Take A Step Back
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Health and Wellness

Take A Step Back

Why enjoying yourself and appreciating the people you love are so important.

Take A Step Back

Have you ever thought about how much we as college students rush through life? We get caught up in the papers due and the readings required and the tests impending and the due dates looming, and we just go go go, rushing through life and letting the truly important things pass us by. It's almost as if we live in the moment to a fault. You say to yourself, "I have to work through lunch today, I need to get those readings done." Or you say, "I can't go to that event, I just really need to get some work done right now." We become so hyper-focused on what needs to be done here and now that we completely forget about the big picture. We live only in the present moment, trying to make the most of the time we have but not even considering our future moments, and how those future moments might be affected by our present moments. It is as if our lives become a whirlwind of doing only the most pressing things when they need to be done, and our lives start to pass us by. You get to the end of a busy week, and the beginning of the week seems like an eternity ago.

I'm a big fan of the quote, "It's okay if you can only save one person, and it's okay if that person is yourself." Ultimately, you are the pilot of your own life and it is up to you to lead a life that makes you happy. However, I do think that the integrity of our quest for happiness can easily become compromised. For me, it is very easy to get stressed and overwhelmed by schoolwork because doing my best and living up to my potential makes me happy; the prospect of my hard work eventually paying off to achieve my short term goal of making Dean's List every semester and my long term goal of graduating Phi Beta Kappa makes me happy; the idea of my hard work eventually helping me have my dream job makes me happy. But this is where the conflict between present and future happiness arises – in our foresight for doing what will make us happy in the future, we forget about our present happiness. More importantly, we forget about the things and people that make us happy right now.

It is important to remind yourself that time spent with friends is precious, and that you can do your homework later. Even if you know deep down that you might be screwing yourself over in the responsibilities department, remember that you are responsible for being happy. Allow yourself to have the happiness that you deserve. Yes, work hard, but also say yes to hanging out with friends. Say yes to going out. Say yes to doing something fun even though you should probably be doing work instead. Forego the "should dos" and do what brings you enjoyment. Remember that your time in college, as wonderful and free and exciting as it is, is fleeting. Life is the same way. The time is now to make the most of it, so don't let it pass you by.

Even though it is okay to think of yourself and your life and what you need to do, it is important to take a step back to appreciate the people in your life who make you happy. Yes, focus on creating your own happiness, but also remember the people who are there for you through thick and thin, who love you and care for you. Be aware of how your focus on yourself can become self-centered, and in that way neglecting of the people in your life who you care about. Take a step back from yourself and tell those important people in your life that you love and appreciate them. You never know when you won't get the chance to do that anymore.

Take a step back from the hustle and bustle of life and cherish the time and people you have. Don't let enjoying yourself and showing appreciation and love to the people you care about – life, which is so precious – slip by. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

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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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