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Oy, what a weekend

September 30, 2012

A couple nights ago, I found myself sitting on the floor with my back against the wall and my legs pulled up against my chest. I thought about all the studying I had to do this weekend and about how my calendar indicates that it never seems to end. Not in a “woe is me” type of way, but in a “There aren’t enough hours in the day, and I don’t see how this will all get done and how am I ever going to survive the real world” type of way. So that was fun.

Now, it’s about 48 hours later. In the hours of those that I have been awake, I have done schoolwork for all but six of them. It’s college; it is what it is. I feel productive and more prepared for the week. Everything worked out, just like it always does.

But as I sat there reading about precipitation and transcribing notes about Seneca, I could not help but ask myself what the point was of spending an entire weekend inside doing schoolwork. What’s the point of studying for and taking these tests and doing these assignments and reading these chapters when all we really have – all we are actually certain of – is today? I could step out the door tomorrow on my way to E’s and be hit by a car (goodness knows, I’ve come close enough already), and what do I have to show for myself? Pages of notes about philosophers’ ideas? I do not want that to be the mark I leave on this world.

I don’t mean to sound bitter. I’m just frustrated, and I guess a little stressed. I’ve been contemplating the questions for a few hours and couldn’t come up with anything, which made me feel badly because I know I’m lucky to get to go to college and pursue this education. Plus, I actually like school and learning.

I’ve been looking at the notecard I have on my wall – the one spelling out the things I find most important in life: the people in it, doing good, appreciating the moment and really living. I’ve been trying to figure out where school falls on that list because I don’t really feel like I’m really living when I’m spending so much of my time doing schoolwork.

But then I started thinking about another item on my notecard: appreciating the moment. I started to realize that appreciating the moment isn’t just a value for a month in Italy or an evening with friends or a volleyball match or whatever constitutes a good time. Appreciating the moment needs to be a value for all the time – every second of every day, whether those seconds are spent with family and friends or Plato and Aristotle.

But that still doesn’t answer my question of what’s the point and the whole hit by a car scenario. It’s moments like that when I need to remind myself of the big picture: that all these days are pieces of the puzzle that makes up my life; that the work I am putting forth now to get to where I want to be is all worth it. But besides the big picture that is my future, I need to remind myself of the big picture that is the present – that even though it might seem like all I do is schoolwork and my shoulders ache from being hunched over a desk for hours upon hours, my life is more than one dimensional. My life includes great people, great activities, great experiences, great outlets and a great school that make it, well, great.

I need to remind myself that even though things are difficult and stressful, it’s not supposed to be easy. The best things in life are worked for, and I am willing to put forth the effort in every avenue of my life to get to where I want to be. Eventually, I’ll get there. I’ll make it. Because it’s all worth it.

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From → Sophomore

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