Life is a beautiful thing. Something that gives you infinite possibilities, and lets you make countless memories filled with laughter and joy. However, we often take life for granted, forgetting that we only live once. The importance of making each day count can't be stressed enough.
In the world we live in today, we are constantly reminded of the looming possibility of sadness and the horrors that exist in the world. You turn on the news and see frightening images, from the most recent school shooting in my own hometown of Parkland at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the countless acts of terror around the globe. What we have to remember when we see these things is that life is not promised and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
I would like to say I have had a pretty good life so far, filled with many moments I am incredibly grateful for. I have an amazing family that loves and supports me, friends who always have my back and are good for a laugh, success with my career path and academics. I've made fantastic memories in my past 21 years. But, I also know that I don't want to fall into a routine – into a constant get up, go to school or work, come home and do it all over again. I want more from life.
I want to wake up in the morning and feel excited, to try something new, talk to someone I've never spoken to before, to ensure that I am making the absolute most of this life as I possibly can. I want to travel to distant places and experience their cultures. I want to expand my horizons beyond what I am used to. I want to challenge myself and all of you to do something that scares you, something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, something that makes you feel alive.
If there's something I've learned over the past month, it's that as much goodness and happiness life can bring your way, it can also bring devastation, terror, and inexplicable sadness. It doesn't make sense. There's no rhyme or reason, no fairness. But that's life. There's no way to see what tomorrow will have in store for you; to know if it will be the best day of your life or the worst. Whether it will be a day you'll always remember or your last.
There's no better time than the present to make this life worth it. To create those memories that you'll look back at and think, "Wow, I can't believe I did that." It's our job to make those memories. To be a little crazy. To have fun. And most importantly, to live for those who can't.
Life is hard. There's no denying that. But we all have to make those hard times worth it. To enjoy this time that we are so graciously given. I don't want to look back and wish I did more; that I had more experiences. I want to look back and be grateful for this journey – my journey. I want to have every laugh I can, love every person I can, have as much fun as possible, travel as many places as my bank account can afford and live my life to the absolute fullest as humanly possible.
As the beautiful soul taken from us way too soon, Alex Schachter, so truthfully explained: life is like a rollercoaster. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but we have to make each moment count.