I was sitting next to some college students at a restaurant recently. They had just completed their finals. I imagine they scraped up whatever money they had left after a long semester to go out to eat. They were happy and relieved that finals were over. They seemed to not have a care in the world. It was Christmas time and they were heading home for the holidays.
This encounter made me reflect on where I was at that age. I remember how it was for me in college. All work and no play. I missed out on a lot, but I can’t regret it. I ended up working hard for and getting what I wanted in life…a gold medal (and a college education).
In college, I was the kid who didn’t go to parties. I trained 3 times a day, went to ALL of my classes, was president of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), and was on student senate. The crazy thing is that the busier I was, the more productive and successful I was on the wrestling mat and in the classroom. I had an old school coach who wasn’t afraid to kick me in the ass if I wasn’t at my very best. My college experience did not entail a lot of laughs and good times. But it created the workhorse I am right now.
So looking back, I don’t regret “missing out” on the fun. College was, and still is, the beginning of your adult life. It seems a bit young, but we have taught our kids to make lifelong decisions when they are 18 or 19 years old. I’m grateful I made the right decisions.
I stared at those college students in the restaurant and thought, “If they only knew what’s ahead of them.” Then I laughed and thought, “Would I do that all over again?” Hell, no! I’m happy where I am. But good luck to you young ladies and gents sitting in that booth. You’re gonna have to make some very difficult decisions. I hope you get what you want in life. Persistence and dedication will bring you success… and don’t ever give up on what you truly want. It won’t be easy, but you’ll do just fine. It’s true!