For too long, I have focused on what my future holds. I’ve felt anxious and stressed for the last three years over pursuing a career path, achieving the perfect GPA, and transferring to the college of my choice. Thus, I feel like I keep missing out on some of the best years and moments of my life. 

In my junior year of high school, my guidance counselor asked me what career path I wanted to pursue and which college I wanted to attend. These questions came as a shock to me as I had never thought about a suitable career and was especially adamant about not going to college. Thus, I told him that I was undecided, and he didn’t push the questions any further. 

However, this moment made me realize that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So for the next six months, I dedicated hours of each day to researching colleges and careers I thought would be suitable for me. Therefore, this time spent mulling over my future caused me to pay less attention to the present and the people around me. 

In late 2017, when I finally accepted that I should go to college, I quickly decided to apply to MCC because I didn’t know where else to go or what I wanted to do. Thus, in fall 2018, I started my journey at this school. 

Since my first semester, I have focused so much of my time on achieving a 4.0 GPA and transferring to Rutgers that I haven’t enjoyed my time attending MCC. My semesters at MCC have consisted of an everyday routine that rarely changes. I wake up, go to school, come home, and then spend hours doing homework almost every day of the week. I rarely ever stay on campus after classes and didn’t make any new friends during my first year. While my schedule seems pretty free, the workload has been intense. 

 Constantly thinking about school causes me to become self-centered and blind to my loved ones who were trying to help me during dark times or simple moments that I could’ve enjoyed. For example, last semester, I missed out on doing festive activities with my family during the Christmas season because I was too busy completing assignments. 

School is only one reason for my misery. One of my biggest regrets in life is not living in the moment more often. I spend so much of my time worrying about the future that I never get to appreciate the present. I frequently catch myself saying I can’t wait for something to end, or I want to travel and experience the world already. I learned that I should stop saying such phrases as I realized that because I am always looking toward the future, I am neglecting my life in the present. I don’t take a minute to enjoy the sunset or look at the stars; instead, I sit in my bedroom doing homework all night or stuck at a job for 8 hours because I have to worry about my future. 

I want to be able to appreciate what I have right now because I know that I will probably never have it again. I have my whole life to live, but such a small amount of time to be young and carefree. I will graduate from MCC in the summer, and I have decided to take a semester off. 

During this time, I will hopefully be able to create some new memories and have fun, even though I will be working or doing an internship. I plan to make the most out of the situation and gain more experience as well as knowledge about the world that school hasn’t taught me. I want to go on adventures, hang out with my friends, and learn more about myself and what I want to do in life since I rushed into my decision before. I believe that planning for my future is imperative, but for once in my life, I want to be able to experience the present too. I hope that by gaining such experience, I feel more competent and ready to continue my education in the spring and work toward my bachelor’s degree in journalism.  

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