By Stacey Ramirez
Web Content Contributor
Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” has become a staple graduation gift given to thousands each year. It became a popular gift to give graduates because of its messages about exploring the world and what to expect from it.
At first, I thought this book was just a novelty gift, something that looks like you put effort into instead of just shoving money into a greeting card and an envelope.
As a kid, you read it for the rhymes and even funnier pictures, but I was one of those thousands of graduates who got this book as a gift after high school.
Even though I read countless of Dr. Seuss’s books growing up, it wasn’t until I was 18 when I finally read this one. Even though it is considered a book for kids, it was adult me who finally understood the massage.
Especially the line when it says “All Alone! Whether you like it or not, alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.”
It’s kind of a dark line to read especially coming from a children’s book, but I’ve learned anything, it’s one of the most honest realities in life, especially when going into college and being in your 20s.
It’s also one of the most important lessons to learn from.
One of the greatest lessons you can learn in your 20s is learning to be comfortable with being alone. Your 20s are a time to learn about yourself and become who you want to be.
Sometimes that journey is lonely and scary, but the alternative is worst because it means waiting for someone that may never come and missing out on amazing opportunities.
One of the first big decisions you make after high school is choosing what college to attend. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a school, but where your friends are going shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
It’s comforting to know you’ll already know people, but that doesn’t mean the schools always right for you personally. Some people don’t go to their dream school because they’re scared of ending up alone.
If you came here to Texas State without knowing anyone, you already took a big step a lot of people are terrified to make. It might feel difficult at first when you start seeing a post from your hometown where some of your friends stayed, or when you see a post from friends who are attending the same college, all adjusting quickly and going out together. Meanwhile, your alone and trying to figure out who to eat with.
However, thankfully nothing lasts forever. You’ll meet new people; you’ll meet more people. From the people I’ve met, including myself, who attended a college where they didn’t know anyone, we don’t regret anything. It teaches you to be more independent and outgoing.
If you want to grow and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll have to go and look for these new experiences and the truth is, you might have to do it alone because you can’t always convince someone to come along for the ride.
Not all of your friends will share the same interest and aspirations, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on yours.
Life takes you on unexpected directions and you can’t expect everyone’s plans to perfectly align with yours. As much as we hate to admit it, we can’t always be the main character.
The biggest mistake you can make is waiting for the right time or the right people to come along.
I remember missing out on concerts because I had no one to go with or friends that’s didn’t have the same music taste, and I always regretted each show I didn’t go to. Now, I can say I’ve even gone to a music festival alone and met some of the most amazing people I’m still friends with to this day.
I think that’s the most important lesson from all of this; you will find the people that you want to be around in the place you like being.
You don’t eventually become comfortable with being alone, you have to work on it. You’ll miss countless opportunities if you spend your life waiting for people to come along.
This is only the beginning of so many other journeys you might have to take alone. It can be as small as going to that org meeting you’re interested in, even if you have no one to go with.
Maybe it’s going to see that movie you want to see even if none of your friends want to see it, or it might be big moments like deciding to study aboard even though you’ll be in a foreign country and don’t know anyone else going, or moving to a new city after graduation even if you don’t know anyone there yet.
When you’re living your life for yourself and pursuing what makes you happy, the journey might be lonely, but it won’t last forever. You’ll find people along the way and you’ll learn more about yourself than you would have expected.
Featured image by Stacey Ramirez.