As my 5-year college life comes to an end, I have experienced what may be one of the best phases of my life. Going forward there would be different and newer experiences but the same level of fun, where you had close to no responsibilities or work pressure, might never return.
The day my final semester had started, the value of Paul Graham’s essay, “Life is short” kept becoming more real and valuable. It is very difficult to know that the days you are living are the days which are going to be your best memories you have created. Here is a quote from The Office (link), which explains what I mean.
I believe life revolves around four broad phases: school, college, job, and retirement.
Each phase comes with a peak where you feel the maximum enjoyment of that phase but the first two have the highest probability where you create your Good Old Days. The shortest and quickest peak is of college phase, where within 3-5 years you reach the peak of your college life, in your final year, and you get the most out of it.
By the end of your college most of the students have a vague idea what they want to pursue in life, final year students have less trouble dealing with college stuff, less restrictions by parents, you figure out how to deal with academic stress, and even college administration is a little relaxed towards your behaviour.
College phase is the only phase where you can fool around, and the world is not going to eat you up. The friendships you make during this phase are also more durable as you have spent a considerable amount of your time with those people just like family. These people have a higher probability of sticking around as you might have grown and lived together in college.
I believe if we try to be vaguely right and avoid being precisely wrong, college phase is your time where you are creating those Good Old Days. Hence, creating memories with your loved ones in college is an extremely crucial part of your life. Sooner one realizes that it’s the small things in life which make all the difference, the better it is.
Example: having chai with friends is among the important memories one creates during college life. I regard drinking chai together at campus as a very high quality activity and good use of my time.
I personally have evolved from someone who didn’t interact with people to instantly vibing with a new group of people. And thankfully, I have made a conscious effort to prioritize meeting/hanging out with people rather than doing something “more eventful”.
Having tea together on campus might sound like a trivial activity compared to other fun things to do. However, I believe this event was the highlight of my day. This was the time I would spend with people who share my core values, put in efforts, and reciprocate feelings of importance.
Posting Instagram posts, healthy gossiping, hanging out without any reason, etc. all these things which are perceived as “waste of time” most prominently by social media influencers are actually a very important part of life, rather I would say it is living. “Living” happens when you are around the people you enjoy spending your time with. The internet era has made everyone feel guilty if they are not being “productive” but it is these small things which make life a living.
This post might be more of a personal reflection on realizing how short life can be and choosing who to spend your time with, which is an extremely important decision. This realization also helps you understand which activities or people deserve your attention.