Hindsight is 20/20: Don’t procrastinate on your social life
My first year in college, I had big plans for everything I was going to accomplish in my four years of undergrad. I was going to take every class, see every show, attend every event. And then, of course, after a week or two of college, reality set in and I realized that doing everything was a bit of a stretch, but I could still do some things, most even. But then, of course, yet another reality set in: college isn’t always easy. Classes were harder and they took more time. Office hours replaced the shows I was supposed to see, exhaustion replaced the events. Sleeping and studying were my two closest companions, as is somewhat the norm for many students who are adjusting to college life. So, I pushed things.
My first semester, I pushed the shows and events to the next semester. And then again, I pushed those things to the following year, and the year after that, until all of a sudden three years had flown by and I was now entering my fourth year as an undergraduate. Even more so, I was entering my fourth year not from campus, but from my childhood home with my family, studying remotely due to the ongoing pandemic.
Now, all those things that I pushed and pushed, I can no longer make them a reality, as I pushed them out of existence. Now this is not to say that everything is doom and gloom. Of course, over the years I’ve made great memories, and I’m grateful for the time that I’ve spent. But this is more of a reminder that, although it may not seem like it, our time shared together at this institution is limited.
Do the things that make you happy now. Do the things that bring you peace and joy now. Work will always be there. There will always be another essay, paper, midterm, or final to do, as long as you carry out your education. But there may never be another concert, or a chance to be in the same space with all of your friends. Eventually, your friends may be spread out all across the world. You’ll have your memories, and you’ll have some good ones, but maybe you’ll wish you had more. You’ll look back and remember the fun you had and the things you did, but you will also remember the things you missed and the time you took for granted.
That’s not to say that you should let your education fall to the wayside. We’re all here for a reason, and that reason is largely to further educate ourselves, to become better members of our community and to contribute to the larger societal whole. But education comes in all forms, and not all come from a textbook. This is a time to grow, to learn about ourselves as individuals and to learn about our peers and their individuality. This education is equally important to what you learn in class, and it’s not something you want to abandon.
The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t make the task of enjoying yourself any easier. It can be challenging to see friends in a safe way. But for what it’s worth, if it makes you happy, do what you can. Go to that virtual game night, check out that random webinar, do that socially-distant activity that you’ve been wanting to do but have been putting off because of a busy schedule. Eventually, after many semesters, you’ll look up from that textbook and look back over your time here, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do more when you had the chance. This semester, try to carve out some time for yourself to do that thing you love and make some memories. You’ll thank yourself later.