Pay attention to the present

Story by Sarah Day, News Editor

As cliché as it may sound, time really does fly. I wish that I had spent all the time thinking about the next day and had done things that actually mattered in the present instead of dreading those constant moments. Now, as an almost 20 year old, I wish I could change things. I want to go back to those moments and soak them up.

I wished to grow up too soon, I did not fully take in the instances that are so valuable to childhood. I dreamed of the day I would leave for college and become an adult, instead of having time to spend with my friends doing anything and everything. I now spend it studying, working and occasionally doing something fun. I miss not having to keep track of every second like I do now. Anymore, time is too precious to waste.

This is something to try to change during the college years. Similar to childhood, college is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will never get back. I want to be fully present for the things that I am encountering for the first time. Some of these events and hobbies are things I will never get the chance to come across again in the same way — the first day of each class, moving into the sorority house for the first time, being a leader on campus and graduation.

As much as I do not always look forward to going to required events for some organizations I belong to, it is an important reminder to look forward — many of these moments will be things that cannot be brought back. It is easy to fall into a rhythm of apathetic behavior after the first month of being back at school, but this is not the solution to the problem.

Rather than looking at the week, month or semester ahead and viewing everything as a “have-to,” things on the calendar should be viewed as “get-to’s.” Remember the reason behind starting. Remember what life felt like without the activity in it. Do not live life just trying to go from one instance to the next — too much is lost from that type of behavior, until it all has disappeared right before your very eyes.

Prioritize tasks so that there is leftover time for what is important in life — friends and family. School and work are not the be-all-end-all, contrary to what the system of education may lead its students to believe. Learn to say “yes” to new experiences and to get out of your comfort zone, but learn to say “no” whenever it all becomes too much.

Enjoy each moment. Every. Single. One. Pay attention to the present — time will flash before your eyes until you are left with only the memories that replay in your head. Make the best of the time you are given and enjoy the nostalgia it offers down the road.