When I started writing today, this one being my first blog post of November, that’s when it hit me. It’s already November. We have less than two months left in 2016, and if anyone knows where the time has gone, feel free to let me know in the comments. Because I could have sworn, I was applying for college, trying to get to Masters, and reach my high school graduation just yesterday. Yet here we are, almost an entire year later, wondering where it all went.
Whether you’re in high school, college, a 9-5 job, or somewhere else in your life, it gets pretty easy to lose track of time and the moments. Sometimes we forget to stop and realize that this is it— this is life. A life that we are supposed to be living. I know that we are all busy and it’s hard to get everything done, but there will always be papers to write, tests to study for, and skills to refine while we go throughout our daily lives. That doesn’t mean that we need to be constantly working hard 24/7… We’re human, we need time to breathe too. Even though being alive can be defined as the simple act of consciously breathing in and out, that isn’t what it means to live. Living constitutes other people, the ups and downs, the uncertainty, and the ability to let go for a few moments to do something to make it all worthwhile. And sometimes, I think we forget that this is life— if we haven’t already, we need to start living it.
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of my senior friends stressing out about applying for college, their possibilities of getting in, and what it all means for their future. A year ago, I was in the exact same position, trying to fill out the applications and to get everything to sound just the right way— all I wanted was to be accepted. I think that’s all any of us wanted. Looking back on it as a college freshman, I can understand why my parents told me to apply early if it was really something I wanted. If you know you want something and it is everything you are striving for, shouldn’t you put yourself in the best position for success? Like I said to the Class of 2017 in my graduation letter, “You’ve done all the hard work, the all nighters, the millions of notes, and study guides.” Once those applications are sent in and the paperwork is done, the future is no longer in your hands. Sometimes in life, we need to do everything we can until there is no longer anything left to do. And after that? After that we must settle in for the ride, relax a little bit, and trust that we will end up where we need to be.
This week marks my seventh week here at Cal Poly, I am about two thirds way through my first quarter, and there are three quarters per school year. That means that I should have a total of twelve quarters of school here and I am ultimately almost one twelfth of my way through undergrad. That’s 8%. Even though it may not seem like much, these past two months have passed so quickly that by the time I get to my own graduation, I’m not going to know how it happened so fast. I mean, how many times have we heard the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun”? I’ll be honest, I’m still working my way up to the fun, but if I’m already 8% through my undergraduate education, I should definitely get started on the that part too. Because just like everyone else, I have a tendency to forget that in the midst of the studying, the papers, don’t forget laundry, and maybe a little sleep here and there, I still need to make this a life that I can wake up to and appreciate every morning. I need to make sure that I am building a life that I want to live. That is what we all want isn’t it? To wake up every morning and look forward to what we do, or to have something that can keep us going through the rough patches and remind us that this is worth it. So pick up a coloring book, get outside and smell the roses, take a break to dance in the rain, or just go for a drive with some friends because all of these things are important to our health and wellbeing. It’s not all about the studying (25-35), the work, the papers, and the deadlines. It’s also about you.
I’ve been away from home for almost two months now and I always wondered what my parents would do without Nick and I there. Not to make it sound like we were all they had at home, they’ve got plenty of work to do without us making a mess of the house in the meantime, but I did wonder what they would do without our impromptu breakfast mornings or random Redbox runs together. Yet without us, it seems that my house has now become healthier and more active than when I was home, and I must say, I am quite proud of my parents for that. Because they are paying attention to something that a lot of people forget to take care of— themselves. In addition to making this life one that we want to live, we also need to make sure that we are capable of living it well. Yes, does mean being healthy. From the foods that we eat to the amount of sleep we get, all of it is important to being able to live our lives the way we want— the way we should be able to. As a college student, we don’t always have the best food options or the most time to exercise, but do we ever? There is always a reason not to do something, to procrastinate a little more, or to find another excuse for our shortcomings. Yet, if it’s something that is really important to us, like our health and wellbeing should be, than we need to make it a true priority get it done. Because these are our lives. They are only going to be as good as we make them.
We all lead busy lives, in the hope of getting to some point in the future where we want to be. Once we get to that point, we will create a new goal and keep on going with the cycle from there. Even though these goals are crucial to our lives and our motivation to keep going, I think it’s really important to remember that we also need to find solace in right now— to pause, take a breath, and hold it for a moment. Everything we do and the paths we end up on have a lot to do with the choices that we make and oftentimes, the people we make them for. Right now, I am asking you to make a choice for yourself to live a healthy and balanced life that you want to be living. Because before you know it, 2016 will be over, then 2017 will be over… Soon enough these years will pass and we will find ourselves looking back at it all. My question to you is this: When this is all over and you’re looking back at it all, will you really be able to say that you lived?