Living For The Future: A Cultural Epidemic
Start writing a post

Living For The Future: A Cultural Epidemic

Awaiting the future can seem natural, but living anywhere besides the present is truly a waste of your precious time.

Living For The Future: A Cultural Epidemic

Imagine you're ninety years old, lying on a hospital bed and reflecting back on your life. Now, imagine reflecting on your past ninety years on earth and realizing that you've spent most of it living for the future. Having reached ninety and at a point in life where there is not much more future to plan for, you now have to reevaluate what exactly it is you are living for and why.

So then, based on your circumstances you are not left with many more options than to live for right here and right now. But, why is this idea of embracing the present so foreign to us before we reach our older ages? Let's unpack this thing together.

Think back to high school for a second. This stage in your life may not bring back the most positive feelings, but when you dig down deep you realize more and more why it should. Receiving this education was an opportunity to learn about the building blocks of life and expand your perspective overall.

Unfortunately before we could appreciate all that we were learning, we skipped to frantically working solely for an 'A' on the report card. Somehow, it was more about a letter than being passionate or truly understanding a topic.

It doesn't stop here; the trend continues. Without realizing the true benefits of a high school education, we think to its future purpose: college. This may seem normal because planning for the future is important, but this thinking can also take away from the importance of all the different stages of our lives that should be precious to us all on their own.

That’s the thing about doing something as a means to advance to the next thing—it only permits a fractional amount of attention on where we are currently. And spoiler alert, the "next thing" is soon wiped out by another "next thing." And so the pattern continues.

Before you even take your first step on a college campus you can expect to hear questions about choosing a major that will hopefully lead to a high-paying job. Following this trend, high school is a means to college as college is a means to a high-paying job.

We often forget that college is a deliberate choice of furthering our education and is truly such a unique and wonderful opportunity. I would argue that our priority should be on learning as much as we can about becoming our best possible selves instead of working towards a higher GPA with the hopes of getting an impressive job title. But if we don't change our focus, another one of the greatest opportunities of our lives as humans could be reduced to a bunch of letters.

This does not mean that we should not always strive for good grades. After all, good grades show that we are on top of our studies and gives us an increased incentive to learn. The real problem only comes in when our priority transfers from actually learning something to just a letter grade.

Now it's time for that job that you've been planning for, and after working for a little while, you will probably start envisioning a glorious retirement where you can get to really enjoy life. Do you see the trend now?

Living for the future has a great chance of resulting in spending each stage of life fifty percent for the here and now, and fifty percent looking forward at what might be just a little better, and who wants to live life at a level of fifty percent?

Enjoying every ounce of life's experiences to the fullest degree and appreciating where we are at in our lives right now should not be traded for planning the next thing. So try and establish the precedent of recognizing every bit of who and where you are in this moment. Don't be convinced that your best life is just around the corner and neglect this moment right here.

I am so grateful to be twenty-one years old and have so much in front of me, but sometimes I still need to imagine my ninety year-old self in order to determine if what I am living for is of true benefit to me. I want to live for now so that at the end my life I can admire my collection of memories lived at a one-hundred level, compared to fifty. So the future will come when it comes, but for right now, I am all good to appreciate what I’ve got right here in front of me.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Peter Truong

If you still have not figured out what you want to cook on Thanksgiving, baked macaroni and cheese is something worth considering. It is simple, affordable, and delicious. I have had many different types of baked mac and cheese and most are dry. I do not like a dry mac and cheese, it just does not seem appealing to me. If you like the creamy cheesy essence of mac and cheese, look no further, this recipe is for you.


Keep Reading... Show less

As a first-year college student, I've been doing a lot of meeting and introducing myself to people, often with the classic format of "name, hometown, major".

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

This Simple 7-Step DIY Face Mask Combines Safety — And Sustainability

Instead of studying like I intended on doing today, I made a face mask for some reason and thought I'd share how I did.


If you were looking for a simple way to make a mask, I am happy to share how I personally make them. I have a pretty small face in general, so I prefer having my homemade ones so they fit better. This is also a great alternative to just throwing away any clothes! Before starting, you will need to make sure you have fabric, thread, a needle, and pins; if you have a sewing machine, you obviously could use that instead of hand sewing it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

6 Ways To Handle The Stress Of Earning Your Degree From Your Childhood Bedroom

Oh so this was the room where I snuck cookies upstairs past my bedtime and stole R-Rated movies to watch when my parents were asleep and now I'm expected to earn my degree in this very same room?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It's definitely not easy, but it's something so many kids are struggling with right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

November is such an underrated month. With all the excitement that comes with Halloween ending and the holiday season around the corner, some people skip over it and go straight to their Christmas playlist. For me though, November is the perfect time to compile a playlist of songs that bring on major nostalgia which I think is perfect for this time of year. If you're looking for something to get you in that thankful spirit before you head into the Christmas spirit or something to play while you enjoy Friendsgiving, here are some go-to songs to add to your November playlist.

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift is famous for her Easter eggs on social media that hint at what is coming next for her. Over the past few days, fans noticed a change in Swift's hair when she was accepting her win as Apple's songwriter of the year that was reminiscent of the "Red" era. Of course, this has caused widespread speculation that Swift has begun to re-record her masters.

Keep Reading... Show less

While joyful, the holiday season can also be stressful for many and that's A-O.K. Plus, with the added tension that is 2020, this year's holiday season is a lot, to put it simply.

This is your reminder to put yourself first and listen to what you're yearning for. Deep down, you know what you need to thrive and I know that you can get there.

Keep Reading... Show less

25 'Open When' Topics And Ideas For That Special Someone In Your Life

Open When Letters are letters you can give to your special someone.

Lauren McCally

Stuck on what to get the person you love the most?

And, well, let's be honest, is hard to shop for? Well then, why not send them some Open When Letters?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments