Learning to Live in the Moment

Jacqueline - Syracuse, New York
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, hope

I believe that you should never regret your past or attempt to foresee your future; but instead realize and appreciate how the past has shaped where you are today, and how today can change where you will be tomorrow. Each experience in your life has and will continue to influence and alter your outlook on the world. I think that it is important to acknowledge the significance of each moment as you live them, while recognizing and valuing that these changes make the future unpredictable.

Being scared of uncertainty, I once developed a “plan” for my future that I saw as faultless. I prematurely decided to major in biology with the expectation of later completing medical school to become a pediatrician. Furthermore, my future involved maintaining a relationship with my long-term boyfriend who had recently been admitted to Cornell University. I decided to eliminate the risk of a long-distance relationship by pursuing my undergraduate degree at the nearby college of Arts & Sciences within Syracuse University.

I had thought that my future plans of becoming a doctor and marrying my Ivy League boyfriend were set in stone. However, this plan quickly began to erode. I soon realized that I was not enjoying my science classes at all. I lost interest in the subject and had difficulty grasping many of the tedious concepts intertwined within this major. I found that my classes became more of a dreadful list of chores than a valuable step towards a career. At the same rate, my boyfriend and I began to stray off of our original paths and shift interests. Our perfect high school relationship seemed to have become a distant memory as we were becoming increasingly less compatible. As a result, my boyfriend and I broke up, my faultless “plan” fell apart, and my misled fixation on the future left me disappointed, insecure, and confused.

As a young college student, I needed to reevaluate myself in order to determine a modified outlook on my past, present, and future. During this pivotal point in my college career, I discovered an increasing interest in business classes and soon transferred into the Whitman School of Management. I also decided that my college experience is a search for an education, not a career. Without the preoccupation of a boyfriend, I began to meet more people at my university, pledged for a sorority, and took advantage of many more diverse social, and extracurricular opportunities. While one could conclude that I had a misguided past, I have grown to recognize the significance that these experiences have had in making me a more secure, confident person today. I believe that we should approach each day at its face value upon our accumulated past experiences and further recognize that today can unveil a new, unexpected tomorrow