Carpe Diem: What It Means To 'Seize The Moment

Carpe Diem: What It Means To 'Seize The Moment


We have all at some point in our lives heard the phrase “carpe diem,” or we may have seen it printed on T-shirts, purses or even pieces of art in frames to be hung. This certain phrase essentially means to “seize the moment” and not worry about what tomorrow has in store, to take hold of today in a tight grasp. Even though we have all more than likely heard or seen this phrase tossed around from time to time, have any of us really taken the time to sit back and relish on the truth and wisdom behind these words?

In many ways, words can be empowering, discouraging, angering or uplifting, but they can also scream wisdom and truth into our ears. (Often times, though, we brush them off our shoulders like lint from the dryer stuck on our T-shirts.) Or we merely overlook them and end up not putting in as much thought as we should. “Carpe diem” is one of those phrases that I feel as though I tend to not pay much attention to, as well as many others I know. We all get so wrapped up in our busy lives, running here and there that we rarely take time to think about what this may mean. So what does it actually mean, and why do we even use this phrase?

You have control over it. This is not, however, telling you to be controlling but to have control. To have the control and wisdom to decide what you will do with each day you are given in your life. Life here on Earth is short, so I encourage you to live every day to its very fullest, the fullest until it bursts at the very seams. Fill it with experiences.

To seize the moment, then, means to take a hold of the experiences and opportunities in life that you are given. To take a hold of the spontaneity of life, to enjoy the fun moments and to reflect on the not so fun moments. To consume life in such a way that you remember every aspect and person you experience. Seizing a moment is not only about yourself, however. It is also about those whom you are surrounded by in that situation or whom you choose to surround yourself with. Not every moment needs to be grand and glorious; life is sometimes so rewarding when things go forward in a simplistic way. But nonetheless, make the best out of every moment you have. Make yourself available to be with others, to live life with the people you enjoy; learn from them, and allow them to learn from you. There is more in this life than work, textbooks or moneythere is a whole world out there! And in our lives, we typically only experience a small chunk of that world, so seize the moments in your chunk, and be that impactful human whom everyone will remember.

To me, seizing the moment really means to take advantage of situations you are given and live them to their full capacity. Sometimes, it is so much more worth it to go out on an adventure, be social, meet new people or just put yourself out there so that you can find that moment to seize. Sometimes, the moments we remember in life aren’t the ones we planned but the ones that happened spontaneously and turned into a moment that is impossible to release. Don’t release those moments and memories; rather, store them in a cubby in your brain, and allow them to stick with you wherever you may go. Let those moments you embrace in life impact you and leave their imprint on your short little life, and share them with others.

In the end, I encourage every one of you who reads this to get out there and live your life. Live your life alongside those you love and those you’ve never met. Live every day you are given to the fullest, enjoy the good and bad times, embrace change and spontaneity and “carpe diem,” my friends.

Cover Image Credit: JaneBenston

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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Quarter's End

Reflection of winter quarter.


As I walked through UW's quad today, finally liberated of the past impending finals stress, I felt like the college students propagated in films. Book in one hand, hydroflask in the other, I sat on a bench for several hours intently people watching, as clusters formed in large numbers sprawled on the green, waving blades of grass. The laughter poured ceaselessly in an echo chamber of joy, frisbees soaring in the sky and dogs basking in the radiant sun. While at my arrival sparse shade descended upon the cherry blossom trees, flower buds nearing bloom, and as time continued on, the darkness precipitated greater departures.

Several months ago it would have been slightly less pleasant in the same spot, decayed leaves fallen on the ground and chill air warding off the masses. I would have finished my first quarter of college, still completely unfamiliar of my surroundings and fearing the loss of precious time with little progression. I consider those months now to be a fundamental adjustment period to the daunting entity that is college.

With this last winter I have made new memories that have steadily taken the form of a string of polaroids on my wall, products of the experiences I had never encountered prior. The morning of my first snow I opened the curtain of my window to a bed of powdered white on the floor, emergent snowmen, some of which already defaced, meticulously crafted. My excitement for delayed midterms and endless snowball fights slowly dwindled as my overly ecstatic Californian self soon realized that schoolwork accumulated and snow was inherently capable of extreme wetness.

I attended classes that truly stretched my mental sanity in one way or another, struggling through the dynamic processes of electrochemistry and the defining humanism of communications. I grappled comprehending such a range of knowledge, but now have gained perspective of the intersection of the humanities and sciences.

Among the many encounters I have had with heightened emotions, some far too demanding and concentrated, I can genuinely say now with some inner contentment that college is something extraordinary in its makings. There is not a single second of the day that I associate with empty vacancy, as every fleeting moment serves some purpose to me. The few occasions I was able to just laze in my dorm room alone, reenergizing myself for the next task at hand, I exhaled and reflected on how much life could just go on.

With already two quarters completed now, I am going to make a more conscious effort to appreciate all that is college. A simple precursory glance today at a space of UW students jointly relieving themselves in the quad was everything I could have asked for in a school. It was a beautiful jagged agglomeration of the diverse feelings and experiences that take shape on campus, and my only hope is that these four years happen with immense deliberation.

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