I am one of those people who is often too focused on the future or the past to truly live in the present. It’s not a good thing to do; though looking towards the future is certainly never an altogether bad thing, and often keeps me from living in the moment.
This semester has been a particularly hard one, and has left me wanting to do anything but live in the moment. Since early September, I have been anxiously awaiting Christmas break. This semester has been the most mentally challenging of any I have had thus far, and had me debating whether this whole college thing was actually worth it (I like to think I never seriously was considering quitting, but sometimes I wonder if the constant stress, exhaustion, and anxiety is actually worth it in the end).
To get through such a rough semester, I more often than not looked to the future. Graduation in May, the holidays with my family, the weekend at the end of a long, hard week. At times, though, I let this keep me from living in the moment. The moment wasn’t always pretty – sometimes it was tears, sometimes it was eight straight hours of homework on a Saturday or spending what seemed like a decade trying to decipher middle English – but moments are what make up life, and if I would only stop long enough to do so, I could find something good in each and every one.
I often fail at experiencing life in the moment. I am writing this article as a reminder even to myself. I remember talking to one of my friends freshman year (almost three and a half long years ago now) about this exact conundrum. I was telling her that my goal was to not live life looking forward to the weekend, but instead finding little things in everyday moments that helped me to savor the here and now. I’m realizing at the end of this terrible semester that I need to return to this take on life that I had at the start of my college career. I may be busier than I ever imagined I would be and more stressed than I thought I would be able to handle, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t experience life moment by moment and be in the here and now, not always looking forward to the end of the day or the end of the week. I need to experience life, because it’s worth it.