On my way home from class, I walk past an older woman whom I stop and talk to every day. We always chat a little bit about my day, the weather and my plans for the weekend. Then, after a few minutes of conversation, when it is time for me to head home, she takes a drag from her cigarette, smiles at me and tells me, “Be bad, honey! You will have plenty of time to be good when you are old.”
This has actually been some of the best, most honest advice I have been given from an adult while in college.
Most of us are still relatively young, still in college and still just waiting for our “real” lives to begin. We spend our days going to class, working and doing whatever we can to get by. We are focusing on doing things now to prepare for our future. And while these are all incredibly important and necessary aspects of our lives, they are arguably not the most important.
So, what is?
For probably the last time in our lives, we have minimal responsibilities. Sure, we have a lot going on, and sometimes it seems like too much to handle. It is easy to say no to plans because you need to do some homework, clean up and get to bed early. Although it is completely essential that we do these things sometimes, I promise it is worth it to say yes, every once in a while.
Would you rather be a little tired in the morning, but have made great memories the night before, or wake up one day, go sit on your front porch and realize you wasted your life? For me, it is so much more worth it to trade being just a bit drained the next day to live life to its very fullest every once in a while, than to risk realizing down the road how many opportunities for fun I missed out on when I was younger.
Additionally, if you are anything like me, you probably spent a lot of your time thinking things like, “I just have to get through middle school, and then high school will be better,” or, “Once I get through high school, I will be happier,” and now, “If I can just make it through college, things will get better for me.”
Instead of essentially biding our time through life, just trying to get to the seemingly “better times,” we should attempt to live every second like it could be our last, because it really could be. It is truly a waste of your good days to just do the bare minimum to get through, relying on dreams of happier days. Make now the happier days. Do whatever it takes to live your best life, be as happy as you can be, and make the world as good as you can.
As the infamous saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” While we are trying to get through these seemingly unfortunate times just to get to what is simply a prospect of better days, we are wasting fantastic opportunities to make these the best days of our lives.
So, focus on today. Live each day to its fullest. And in the words of my sweet friend, “Be bad.”