Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Eavesdropping on Your "Future Selves"

A couple weekends ago, I met my best friend for lunch in a college town located halfway between our houses. Not wanting to get back to "real life" too quickly, we went to a coffee shop after our meal. The place was full of college students with textbooks and laptops and the vibe of being simultaneously stressed out and super relaxed.

My friend and I chose a table outside near a group of four girls who appeared to be meeting for a study session.  As we talked about our husbands and our kids and all the "exciting elements" of life in your mid-30's, I noticed the nearby table of students had fallen silent and a few of them were even snickering.

Oh, ladies.  I hope you enjoyed eavesdropping on your "future selves."

Because while I'm sure I appear to be ancient, I have been in that seat. I have attended many "fake" study sessions where I mostly ate snacks and gossiped about the weekend.  But I also studied hard and made big plans for my life that didn't involve the things I am actually doing today.  Just you wait.

Can you remember when people older than you stopped being cool?  I have vivid memories of being in elementary school and thinking that my high school's class of 1993 had to be the coolest people on the planet. Those teenagers were pictured in the local paper every week being sports stars. They directed/marched/twirled flags in the awesome high school band.  They dressed super trendy, and I couldn't WAIT to get older and be like them.

Then when I got to high school, and made older friends who graduated and went off to college... THEY became the cool kids.  That high school class of 1999 seemed so much more worldly than I was.  Now they were going to parties and drinking with their new friends, they were in cool clubs and doing god knows what without having to worry about their parents.  I couldn't WAIT to get older and be like them. 

Then I got to college.  Multiple times a year lectures from "visiting young professionals" would be part of my courses.  And then THEY became the cool kids. Making their own money, using their degrees, traveling the world, making a difference.  I couldn't WAIT to get older and be like them.

But then, well, as the saying goes, "life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."

So I hope we entertained you, college students at the coffee shop.  If you're lucky, someday you will have your own partners and kids to vent about to your friends... while a younger generation listens in. And if you're *really* lucky, maybe your conversation will be cool enough that they won't snicker.