If I Had My [College] Life to Live Over Again, I Would Be…Me

A poetic dump of sorts.

Dan Herold once said, “you can’t unfry an egg, but that does not mean there is no value in thinking about it.” Here is my attempt at thinking about the egg that is my past.

If I had my [college] life to live over, I would meet more people that were different from me. I would care less about my career aspirations and grades. I would be more open-minded. I go on more road trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more lakes.

I would take more walks. I would have more deep conversations over coffee and less drunken ramblings over late 90’s hip-hop. I would view my future as a blank canvas with endless possibilities for creation rather than worry if the major I chose led to the most financially sustainable career path.

If I had my [college] life to live over, I would try to make more mistakes. I would relax. I would be less concerned about figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And more concerned about what it meant to live.

I would have less imaginary troubles. I would have taken deeper breaths. I would have savored every single passing moment. Because, as they say, life’s most precious moments are acts of breathtaking simplicity.

Sure, I had some moments of presence. However, if I did it again, I would have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each passing hour.

If I had my [college] life to live over, I would pay less attention to people who teach conformity and security. In college, we naturally have an overflowing of advice telling us to be practical, steering us like a shepherd tends his sheep, down the familiar path. Get that internship. Pick this major. Be realistic. After years of hearing this over and over again, I was inclined to believe it was the only way.

I would seek out teachers that inspired me to explore the deeper questions of life. I would read more philosophy and poetry. I would spend more time in pursuit of what ignited my soul. Trying as Walt Whitman said to “live deep and suck all the marrow out of life.”

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

If I had my [college] life to live over, I would start something with people that were moved by the same shakings of the universe that I was. Maybe it would start a movement. But most likely not. The gravity of it would not have mattered. The starting of it is all that would.

I would drink less booze and have more experiences. I would take the time to go deeper with fewer people. Seeking the beauty of the person across from me rather than seeking the next drink/party/bar to go to.

I would ask more questions. I would expect less and appreciate more. I would realize that nothing is lacking in me. I would not attempt to get approval to be the person I was inside.

If I had my [college] life to live over, I would be unapologetically me.

In a world in which every situation seems superficial, I would be an advocate for the deep. For I agree with Emerson that “life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.”

I doubt, however, that I’ll have much impact by “thinking about it.” The resistance to change is too strong. There are too many people happy with the shallow end.

However, I’ll be in the deep end; join me if you dare.

Go Deeper!

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Ben Foley

Author Ben Foley

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