I came across this piece by senior writer Ivan Maisel at ESPN.COM on Christ Conley (Senior Wide Receiver at the University of Georgia) this morning and wanted to highlight it here. If you're a reader of this blog and you don't live in Athens, Georgia or follow the Georgia Bulldogs then you've probably never heard of Chris Conley (unless you're a fan of another SEC college football team). If, however, you are aware of Conley then you will know that he is not your average college student or college football player at that. I want to make a brief comment on something this article touches but before I do you really do need to read the article for context (it's worth your time!!). Welcome back!
Pretty amazing profile for a 21 year old young man right?!
Ivan Maisel points out many unique characteristics in this profile of Chris Conley but there is one in particular that I would like to highlight. Maisel makes a point to show Chris Conley's unique attitude in approaching his 4 years in college compared to both your average college student and your big-time college football player.
Conley came in to college with a vision and goals about what he wanted to do that went beyond the classroom and the football field. There seems to be an overriding assumption in our culture that someone's 4 years of college serve as a 4 year hiatus from society. College serves as a time for 18-22 year old students to let loose and to simply fulfill their singular expectations in academics or athletics.
The problem with this view is that taking a 4 year hiatus from society doesn't prepare someone to return to society on the other side. Whether we like to believe it or not, 1,461 (don't forget leap-year!) days of living a certain type of lifestyle does not get erased the moment you're handed a diploma.
Living in a college town and working at a big university has given me an opportunity to see that the lives students live out over their 4 years has a much bigger impact on their years after college than their "ideas" and "hopes" for the future do. another thing Maisel pointed out in the article is that Conley is a "doer". Conley spoke of things he wanted to do and then began to pursue them.
Conley hasn't waited for his 4 year hiatus from society to end before he begins investing his life in things that matter, in fact, Conley has decided to take a hiatus from this traditional 4 year hiatus. Let's hope he's not the only one.
Food for thought.