The College Pause

Recently I had an exchange with a former student of mine. It went something like this - 

Can I ask you a question?

Sure.

Did you ever feel like college made you put your life on hold?

I'm going to need more information.

So, I love the idea of getting an education and the idea of college as a whole, I just don't sit well with putting my life on hold of roofer years. I may sound super naive right now, but I'm sitting my dorm room reading chapter eight and taking some great notes on the women revolution in the 18th century and I just feel like I can be doing more. I want to put my brain to work, I want to make a change to do something that isn't pointless.

Does that make sense?

Oh, my child, it makes so much sense.

We spoke. 

We chatted.

I told her what I thought. And yet, the question still lingers in my mind.

How often to we put things on hold, because it's not the right time? Because we want to wait? Because we feel like there's an order to doing things, and our brains have become designed to do things in a linear fashion?

How many times?

I'm guilty of that. Of waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. And then sometimes you wait so long, that you feel like you've missed the boat.

And it's so easy.

It's easy to wait for the stars align to take the plunge - in whatever that plunge may be for you.

It's easy to think that life starts after college.

It's easy to think hat life starts after high shcool.

It's easy to think that life starts when you get engaged, or married, or have kids.

It's easy to think that way, but the truth is, life started the second you were born. You've been living. You've been making decisions, you've been making choices, you've started creating memories. You're already living - so what exactly is it that you're waiting for? 

Nothing magical happens when you check off big ticket items like graduating from college.

It's interesting that she sent that text to me - cause I never realized that I did feel like I was putting my life on hold when I was in college. And I felt like that, because I did. I didn't start projects that I was passionate about because it wasn't the right time. I didn't take risks on travel because it wasn't the right time and the money wasn't there. I double majored because I was afraid to pursue a career in the arts without a back up plan.

So, to all my students, past and present - take the chance. Let your dreams live outside your head. You can start mapping out bigger dreams and take class at the same time. 

It is possible.

It's easy to think that if you're in college, you can't pursue other endeavors. That you have to hit pause on your dreams. 

I say, push play.

It takes juggling. It's not easy. You can't always say yes to all the things - and more often than not, you'll have to say no. You might even fail.

But thats ok. 

Cause the alternative is sitting in that freeze frame for way too long - and you start to let go of the bits of dreams that make up your heart.

And why would you do that?!

The world is waiting for you get to work. To make change for the better. To give a point to the things that may seem pointless.

So take a deep breath, and push play. You can always change the track if you want to.