Where Did the Time Go?

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It’s scary how your college years flash by so quickly. One day you’re nervously eating breakfast before your very first class and the next you’re a junior, running out of your apartment with no groceries to even make breakfast. People always say time flies when you’re having fun, so maybe the fact that college flashes by at lightning-speed is something to be thankful for–or maybe it means we’re getting caught up in too much and need to take some time to slow it down.

I wish I could replay the memories that zipped by too quickly, like the entirety of my freshman year. I want to relive the little things that I took for granted: Ordering countless pizzas and chowing down in the dorm lounge; staying out until 3 a.m. and ending each night at a greasy-food joint; coming home from the library to a floor full of goofballs playing some ridiculous game like “human bowling.”

I also miss my mindset freshman year. I was just there to try my best, so it was fine if I didn’t have a flawless transcript. And trust me, it was flawed. It was a year full of innocent fun, making memories and enjoying the moment.

But now–with professors and advisors drilling me to succumb to the (many) stresses of college life–I’ve bowed to my new gods: the importance of my GPA if I want to go to graduate school, the need to be involved in diverse activities to strengthen my resume and the constant lookout for new internships. In a sense, I’ve become robotic. I wake up, go to class and work, quickly eat dinner and cram-study at the library until my brain can’t stay awake anymore.

We’ve all lost that freshman year lightheartedness. We’ve become too caught up in the busy-work of college, consumed by strict schedules and expectations. Instead of spontaneous middle-of-the-night pizza with friends on a Tuesday, we’re stressing about how on earth we’re ever going to catch up on those four chapters of psychology reading and finish that 10-page research paper.

Shouldn’t college be the most lively, exciting time of our lives? It certainly shouldn’t be a time where we spend every Sunday night dreading the upcoming week.

In the midst of the aggressive student schedule, someone should remind us to slow down. College isn’t all about building that resume and getting a 4.0, it’s about building relationships and memories. Every weekend doesn’t have to be wild, but every day should be enjoyed. Relieve the pressure of stress by rekindling your freshman year light-heartedness. Taking a Saturday to completely enjoy yourself definitely won’t offset your career goals.

But it will help you break the robotic, fast-paced rhythm of your week.

On your next daunting trip to the library, seize the moment by watching the sunset with some friends or having a heart-to-heart over coffee. Process and enjoy the world around you and try to slow down the time that’s constantly zipping by.

Jackie is a junior studying journalism and international studies at UW-Madison. She loves all things outdoors, naps, donuts and cheeseburgers.

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