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I just wanna feel this moment

| Wednesday, October 27, 2021

I’ve never really been the biggest fan of Halloween, but this year I couldn’t be more excited for the holiday. I have several costumes, planned my hair styles for each one, and have thoroughly prepared myself for the weekend ahead. None of this is at all because I enjoy the sentiments of the holiday, or that I love dressing up as things other than myself. I am most excited about spending my last Halloweekend with my friends in college, since I won’t be able to relive these moments again. These moments of recognition that my college experience is coming to a close continue to re-center the importance of this year, and I am constantly worried about how best to experience them. I want to make these memories count, but how do I best do that?

People always say to live in the moment and that the best way to experience life is to be present when things are happening. However, I think some of us are so focused on the fact that we have to make these memories count that we miss the gravity of the experience all together. We want each moment to count so much because they are our last, that we prohibit ourselves from enjoying them. Sometimes we are so focused on how best to remember the most influential or fleeting moments of our lives because we again know they aren’t going to last and they are only temporary. However, when we become consumed with preserving the moments for later, we miss the importance of the moments while they are happening. 

We came to college constantly reminded of how the moments we experience here will be the best we will ever have, and instead of simply being in the moment, we frustrate yourselves with the task of making sure we are making the most of every second and persevering it for our future selves. But when we look back on our college experience, we might only be reminded of how we tried to make every moment count as opposed to letting the moments make themselves. We run ourselves dry by overcommitting ourselves to events so that we can experience everything, and we frustrate ourselves sometimes when the events don’t go the way we planned them to. Our senior memories of college are occupied with us trying to make the most and the best memories instead of just letting them happen. 

While energies run high with the stress of finding a job, taking entry exams and all of the other endeavors after graduation, we need to make the effort to truly enjoy the rest of the time that we have here, and not focus on the implications of after. We shouldn’t be adding more expectations to our already long list of things to accomplish by adding requirements to our experiences. Furthermore, the things that are the most unexpected in our experiences are the things that usually end up being the most memorable, and trying to prevent them from happening might also deplete the possibility in our experience. If the plans you originally made didn’t work out, maybe they weren’t meant to and a better plan is waiting to commence.

The relationships we have built here are also being strengthened by the last experiences we have allotted to us while still on campus. These people have helped us grow from fresh college students to worldly young adults and the life we have shared with them will forever impact us. In four years, we have built bonds with people who have become our greatest friends, and it is only by chance and time that we might be able to keep these friendships throughout the years. We want to make the most of the last few moments we have with each other that are dedicated to celebrating friendship, but if we focus too much on life after these moments or hoping the memories are as good as possible, we again lose sight of truly enjoying ourselves with our friends. If we focus on making all of these experiences perfect and as memorable as possible, will they really ever be memorable? 

I know we are still in our first semester, but the time still feels like it is ticking away from us quickly, and before we know it May will be knocking at our doors. It feels like we must include every event possible to make this year worthwhile, especially after having two years that sometimes feel extremely incomplete due to COVID. Not only do we have to make senior year memorable because it is our last, but we also have to make up for the lost moments of our college experience due to the pandemic. In doing so, we should make these moments memorable because they are memorable, and not because we feel we must. Senior year isn’t running away from us too quickly for us to make each moment truly special.

Sydni Brooks is a senior studying English and gender studies. She hopes to continue her work in writing and editing in her career advocating for women’s health issues. She can be reached through her email [email protected] or @sydnimaree22 on Twitter.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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