Take the Time


When I was a freshman in college, I envied retired people.

Every day on my walk to the library, I would pass an old man sitting on a bench. I imagined that his life was already figured out, with completed tenure at a company, and a loving wife and raised children.

During that time in my life, I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. The uncomfortable unknown of my future forced me to long for the finale of life while I was unbeknownst to the fact that I was immersed in the rough, exciting thick of it.

Over the course of many trips to the library, I became an English major and a seemingly unconventional one because I only read halfway through books.

I realize now that the way I read is a metaphor for the way I’ve been living my life. I skip to the end of the book rather than focusing on the beauty of the part that I’m engrossed in. Instead I rush everything and fill my agenda with loads of information like the pages dense with words that I try to skim through.

A lot of my college career was spent juggling deadlines, two part-time jobs, an unreasonable number of internships, and constantly obsessing over the trajectory and inadequacies of the way in which I was reaching my life and career goals.

While I made all of these decisions in an attempt to learn more about myself and prepare myself for the next chapter, I wish I would have focused more on enjoying where I currently was in my life.

Looking back now, I realize that the old man sitting on the bench was probably envying me because for this brief moment, I have my whole life ahead of me. I think we often get caught up in dreaming about the next step, but I think it’s important to appreciate the current state of your life.

I had the astounding privilege to spend the last four years learning about something that I was passionate about. I had the time to travel and be with my friends. I had the time to write in quiet. I had the time to sit and read a book, even if I often just chose to skim it.

My advice to anyone entering college or for anyone in the midst of their education is to take the time to savor each chapter of your college career and life. Make sure to skip the skimming and read the whole book while you have the time.