It seems as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Oct. 31, citizens all over America retire their cat ears and vampire fangs for the year and immediately start hanging Christmas lights and decking their halls with boughs of holly. Fa-la-la-what?
Now I’m no Grinch; if the world wants to go from murderous monsters to Santa Claus overnight, then so be it. If Target and Walmart insist on throwing stockings and artificial, pre-lit trees my way then hey, there could be worse things.
It is possible, however, that this raises a broader and arguably more important matter – are we as a society too accustomed to looking toward the future? Are we guilty of not living in the moment?
We as college students are trained to think ahead and keep the future in mind. We’ve grown up in a world that properly functions in a chronological order. Get good Scholastic Aptitude Test scores to go to a good college. Get good grades in college to graduate. Graduate with the hopes of getting a good job. Get a good job to make a living. These are all things that have been sitting in the back of our minds while missing out on living in the moment.
And those are just the big ones. Tis’ the season for registration, and Sonoma State University students will be thinking ahead and strategically mapping out their schedule for next semester.
With that in mind, you can’t really blame us for not being able to fully embrace each moment as it comes, because it has been so deeply engraved in our brains that the decisions we make now pave the path for the rest of our life.
There is no denying our education and career choices now will be major players in the upcoming years of our lives. That’s not to say, however, we can’t enjoy the moment we are in.
Recently at a concert, there was the dilemma of wanting to take infinite pictures and videos to look back on, and wanting to just turn the camera off, toss it back in my bag and enjoy the show.
I’ve been the girl at a concert who spent the whole time with a camera in front of my face before. Sure, by the end there were plenty of videos to “relive” the experience, but it wasn’t so much as reliving the good time because I felt it hadn’t been experienced right the first time.
So when the next concert rolled around, I took only a few rushed pictures and just kept my phone in my pocket. I decided to let the rest of the world do the recording. The result was a few shaky pictures living in my phone, and one of the most enjoyable, memorable nights of my life. Looking back, the concert was too enjoyable to even think about documenting it.
There’s a popular theory that everyone should consider living by, and it’s that a good 95 percent of your life should be spent in the exact moment you stand.
Small decisions and problems will work themselves out, but the bigger choices, those 5 percent, deserve all of your heart, soul and sweat no matter how long it takes.
So in short, don’t choose your major or the person you’re going to marry overnight, but next time you walk to class, notice your surroundings and commit yourself to fully being there. We’re young, and these moments no matter how small, are ones that count regardless. Don’t waste them by constantly leaving your mind 20 years in the future or 10 years in the past.
While it’s okay to be excited for Christmas, let’s not forget to appreciate Thanksgiving too.