As soon as we graduate from high school, we are told that we are about to embark on the most influential four-year journey of our lives.

We are sent to college to essentially train ourselves for the “real world.”

The society generated concept of this real world claims that lives do not actually start until we earn a bachelor’s degree at the age of 21 or 22.

This degree used to be necessary to secure a job, but the societal value of a bachelor’s degree has been decreasing at a rate almost as rapid as the increasing cost of education.

We sit through classes that we can hardly stay focused in long enough to stop checking social media and messages on our various communication devices.

We retain information just long enough to get a decent grade, and then drop it as soon as our focus changes to jobs we hold over semester breaks and the pursuit of the things that make us genuinely happy.

In this academic journey, we are often told that we must pick a major that is most likely to land us a lucrative career and little emphasis is placed on discovering where one’s true passion lies.

A life of security becomes the goal, and the journey to find ourselves gets put on the back burner because of a lack of expendable energy and time.

The years that we spend at an institute of higher learning hold the potential to bring us to the place we need to reach in order to be content, but many of us squander the opportunity and stifle the message coming from our very souls.

During our late teens and early twenties, we are the generation that is responsible for the foreseeable future of our society.

We often do not realize our potential because we are preoccupied with the gloomy picture of the real world that is described to us by parents and slightly older peers.

We learn to expect mediocrity in the ten-or-so years following graduation and gladly accept any menial entry-level job that is going to pay us enough to be able to move out of our childhood homes.

We are told that things will be tiring monotonous drudgery from here on out.

We silence the voice within that is begging us to find more meaning in life in order to maintain a stable manner of living.

Taking risks becomes out of the question as we obtain stability from the life that we were conditioned to be satisfied with in our college years.


Leah Mulroney can be contacted at

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