Last week, as I was on campus walking to my class, I was approached by an older lady asking for a minute of my time. As I looked up at the woman, she handed me a small white sheet of paper with a skeleton and the words "Death, it happens every day" on it. My first reaction was to freak out and text my group chat. Was this a sign I was going to die? Was somebody trying to tell me I was in trouble? How the heck was I supposed to just go to class and take notes as if someone didn't just warn me that my life was on the line? But as I thought more about it I soon realized that receiving that paper wasn't a sign I was going to die, but rather a sign I should start living.

Being alive isn't the same thing as living. Being alive doesn't require much from a person other than to be physically present. Anyone who can breathe oxygen in and out is technically alive. Being alive is easy, it is just living life from day to day with minimal change. However, truly living is a much more difficult task. To truly live, someone must be able to step out of their comfort zone. Instead of living life from day to day, someone who is truly living lives their life from minute to minute knowing that anything could happen at any given moment.

Life is unpredictable. No matter how hard we try to plan our future out, we have no idea what is ahead of us. We often avoid the conversation of death seeing as it can be dark and scary, but I believe it is important to talk about death to realize the importance of life. Within just the past few weeks alone, I have heard at least 4 stories of people my age in my community who have unexpectedly lost their lives due to tragic events. If these people knew they were going to die so young, would they have lived their lives differently?

To anyone reading this, stop waiting until tomorrow to live your life. You don't know how much time you have left on the clock. Whether your goal is to travel the world, learn how to play an instrument, finally go to the gym, or teach yourself a new language, start today. As a society, we have created this idea in our heads that we must live life by a timeline. We believe that we are put on this earth to go to school, get a job, make money, and retire. Once we retire, we believe that we can finally do the things that we have wanted to do for so long. But what if we don't make it that far? There is no timer on life and we can't predict how much time we have left. If you died tomorrow, would you be happy with the life you lived? If not, this is your sign to do something about it.

From now on, try to live in the moment and do the things you want. Appreciate the value of life and don't let the fear of death stop you from living. Although it can be scary, step outside of your comfort zone. Order something new at your favorite restaurant. Tell the people around you how you feel about them. Do the things that you have been wanting to do for so long. I hope that one day at my funeral instead of mourning my death, people can come together and celebrate my life. At that moment, I will know I truly lived.