“So how’s school going?”
I laughed nervously, taking a breath of the vanilla and cinnamon air in my friend’s house.
“Well, I guess I’m making it.”
“I remember those days,” My older friend smiled. “I worked full-time and was going for my Bachelor’s. I used to push two chairs together and sleep during breaks at work just to get some rest. And I kept telling myself, ‘If I can just make it through this semester, everything will be okay. It’ll all get better.’” She shook her head. “That was so wrong.”
Wrong? How could making it be wrong?
Maybe you’re like me last September—maybe you just want to make it through this semester on adrenaline and 3 hours of sleep. Maybe you want to make it through so you can become a professional, or start a family, or not have to clock in at your fast food job and listen to calculus lectures. Maybe you think that if you “make it through college” you will have a chance at life.
It seems like it should work. However, this idea of “making it” stems from the misconception that there is a point in life where everything will be okay. High school girls think this point will come when they find a date to prom. Young parents think it will come when their children get past potty training and the threenager stage. Middle-aged professionals think it will come when they get to retirement. Older people think it will come when their health settles down. And we college students think it will come when we don our cap and have five seconds of fame on graduation day.
Wrong. That’s so wrong.
There will never come a point in life where everything is okay. Every season is a roller coaster of ruckus, pain, and moments of happiness. Even if you don’t have math tests or last month’s breakup to worry about, you will have sick relatives, screaming children, and disappointments at work. Outside the walls of your dormitory, life may get better but it will also get harder.
“Making it” through any point of life will not save you.
That’s why I hope you don’t make it through this semester. I hope you don’t survive this trial to cash in your reward and disappear from history. I hope you take notes, and doodle in your notepad when you get bored. I hope you ask questions and talk to your professors outside of class. I hope you go to churches, to offices, to picnic benches in the middle of campus and pray for a chance to understand the world.
I hope you ride down the highway late at night with a smoothie, loud music, and a friend at your side. I hope you dance in the rain and throw snowballs in January. I hope you stay up late trying to finish a project, fall asleep at 2, and still get it turned in by first class. I hope you drink decent coffee and don’t settle for instant Espresso in a Styrofoam cup. I hope you make the best of friends—the ones who will rescue you from bad relationships and tell you if there’s spinach in your teeth.
I hope you expand your horizons and look to befriend an outsider. I hope you make a difference in your university and change a small part of the world. I hope you remember how these years will affect your eternity. I hope you excel, succeed, make mistakes, learn from them, dare, dream, and seek the answers you need.
I hope you do anything—absolutely anything—but make it through this semester.