Viewpoint: Prove life’s awesome while you’re able

By Trevor Allison

It seems like we spend our whole life preparing for what’s next.

We go to preschool to prepare us for elementary school, which prepares us for middle school, which prepares us for high school. High school prepares us to get a job or go to college. College prepares us to get a better job or go to more college. More college prepares us for an even better job or even more college.

Where does it end? When does “what’s next” become an end to itself?

This is a frustrating process. School rules our lives for (at least) our first 18 years. And people tell us (me at least), “stay in school, because after school you have to go to work.”

They say that like work is the worst thing in the world. But there are times where I would give up all my schoolwork and class for a 9-5 job in a second. Or at least I think I would.

It’s so easy to think about that magical time when we are finished with college. We have a degree and there are surely hundreds of companies that cannot wait to employ us. The closer you get to graduation, the more you realize this isn’t the case. If it is, email me your major because I’m switching.

I can’t say this with absolute certainty because I’m still in college, but through much investigation and observation, I have determined that life does not get easier or better after college. It gets much different. But it isn’t necessarily an improvement.

I have probably thought that my life will improve after college more than anyone. That’s what happens when you go through three colleges and five majors in four years and a summer. It’s so easy to wake up every day and just try to make it through, doing what you need to do to get by and then waking up the next day to do it all again.

But there’s more, right? There has to be.

No matter your world view, religious affiliation or life philosophy, you have to admit there is more to life than doing what society expects of us or requires of us to be successful. (Unless you’re a nihilist. But then you probably wouldn’t be reading this column or going to Baylor.)

We need to stop focusing on what’s next and enjoy what’s now. What’s next is important, as we live in a society where future planning is crucial to future success, but we need to realize that there is so much more to life than what’s next.

Someday we are going to be away from here and somewhere else. But if we’re going to be here, we might as well make the best of it. Have you ever heard someone say “the joy is in the journey”? That person was right.

Read a book. Go see a play. Ride a bike. Go to Dr Pepper Hour. Go see a Baylor sport you’ve never seen. Visit Cameron Park.

Try something new. If you hate it, feel free to contact me and complain. If you love it, pay it forward and tell someone else.

Don’t wait on your life to be awesome. Make it happen now.

Trevor Allison is a senior journalism major from Floyds Knobs, Ind., and is a reporter for the Lariat.