First Year Vibes: Life in the Present

Anna-Catherine Kueng ~ Assistant Editor

Life is often defined by moments when dreams are fulfilled, such as graduating from college, getting married, having children, and retiring.  These are the moments that people look forward to as they get older and these are the moments that stand out when people look back at their lives. For example, as a high school senior, I often dreamed about graduating and starting college.

When reflecting on dreams, I think about a conversation between Rapunzel and Flynn in the movie Tangled. Rapunzel is talking about what comes next after her dream of eighteen years comes true. Flynn replies, “Well, that is the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.”

I can empathize with Rapunzel’s feelings of what comes next because one of my biggest dreams- starting college- has come to pass. I can no longer fantasize about what freshman move-in day will be like or about the possibilities that come with starting at a new school. While I love college, and I am grateful for everyone I have met, sometimes I miss imagining what my life would be like after high school.

However, I have to remind myself that life is happening now. Sometimes, I feel like my life is not going to truly start until I get married, or get my dream job, or become a mother. Similar to how I felt like my life would start after I began college, now I feel like it will start once I graduate; but, living for dreams alone is not a healthy way to live.

Dreams can only get a person so far in life. Dreams may keep me motivated to keep pushing through my classes, and they teach me a lot about delaying gratification, but their power is limited. What is even more sobering to realize is that dreams can change, fade, or even die over the years.

Some dreams, no matter how much I long for them to be, will not be fulfilled. Although I hope I will have a long life, there is no guarantee that I will make it to the age where I can get married, there is no guarantee I can have children, and there is no guarantee that I will get to do my dream job for the rest of my life.

It is important to make life count now and not wait until the future for it to start mattering. When I feel tempted to complain about my classes, I remember that I used to dream about the day when I would be a student at U of L.

Overall, I do not want to waste my life thinking about the future and ignoring all the opportunities I have in the present. Some weeks, and even years, can feel mundane, purposeless, and all too ordinary; but, every day of life matters. I am trying to live like I believe that assertion.