My last semester has been, without a doubt, a struggle at times. Most frequently, I have struggled to keep focused on the task at hand, to finish undergrad. With so much planned for the upcoming three years, it is only natural that someone would find it a challenge to curb one’s ADD in the moment. But as I look at only a few days of classes remaining before I am able to take several weeks off, I can’t help but commend myself for the amount of focus and attention I have put toward my final semester at Smith. Is this a factor of the fact that I do have three more years of school ahead? Is it the fact that I want to enjoy and savor my last few moments with some of my most favorite professors?
At times, I have most certainly struggled with the demon that is PROCRASTINATION. I can say with some certainty that I am not the only senior on any US college campus who has felt this, but I am not ordinarily the queen of this particular collegiate affliction, so it is to say that my encounter with the visitor is foreign in nature. Lets just say, I didn’t get my shots or a visa in advance. I got dropped behind enemy lines without a warning of what a battle it would be to stay focused and on top of my stuff. But I think that in some ways, having a goal for my life, or at least for the direct future has helped me to remain vigilant against this procrastination monster.
But I think the biggest struggle I have had this past semester was the struggle to be present, to be here at Smith. Or rather, to enjoy the small amount of time that I have left here at Smith. Don’t get me wrong, getting into seminary back in November was just the blessing, the gift, the treat that I needed to keep going, to feel validated that what I have been pursuing for the last few years was the right thing. Getting in before most people have even applied is most definitely an amazing thing. But at the same time, I wonder whether or not I should have waited to find out. For a short time now, I have felt as though I already have one foot out the Smith “door,” that I’m already in the future, rather than in the past, or even the present time. But once I got in, that feeling only intensified. When I got into seminary, and once I had a feeling of where I was going to be, once I could picture my future, the feeling of always being one step too far ahead only got more intense. Frequently, I catch myself imagining what life will be like in a few months when I head off to seminary, and rather than being proactive and getting out on campus, I think of what my life is going to be like when I graduate. Not that this is so much a bad thing in concept, but at times, I wonder whether I have missed out on things because of my focus on the future.
I have always been the type of person who knows what she wants and is focused on what is to come in her life. I have always had a strong sense of self, and further, of what I am capable of doing and becoming. But at times, I wonder whether or not this is always the best mentality to have, especially as my time in one place is coming to an end. Should I be “living in the moment” as much as possible now while I have the chance to enjoy my last moments of being an undergrad? I mean, you can’t go back and be a college student again, no matter how hard I try. I will only be 18-22-years-old once (well technically for 4 years…but who believes in technicalities?), so shouldn’t I be leaping up to get involved in the small things happening around? But at the same time, I feel as though my life is rapidly transporting me somewhere else, as though I am called to be anywhere except here. Its a weird feeling to have, especially when amazing new things continue to happen.
What is a girl to do in this situation? Pack up and move on or cling on for dear life to what is left of my undergrad moments?
I guess the best advice I can offer myself is to take a step back and savor the moments that I have without clinging to them. Smith will not disappear after I leave, and nor will my memories. Rather, I will have my friends to continue to live through, who will allow my memories to continue into the future. After all, it isn’t all about the place that you live; rather, it is about the people you share the place with, the experience with. My friends – the people I have come to call my family – are more important than the place we all met at. They’ll be with me, hopefully, forever!