In The Blink Of An Eye

In The Blink Of An Eye

Oh my goodness, where is the time going?
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As a junior who is now preparing to start applying to colleges and suddenly having to think about going out into the real world at some point in the not-so-distant future, I have recently been reflecting on what experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today -- into the person who will shortly have to navigate their way through the so called, "real world".

Obviously, many of my most memorable moments in recent years have taken place in high school, but taking a moment to look back on high school so far quickly led me to realizing how rapidly it is going by. Yes, I know I still have over a year and a half of high school left, but it still feels like I should have more time that that left. It is like I woke up one day and suddenly, I was a junior. What??

Honestly, I do not feel much older (or wiser, for that matter) than the wide-eyed fourteen-year-old who walked into the high school over two years ago. I feel even less of a difference from last year. I still have tight group of girlfriends. I still like math better than social studies. I might have gotten a little taller and hopefully a little less awkward, but not much else has changed besides the dates flying by on the calendar.

From this stark realization, I have concluded that I need to slow down. I spend every second of every waking hour occupied by someone or something; there is always a new task straining for my attention, ready to be tackled. I wake up, go to school, attend clubs, grind my way through sports practices, painstakingly complete my homework and study for innumerable quizzes and tests, and then go to sleep a frazzled mess. Then, I get to wake up and rush through that routine all over again. As a result of always being so stimulated in my daily life, I never have the opportunity to sit down and soak in what is going on around me. I am always preoccupied by the to-do list in the back of my head constantly rambling off the next activity or I am scheduled to cross off the list.

If I do not slow down at some point, or at least figure out a way to wiggle some breathing room into my crazy schedule, I am afraid my remaining time in high school will fly by without me even realizing it is gone.

And it is not so much that I am focused on the future as opposed to what I may be doing right now, it is more so that I am focused on the wrong things right now. I need to be more contentious of my surrounding and remember to stop and smell the roses, whether figuratively or literally, more often, and I recommend you do the same, regardless of whether or not you see your life flashing past you at the same breakneck speed mine I do.

I do not want my time in high school to be over yet. It is not over yet. I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Cover Image Credit: Foundation for Excellence in Education

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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