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COLUMN: Time Is In Our Hands

Heights Columnist

Published: Sunday, February 23, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 22:02

The classic adage, “Never talk about religion, politics, or football” exists because, as polite, mild-mannered citizens, we are taught that it is not proper to start a conversation that might create conflict, awkward silence, or a back-and-forth that might not end. So, what do we do? We comment on the weather, the endless drudge of exams, and how terrible BU is—in short, everything upon which we can agree. Yet, there is still something else that perhaps gets talked about even more than any of these topics. It is something that affects everyone and is universally lamented—time. Time is one of the few things that every sentient creature on Earth experiences equally, in the sense that every minute and day is the same for all and more can’t be bought. In addition, it is the only state of being that we experience that is totally ours to do with as we wish, for time is what the events of our life are made of. With these conditions, it is safe to say that time should be our friend, but mostly it seems to be working against us, and that is definitely something that everyone has felt.

Time usually has a good pace when we are young. It never seems to fly by too quickly or go by too slowly, but somehow, once we become older, it seems that time is never on our side. I mean, I’m still trying to grapple with the fact that midterms are happening and Spring Break is next week. What’s even worse is that, after Spring Break, we are practically at the middle of the entire year. Didn’t 2014 just begin? Now it’s almost over? And even when times are great, it seems to go by way too quickly as well. As a senior, I began this academic year with the intent of living it to the fullest, and even though I have had a great time, I am already in the middle of my last semester as a college student. Yet, time is also slow. Everyone has had a moment that felt like an eternity and usually it’s an incident that was either completely embarrassing or just plain boring. Maybe you recall a time when you had a presentation and as soon as you got up there you forgot everything that you were supposed to say. Or maybe you’re stuck in a Calculus class and everything just sounds like Chinese to you. When seen under this light, there is very little to be thankful for with regard to time. Happiness and fun fly by and the dull moments drag on. We seem to be just enslaved to a treadmill that runs at various paces over which we have absolutely no control.

That may be what we feel, but when we really look at what time is, then it seems impossible for it to work against us. Time is the canvas on which we paint our lives, so it can’t fight us—it is there for us to experience love, joy, perseverance, and everything in between. Thinking about how long or how short time is only distances ourselves from the reality that time has given us the present moment to fulfill our dreams, and that’s happening right now. Probably our best moments have been experienced when we actually realize this and it can be in the most mundane moments. For example, I was sitting outside in O’Neill Plaza in late April watching people walk by to class (more like run), hearing the bell ring above the chatter of some students passing out pamphlets or coupons, and smelling the scent of spring in the air (which, at BC, smells like freshly fallen rain, flowers, and outdoor burgers!), and it seemed as if time had stood still. I could simply enjoy the moment by not thinking about the daily task list, not being glued to the iPad, and not wondering how long this feeling would last. So, when we feel tempted to curse at that damn clock for ringing, or feel like you can’t catch up with the day, thank that feeling, because when we feel time is slipping through our hands, it reminds us that time is in our hands. So here’s to time! As a senior I’ve learned to appreciate and respect it, (and not complain about how soon midterms have appeared!).

Editor’s Note: The views presented in this column are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of The Heights

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