You’re 28, living in a house or apartment in the center of town: your friends are near, you’re close to downtown, and you’re right in the middle of the action. Every month rent gets paid, no problem. You work, but not too incredibly hard. (You’re not busting it everyday, going all out, hustling to barely pay the bills.) Your costs (clothes, entertainment, nightlife) are covered enough to pay for your lifestyle.
Work is not fantastic but you do it anyway, pushing through for what’s to come. It’s moving you forward, right? Weekends are where the fun happens: going out late, watching football, and enjoying the luxuries of life. Throw an occasional trip / vacation in and life is good!
You don’t have a long list of responsibilities because, really, all you have to do is work, stay out of trouble, and have fun. You’re not too worried about the what’s coming because the present is working out just fine: so why won’t the future?
Sound like a great lifestyle, the true American dream?
If your in college, chances are you are living that lifestyle NOW. (gasp)
Let’s go back over it again, more quickly this time.
- Substitute “study / school” for “work”
- Bills get paid for = Family or student loan money
- Work but don’t work too hard = Study, attend all your classes, get mediocre grades, but you don’t try your hardest
- Take trips = Spring break, out of town football trips, friend’s houses in different states
- Stream of income is sufficient to cover costs = Maybe you work part time but you are not earning your entire living
- Responsibilities aren’t high = Just go to class, graduate, and don’t get in too much trouble
What you want for the future, you have right now.
How could you truly push yourself when you already have all you want? You could throw in more money, a bigger house, or more toys but overall as far as lifestyle, you live it.
How this is Dangerous
The backside of the “college lifestyle” is where the true danger begins:
The debt: The average debt for students that borrowed money is $25,250. So, all of that luxury living, easy lifestyle, and dream was most likely purchased with money that wasn’t yours to begin with.
The entitlement: “Now that I’m used to this living, shouldn’t it continue?” This creates a dream scape, a unreality to what is really happening.
The “good enough”: “Life is pretty good, I’m doing alright.. the future will work itself out. I don’t really want to change that much.”
This life you are living is amazing, awesome, so much fun…. but it’s keeping you in a hole. The dream you live in keeps you from seeing your true desires and potential.
This is why some people say college was the best time in their lives. They WERE living a dream, a fantasy and they want to keep chasing what they used to have.
But soon after graduating, the veil is lifted and they are awakened to the reality of their situation. Most of the time, the lifestyle continues anyway in a false, surface level fashion. They don’t change the habits, they don’t grow into their potential, and they continue to float.
This doesn’t have to be you.
Start thinking about what’s coming. You can take steps to ease into reality, to start sketching your life, and to actually achieve the life you want to live (not just fake it). You don’t have to abandon the lifestyle you have now: enjoy it while you can. But, see it for what it really is and start thinking about what comes next.
It will take effort, focus, and desire. Your true dream life won’t just appear: put your mind to it and you can make it happen.
The choice is yours:
Or continue wishing upon a star, hoping to keep living a dream?