Past, Present, And Future
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Student Life

Past, Present, And Future


This morning, I woke up earlier than usual. A breeze gently waved the window curtains at me, providing a crisp rush of air that snapped me awake. Comforter thrown off, feet slipped into Smart Wool socks and bathroom-bound to perform my morning ritual, I was ready for the day. Because of my uncharacteristically early start, I had more time to decide on what I would wear. Instead of grabbing whichever pair of leggings sat on the top of the pants stack and slipping on the nearest oversized sweater, I gently sifted through my wardrobe, searching for something new and exciting. As my hands grazed the tough fabric of a long-forgotten pair of jeans, I stopped.

As if a switch had been flipped on, a collage of memories filled my head. Dancing and twirling on the beach. Singing along to "Alright"and "Wagon Wheel"at the Darius Rucker concert. Getting ready for homecoming and trying on ridiculously overpriced RayBans. Laughing over a big bucket of buttery popcorn as The Hangover played onscreen.

I carefully withdrew the jeans from the precarious stack and let them unfold to their full length, hanging there in the air by my outstretched arms. The style was boot cut—something you rarely see these days on a campus dominated by skinny jeans and even skinnier jeggings—and of a clean, dark wash with purposeful wearing at the belt loops and cuffs. There was a tiny, imperceptible rip at the side of the crotch from when I'd tripped once while wearing them, but you couldn’t tell it was there. Mindlessly, I shimmied out of my pajamas and slid into the old pair of pants. They fit as if I’d just worn them yesterday and the slightly worn fabric clung to my skin like an old friend.

I smiled nostalgically and continued getting ready for the day. I popped downstairs for a taste of Tridelt Grilled Cheese Friday (along with cereal/bagel/banana/yogurt/fruit samplings) and headed out the door to my first class. After class, I settled into my favorite study spot at the Fishbowl, pulling out my planner and planning out my work schedule. I realized it was a close friend from high school’s birthday and quickly went about creating the most epic PicStitch Instagram, commemorating an accurate timeline of our friendship.

Then, I sat there. Instead of turning to the mountain of work I’d set out for myself to do, I started thinking about home. I started thinking about high school and all of the people I graduated with, all the friends I had made so many memories with – many of whom had moved on and many others with whom I still kept regular contact. 

I felt a slight pang of sadness as I looked down at the denim of my blue jeans. They weren’t really my blue jeans. This particular pair belonged to my best friend from high school. She’d loaned them to me one humid night for a football game and then insisted I keep them because she never wore them anyway. Somehow, despite the two years that have elapsed, they hid in my closet, through freshman year dormitories, storage sheds and a plethora of transitions.

Time moves forward and everything changes. People come and go and our priorities shift as we set new goals and uncover new interests. We change. We become people we never imagined. High school was a full two years ago for me and it feels like a lifetime. It’s sad when people who meant so much to us fade, nothing more than a nostalgic memory. 

A realization suddenly struck me – we’re going to continue to change and grow as our lives progress, creating more memories that will also disappear into a bank of history and forgotten moments. But they’re there. Those moments are there and they mean something. They make us who we are.

Even though I’m absolutely ecstatic about my approaching spring term stay, my summer trip to California, and the exciting prospect of study abroad España, I also know that the now is important. Because sitting here in my favorite study spot at the Fishbowl may seem inconsequential, but one day that, too, will only be a fond memory, floating in the recesses of an aged mind. 

Live in the now, but don’t forget the past. And don’t forget to keep moving forward. 

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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