Perspective

My office is practically on Penn's campus, so I now have a daily dose of college students in my life. Soon, some of them will be partnering with my organization to help my team run their programs. Currently, they are making that Starbucks coffee line even that much longer. The students seem so much older and more professional than I felt when I was in college.

Heading into the library today, I overheard two students talking. "I'm just a freshman, and I already feel so overwhelmed!" said one. "I know, I have a million things to do! It's just the second week of school! I'm SO stressed!" said the other.

I wanted to stop them right there and give them a stern lecture on how they really have no idea what stress is. That their sole job right now is to be students and focus on their education. That until they have to pay rent, try and find a work life balance with their job and strategize their retirement plan, they won't understand stress at all. That they have WAY more vacation than they ever will once they graduate.

Yet in that moment, I remembered that my perspective is totally different now - almost ten years out of college. I'm just in a different place, with a completely different point of view. So when I passed them, I gave them an empathetic smile.