How Music Festivals Prepared Me For College

Every summer break from college I made sure to go to at least one music festival. This time last year I was driving up to Michigan to the Electric Forest Festival where egos disappear and people are quite truly transformed.

You can see the way the place shapes people. Elaborate tree house styled structures with open doors spotted all around, a sea of abandoned cars and inhabited tents sitting out in the distance, all circled by miles of skinny trees tossed high into the air, up and out over the mountains. It’s a wonderful site, and you can’t help but feel like it’s all there for you—and for everyone around you.

The music is on point too. Mostly electric. All vibrant—it moves the whole scene and demands that things stay serene and upbeat. If you’ve been to a good music festival then you know what I’m talking about. You leave happier then when you arrived, not just with good memories—but with good feelings.

Unfortunately, good vibes aren’t always good motivators. There are many people who leave festivals feeling great and think that that feeling should continue, and that life should just be a pursuit of parties. That never works.

For me, I leave festivals wanting to make something of myself. Meeting people from all over the country on different sorts of paths inspired me to continue down my own at full throttle. Every year I would meet smart and good people who were exited about life. They weren’t there to escape; they were there to celebrate and to live their life in a positive way. That inspiring outlook would always stay with me until the first day of class.

Getting ready to go back to school (back to reality) I made sure to concentrate on what good festivals actually give people—new experiences, new friends and a new vision for the future. To me, that’s what college was always about.

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