As cheesy as it sounds, it’s easy to take what you have for granted. We can become pretty optimistic about the future, so much to the point where what we’re living in the present just isn’t that important. Now that I’ve started college, I’ve learned this whenever I go to a bathroom I share with three other girls or whenever the dining hall recycles the less than glamorous menu from the other day.
Anything I need to do, I do for myself as an (and I shudder as I say this) adult. Weird. I’m not saying this new air of independence isn’t amazing, but it is a little stressful. It seems that for the past year I’ve been dreaming and planning for this moment, and now that it’s here, as much as I love where I’m at, living at home and chilling in my classes in high school took a lot less effort.
Living in the moment is a phrase that’s probably been beat to death by now, but it still resonates as we move on to new grades, schools, or just phases of life. We humans are a curious by nature, and in this case, it could make us ignore the great things around us because we’re trying too hard to peer into the future. Coming into college, everyone and their mother is asking, “What’s your major?”, but very few ask if I know yet or what subjects I’m interested in now.
The best educators believe high school or college are the best places to explore and discover passions, not predetermine a career in the beginning and spend all your time trying to jump ahead to it. This natural love for learning is what helps us in situations outside of school and work, what can propel us forward as well-rounded individuals instead of just busybodies.
British poet Ted Hughes said, “The only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough.
Nothing else really counts at all.” Starting off the busy school year with a schedule filled with classes and activities that just fluff up college applications can be stressful, unfair to friends and family, and just not fun. The real world is fast paced and high demanding, but all the preparation in the world won’t replace good memories with loved ones or insightful experiences in a true passion.
In a country based off capitalism like this one, there’s always been this tug between money driven business and passion driven self improvement. I think it’s important to realize this so we’re not carried away by the money hungry current and so we can take time out for what we won’t regret doing in the long run.