When I was in school, me and many of my friends couldn’t wait to graduate. We couldn’t wait to make money, not be poor, and finally reap the rewards of what we were all struggling in school for. No more pulling all nighters for assignments that wouldn’t impact us in our adult lives, no more punching in your grade into a calculator to see how much you would need to pass a course, and no more showing up to every event with free food promised because you were just too poor to buy food yourself. And as I have been graduated and working for two years now, I’m also realizing that school and being a student was great. That maybe I shouldn’t have been so excited to graduate because compared to the past, I don’t feel alive – rather I feel as if I’m just existing.
A wise man once said You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone – this holds especially true for time and moments in your life. Being in school was something special. The friends you made, the struggles you shared, and the lessons learned along the way – it really did feel like we were all in it together. And then as every adult knows -you graduate and life isn’t like that anymore. Every relationship at work comes with a caveat of it being a work relationship that exists out of necessity rather than a genuine connection. Life gets busy, you have to worry about your finances more, you start realizing that being an adult is difficult and it’s almost never going to get easier. Suddenly you check your socials and you realize that a friend that you were close with at school – well suddenly you’re not close anymore. When was the last time you reached out to John? Do you even know what city Sara lives in anymore? If you called Jess would they think it’s weird – would you even know what to talk about? When you were a student could you even imagine doubting your friendship with Nate?
I think that I’m writing this because I’m starting to understand how my job and being an adult could eventually overwhelm me. Thankfully I live with my parents and that I have close friends that I still stay connected with but as life gets busier and my job starts to pick up more – will I just end up forgetting about everyone? At one point do I lose the people in my life that make me who I am. And if I were smarter in university and had realized this sooner, would I have spent more time appreciating what I had at the time even if it meant that I had negative dollars in my bank account. Maybe I would have taken more pictures and said yes to more invites – or put in more of an effort to be kind towards others.
Compared to how I was 4 years ago, I’m just not as excited for my everyday life as much as I used to be. In fact, I worry about what I have to do in the day more than anything else. I don’t know if this is what others consider to be existential dread – but if I could guess, I imagine that this has got to be close to it. I spent so much time when I was younger thinking about what life was going to be like after I graduated, that I forgot that my life was ticking under my nose. Like many stages of your life, school is one that’ll be over in the blink of an eye. My years as a student were not my trial years – but they were reality building to what I have or don’t have today. And I think that I need to reignite this flame in my life in order to get excited for what’s next.