Your Most Valuable Possession: Time

Your Most Valuable Possession: Time

A speech I gave a year ago on time still holds true today.
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I have been thinking about time lately. My time, how I use it, how I could use it more efficiently. I also had time on my mind because the end my freshman year of college is rapidly approaching. Midterms. Spring Break. April. And soon it will be over. I began to ponder about my future, and reminiscence on my past. And I remembered a talk I gave to my graduating senior class the day before our graduation. I have written the transcript of my talk below. I think the message is still as relevant as it is today as it was last year. I guess you could say the message is… timeless. (NB: The content of the talk remains unchanged, with the exception of brackets which are placed for clarification.)

When I heard about the opportunity to speak at Prize Day I was excited. However I had no idea what I would speak about. So I did what any high schooler would do. Procrastinate. Yes, the senioritis had hit me pretty hard. I just wanted to finish my senior project and sleep. As the days moved closer and closer to prize day, I postponed the writing of my speech. As a matter of fact when Mr. Mills [our dean of students] emailed asking me how the speechwriting was going, I simply ignored the email. The problem I’ve had that might be relatable to many of you is procrastination. I treat some projects like a rash, ignore it and hope it goes away. But that never works unfortunately. Time marches on.

Time is odd because it’s one of the few things that affects every physical thing we as individuals experience. There is nothing else in life that you are guaranteed to experience and nothing else is the same for everyone. The taste of pepperoni pizza, your education, emotions, etc. are all different from person to person . It would be hard, nearly impossible, to find two people that have had the same experiences. But time is felt by everyone.

We are mere moments away from our graduation, our commencement, which marks the end of our high school careers and the beginning of the transition into college. We have passed through a season in our lives which ends in a single point of time.

Time because of its ubiquity and inevitable nature has been the constant subject of debate and discussion. John Dunne’ hypothesized, in his 1927 work An Experiment with Time, that all moments of time that have happened and will happen take place at once and that the human consciousness perceives time at a fixed rate. The Vedas, the earliest text of Hindu and Indian philosophy dating back to the 2nd millennium BC, proposed that the universe goes through constant cycles of creation, destruction, and rebirth each lasting 4320 million years. Einstein calculated that measurements of time are relative dependent on the velocity of observers.

Time is constantly on our minds. In the Bible, Time is mentioned in many places but none more extensively as Ecclesiastes 3. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” The verse continues, “There is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,” etc. etc. providing examples of the highs and lows in our lives. The writer is saying that to all things there is an appropriate, pre-ordained, time period in which they must take place. High school was good, but time moves on, we must become more mature, we must move into the next phase of our lives. Looking back on the past we may remember it with nostalgia, we may long for the simpler days of elementary school. I’m not sure who longs to go back to middle school, but whatever the case may be, we must not get stuck in the trap of constantly looking back.

In this season of high school and in life, we’ve have times, instances where we get so caught up in the schedule we have that we forget to actually live. In high school, you are constantly given things that you must do. Schoolwork, homework, sports, performing arts, social events all make us focus so much on the schedules. WE want to be the best in everything that we do and to be the best we have to give time to each of our passions. We soon become a slave to our schedules, always trying to be on time, always trying to be the best. I’ve done that before and from personal experience I can tell you that it is not enjoyable. Constantly running around trying to satisfy all obligations is draining. What you’re doing becomes perfunctory. It is not done because it is fun, but because it is necessary. I implore all of you to never become slaves to your schedules. The schedule is draining and restraining. It makes life a hassle. Once you reduce your life to a checklist, you begin to make a fatal mistake. You don’t appreciate your time. You do not value the mere fact that you have time, that you are alive, you do not appreciate what you have been blessed with. We mistake busyness with being productive and lose sight of what is important. This is a huge mistake.

There are some things you can never get back in life: innocence, trust, and time. Once you’ve lost it, squandered it, it’s gone forever. It is truly a tragedy to waste time. So once you get so caught up in the schedule you lose focus of your time and your life. As we, the class of 2015, move into college, and the rest of you move through your life, I remind you to cherish your time. Do not get so caught up in completing your checklist, in ceremonies and rituals, in pomp and circumstance, that you do not enjoy your time. You must appreciate your time. Both the good times and the bad times because it is yours. Time is the one thing that is truly yours. Despite times’ universal nature, your time is truly unique. When you waste your time it is only your fault. No one else has your time, your experiences. Nothing can waste your time except you. Not Netflix, not schoolwork, not your friends. You may waste time at the DMV waiting for a license, but other than that it is up to you to use your time wisely.

I think one final reason time is always on our minds is that subconsciously we all know that it is limited. No one knows the day or the hour but our time runs out eventually. And some fear and worry about when that instant will be. Some fear aging and everything associated with it. But I say do not fear or worry about maturing. Embrace it. Value the new times you will have because it only happens once.

So, the class of 2015 is moments away from the end of its season here at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School. We’ve had a good run and good times. There was a time to win games, and a time to lose them, a time to party and a time to study, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to climb hills at Shrine Mont [our senior class retreat] and a time to take in the view, a time for the college process and a time for a college acceptance, a time to take awkward middle school photos and a time to forget those photos, a time for write essays and a time to revise those essays, a time for dating and a time for breakups, a time for Legally Blonde [our spring musical] show tunes and a time NOT to sing those show tunes, a time to train and a time for Homecoming, Sleepy Thomson [annual basketball tournament], and the Draper Track meet [annual track meet], a time to get a C+ on a Latin test and a time to beg for extra credit, a time to fight and a time to make up, a time to study and a time to cram, a time for Chipotle and another time for Chipotle, a time to do homework and a time to not do homework (I mean, It’s always time to do homework), a time to say hello and a time to say goodbye. The class of 2015 has to say goodbye to our school community after tomorrow. It is the end of our time we have been blessed with here at SSSAS. I thank God for every second of it. Thank you all for the impact you’ve made on my time here and I hope I was able to affect yours too.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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