It's hitting all of us smack in the face. This is not a 10 or 12 week internship after which we'll have 2 weeks to go home and chill out before starting a new semester in a new 10x14 dorm, new classes, do 10 different things every day, take naps whenever we feel like, skip class if we we're out late the night before, or just have coffee with a friend randomly at 3pm. Nope folks, this is life. There is no more blocking off a certain finite amount of time- 4 years of high school, 4 years of college. I mean, some of us know that it's 3 years of law school, or 2 years until we want to go to med school, etc, but for the most part, our lives are just out in front of us now.
Someone recently told me that most people tend to think life is (or should be) lived vertically. In that, we think life will just keep going up and up and up- the next promotion, next project, new house, new car, spouse, kids- just keep vertically ascending. But, that's not reality. Life is lived horizontally- we are going forward, day in and day out... take out the trash, take out the trash, do laudry, pick up dry cleaning, go the gym, take out the trash. Of course every once in awhile you will bump up, take a little step up, but for the most part, life is horizontal. This is tough to swallow, yet it's absolutely the case.
And so, here we are with our lives in front of us, and it is our decision what to do with that. Follow a path that was laid out previously by someone else? Or forge our own? How do we push through the hard days without losing hope, without needing "something else," and cope with the fact that in many cases circumstances are beyond our control? All we knew for 4 years was college, and granted, that is a large percentage of our lives to date, but in reality, we have SO MUCH of our lives in front of us. So in one sense, it's cool because we don't have to feel the need to cram EVERYTHING into a pre-set chunk of time, and yet we have to figure out how to go from doing 10 things every week to mainly one. Our job. We have complete and total control now. And it is both extremely liberating and extremely scary.