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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

All about perspective

I promised I wouldn’t write a sentimental Inside Column, but I failed. Excuse me while I climb up on this soapbox and serenade you about the impending doom of adulthood.

Growing up, everyone always told us to enjoy our college years, that this is the last time we’ll be free before our 60-year service to “The Man.” We always politely nod and laugh, our textbook move in a situation where we can’t disagree with the person, even if they were making a naïve and careless comment. As I near the inevitable plunge into true adulthood, I’ve come to realize that these people aren’t idiots, that these were the people that had it all figured out.

During this past weekend’s dreadful football game, I had the first of what I assume will be many misty-eyed moments in the upcoming months before graduation. It was in this dichotomous moment — a disastrous outcome while surrounded by my best friends — that I once again recognized how important this school is to me. In the past, I’ve feared that I was not taking time to process the amount of love I have for the people and experiences I’ve had here. As we near winter break and a time to be surrounded by family, I’m working on taking time every day to recognize how special the daily interactions I have with my friends and classmates are. This is the last gasp before the big drop, learn to accept it and cherish each moment.

Let me paint a picture for you. My six roommates sipping hot cocoa as our golden retriever puppy, Michael Bublé Christmas music and 50 different Yankee Candles surround us in holiday cheer. Is this not what it’s all about? Sure, these same roommates will partake in some debauchery every weekend, but have they not figured out what this time of year and this school are all about? While alcohol-hazy weekend nights are run-of-the-mill by mid-senior year, moments shared soaking in the ambience of our decked-out house listening to Christmas music will and should never get old.

If this stream of consciousness has been too much for you, let me try to be as concise as possible. I can sum up everything I have said here in one word: perspective. Recognize that in 50 years, these snapshots will be remembered with much greater fondness and clarity than the organic chemistry exam you missed your friend’s birthday to study for. As we near the midpoint of the year, look around and make sure you are surrounded by people who genuinely care for you. These are people you will proudly present to your children and grandchildren, who your family will regard as those who copiloted the experiences of some of your most formative years.

It’s all about perspective: the jobs and salaries will be there, but these friendships and experiences will not.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.