This is your youth.
This is late nights, staying up until 4 in the morning just because you can. This is no inhibitions, accepting yet another drink or reaching for yet another slice of pizza. This is philosophical talks, planning your future with your best friend while discussing the meaning of life. This is tears and heartbreak and smiles and laughter, riding the roller coaster of emotions all the way until the end. This is quiet mornings, breathing in the winter air. This is warm beds and warm bodies on cold nights. This is crying for no reason and laughing at nothing at all. This is a time of no regrets, of why nots, of invincibility, of mistakes, of learning.
Because if not now, then when?
Don’t be the jaded older-something wishing they lived more in college. Don’t be the person who sat by and watched as life passed them by, a passive observer in their own story. There’s time for regrets, but that time isn’t now.
Now is the time for sharing a glass of wine with your girlfriends. Now is the time for walks in the warm summer evenings, for morning runs in the brisk fall air. Now is the time to watch as summer fades into fall, to live out the cliches of dancing in the rain and kissing under mistletoe. Now is the time to enjoy the little things and to embrace what you have, heartbreaks and flaws and all. It’s the time to bask in the fading sun, enjoying the last rays of light. It’s the time to dance the night away without any thoughts of tomorrow, to fall asleep side by side with the people you’ve fallen in love with more than you intended to.
This is your youth, and it won’t last forever. Do the things you’ve always wanted to — tell that boy that you like him, tell that girl that you’ve loved her all along. Dance every dance, sing along to every song. Breathe in deeply, finding peace within yourself. Walk briskly in the crisp fall air, feeling the leaves crunch beneath your feet as you watch the seasons change for the first time. Explore the city you live in and explore all the cities you’ve always wanted to explore. Travel, because if not now, then when? Love the strangers you pass on the street, love the parents who have given you everything, love the friends who have stood by your side through your best and your worst, and most of all, love yourself. Remember that we’re all trying to find peace in this hurried life, that we’re all trying to be our brightest and happiest, that we’re all looking for our happy endings. Remember that this life is yours, and it’s the only one you have.
This is your youth, so live it now.