Live a life that demands an explanation. Be so unselfish, driven, and dedicated that people have to try to figure out what makes you so different. While your college years will be an amazing portion of your life, they are just that, a portion, and at that, a very small portion. Instead of going through the stereotypical college routine, fight for something bigger than yourself.
What this means for you specifically, I can not say. Perhaps it means studying more for Chemistry when you could be out drinking at a bar – maybe you will end up curing cancer after getting accepted into the medical school of your dreams. Perhaps it means being well-balanced and earning leadership roles in multiple student organizations, all the while managing your study schedule – maybe these habits will help you will go on to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Perhaps some days it will mean just waking up and doing the most you can that day by going to class, persevering through a chronic autonomic disorder – maybe you will go on to inspire thousands of people through motivational speaking.
Who knows. But one thing is for sure, there are countless opportunities for you to live selfishly in college. Many students go through the motions during these four years – studying during the day, socializing with friends, attending mandatory club meetings, and drinking as much as possible. Maybe this will work for you, grinding through day by day – doing what you’re supposed to but not loving every second.
I challenge you to stand apart from the crowd. Be the person taking fervent notes in class and taking your education seriously. Be the one that can balance a healthy mix of socializing and studying. Be the one that only pursues what they are most passionate about. Where your passion lies is your greatest opportunity to change a life and having a positive influence on even just one life changes the world for the better.
Coinciding with the many opportunities for selfishness in college, there are also the counteracting opportunities to be selfless. These four years you will have the ability to finally pursue whatever sets your soul on fire. Do you know what that is yet? If not, I strongly suggest you start by volunteering and serving other people. Not only will you get unique perspectives from each person you come in contact with, but you will also be serving the greater good.
You have a purpose and with all the pressure that you may begin to feel, remember that it is never too late to start pursuing what you are called to do. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, but my desire is that you will live a life of gratefulness and balance. You will experience many highs and lows over the next four years, but take heart, if you live a life that demands an explanation I promise you the highs will outweigh the lows.