Life is a highway

Will Mccarthy

As I embarked toward the greater Atlanta area this weekend for 420 Fest, I inevitably reunited with a good and close friend: I-16.

For many of us suburbanites from the greater Atlanta area, we’ve made this drive so many times we could literally do it in our sleep, and frankly we’ve grown weary of its lack of curves or roadside appeal.

However, this particular time as I drove its familiar straightaways into the night, I realized this infrastructure is symbolic of college life.

First and foremost, this stretch of road is the grand archway between our comfy suburban lives and our independent adventure into the unknown. Once the tip of that tire hits that first quarter inch of I-16 in Macon, you are too far to be rescued by your parents and you are on your own. Over time those overwhelming feelings of excitement and uncertainty have been tamed, but I still remember that first moment when I realized this as I headed to Statesboro my freshman year.

If you have ever driven the 116-mile journey from Statesboro to Macon, then you probably have raised your hands in frustration about the road work. I’ve experienced its inconvenience long before I even started my Georgia Southern career, and it feels like the pace of construction is a slow crawl. We’d all like our lives to be moving at 70 mph down straightaways with perfectly constructed roads, but the reality is the road of life ahead is full of roadblocks. Regardless of how impatient we may get, we relentlessly choose to continue down this straight strip of concrete towards our aspirations, our goals, even our dreams.

Over the years I’ve learned to accept the certain fate that comes along with choosing this route. After being poked and prodded by a plethora of car companions, I often choose to drive it solo. It’s not that I don’t enjoy having various objects thrown at me as I drive a metal box at 70 mph, but just as in life sometimes you just need to take the journey alone.

Your goal of making the trip at a safe, ticket-free pace is probably different than that of the Suburban that just flew by going ninety-five and that’s all right.

Although we’re all on this god-forsaken stretch of road for different personal reasons, our ultimate goal of arriving at our destinations alive is the same.

This just could not be a more accurate depiction of our emergence into adulthood. Some of us will go hard while others of us will be studying hard. Although most of us are trying to succeed academically, our way of getting there will definitely not be identical.