In a world clouded with uncertainty, and heightened feelings of scared anxiety surrounding the future of both our own generation and that of our country, I read something recently which lifted my spirits and has stayed with me.
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t yet happened.”
This is one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I think it’s important that we remember it, and above all allow ourselves to believe it. Wasn’t it Steve Jobs who said the best way to predict the future is to invent it? I saw a close family friend recently, the mother of my best friend and a lady who speaks with confidence and clarity and the sort of wisdom you only achieve when you live a life full of love and fearlessness (because without one you cannot fully achieve the other). She told me about her son’s graduation ceremony.
Although a lovely day, the overarching theme of the speeches given and songs sung seemed to be an idea I’ve heard many times before: suck it up while you can, kids, because your University years are the best of your life. For a day designed to celebrate achievement, this has always seemed to me depressingly defeatist, and now more than ever, a damaging idea to insitll in the minds of a generation of young people entering a world which is not only full of uncertainty, but also apparently on the brink of a relentless downhill spiral.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at University. Yet I can acknowledge that while they were good days, they were good for that period of my life; a period which has come to an end – a necessity in order for the next period of my life to take place. I would never seek to taint such fond memories with the misinformed idea that they must now be viewed as stars, squinted at from the gutter in which we with finished degrees now collectively exist.
And to be quite frank, the idea of eating cereal for dinner, existing on pennies at the end of a much abused overdraft, nursing a constant hangover and swallowing caffiene tablets like M&Ms to get through days of revision cramming at the library were in fact my life peak paints a somewhat gloomy, unambitious picture of what one should expect from life.
They say don’t set your expectations too high, or you will feel disappointed. In this case, if you have recently graduated, and are struggling to find a job (been there), are living back at home (feel ya), and you just wish you could be back at the union downing pints of gin and juice, please, please, allow yourself to expect more from life. More is coming: I see it every day.
In the words of C.S. Lewis, there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.