake of itself, not a 4.00 GPA.
4. Slow your step, breathe easy. This was a phrase I have repeated to myself countless times. Speed is often a silly excuse to satisfy your own self-warranted and often unnecessary expectations. Slow down, be still. Take deep breaths. Take time to wonder at the realities of this symphony we call life. Slow your step and listen to the birds, smell the flowers, observe the trees and the faces walking around you. Meditate. Be alone. Come away from rush and hurry. Retrospectively reflect. Just simply be.
5. Adventure is in people, not places. No mountain, no ocean, no night sky comes close to matching the beauty of people. It is with a deep gratefulness that I can honestly say, I have thoroughly invested in people while at college and it has repaid me with intense joy, sincere purpose, and friendships that will last a lifetime. This is not to say that relationships are easy. They take work, but so does climbing a mountain. Don’t shy away from deep-rooted relationships that evoke hurt and healing. What adventure doesn’t have a little bump in the road?
Grief breeds significance. If it is worthy of grieving, it is beautiful. So it is with a deep sadness and purposeful grieving that I write this, tears running down my face, because it is over. College has been my reality for the past four years, now it will just be a memory. But you never go anywhere alone, these lessons, these moments in time and most importantly these people will forever occupy my impressionable heart. I am leaving and I will miss this place I now call home.