Okay. Time for some real talk.
I'm a fast walker. Seriously, I basically speed walk through everything. It annoys the heck out of my friends, who are constantly saying, "Sophia, slow down! You're going to fast!"
I blame my various long-legged family members (thanks Dad) for making me this way. As a kid, I was always exhausted from sprinting to keep up with his long-legged strides at the zoo, through walks to the mailbox, trick-or-treating, everything.
You are probably thinking, "Why is the chick talking about speed walking? Why is this even relevant? What?" Just wait. I'm getting there.
I'm a fast person. I do everything quickly and to the fullest extent, rushing to and from places as fast as I can go. I'm impatient and like things to move at the same speed as me, which is a speed combo of Road Runner and Usain Bolt.
Now, for homework and assignments and deadlines, that is great. But I've come to realize that being quick doesn't help me learn as a human.
See, the faster we move, the faster things go by and the more we forget. The quicker we move through the streets, halls, and alleyways, the more we focus on the non-important features and the more we neglect the real fixtures in our lives.
I was walking through the College Green to get to class and I literally did a double take. Through the cut of the trees, I could see the clear sunshine of the day, edged by the purple clouds of an incoming storm, while students darted to and from classes. It was beautiful, the kind of beautiful that you walk through every day without ever realizing.
The beauty of campus came from the people too. I never knew I could be surrounded by so much green and so many people, genuinely happy people, who were actually looking forward to their day and the possibilities it held. The coiled, snapping energy they emitted was as contagious as it was exciting.
Later that day, I was atop Radar Hill, a light rain sprinkling down on me, and Athens was spread out below me like a beautiful patchwork quilt of towers, cobblestone streets, and squares of vibrant green. It reminded me of Ireland, how ancient and timeless the land and the people were. It was as if the very soil of Ireland, and Athens, were the teachers, and we, the students.
It was then I realized that going slow has nothing to do with being less involved with your life. If anything, slowing down, physically and mentally, was the best way to fully appreciate the real beauty of the world around you.
So keep your deadlines, your due dates, and your schedule. Just remember to take a moment to breathe, relax, and look for the beauty in your surroundings. Maybe you'll have to step back like I did.