If you don’t know the lyrics of the song “Yesterday When I Was Young,” you should. It was written by Herbert Kretzmer and first released by Charles Aznavour. However, this song has been adapted and sung by many entertainers, including Elton John.
Some college students fail to recognize that their ‘now’ doesn’t last. Others don’t care. They are ‘dazzled’ by the excitement and the fun. The future is so far out, so gigantic and many years longer than the time that has already gone by.
Because it is difficult to see the future, too many students fail to look, plan, set goals and prepare. They play, they drink, they love and they enjoy college life as if the future will go on forever with no adverse effects or consequences. Unfortunately, things, people and opportunities disappear with time. That can be a hard lesson.
Looking around, you may wonder if some students will even notice when their friends, loves, dreams and their youth gradually fade away. Drinking, drugs, sex, social networks and an obsession with personal enjoyment may interfere with important things getting done.
Helicopter parents try to insulate their children from the realities of life and the demands of personal and career success. Students do not intend to grow up looking back on their lives with only memories of wasted time, a lack of direction and a whole lot of emptiness. Only the strongest children will break away and reach their potential.
It is natural for older people to look backward with regret; and it’s natural for young people to look forward with optimism. Older people have experience while young people have youth. Successful people seem to have both. They’ve done a lot in the early years and can benefit from those experiences, as they move forward. They come at life with an excitement and enthusiasm that propels them forward.
Youth is like loose change in a pocket. If students spend it unwisely, it will run out before they intend. No matter how they spend their youth, the results will become obvious, as students leave college, enter the work world and become responsible for their lives.
Successful students are rewarded (paid) for what they did yesterday – experiences and accomplishments. They usually receive recognition, acceptance, compensation and personal satisfaction for their performance and behavior.
“The time has come for me to pay for yesterday when I was young.” That is the last line of the song. Since a self-indulgent college experience has consequences, students will pay for the follies of their youth.
Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: OMG, The Things I Learned In College, A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The “College & Career Success” Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob’s web site http://www.the4realities.com
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