Childhood Afternoons

Sitting alone in my room, I acted on a sudden urge to google How fast does college go by?

This was partially inspired by my disbelief at my completion of high school. Not that I thought I wasn’t capable of graduating or anything, I just can’t believe that it was over so quickly.

There were of course some points that it seemed to drag on. There were the nights spent punching my desk in frustration, still unable to graph piecewise functions despite the many crumpled pieces of paper that would mar my floor by the end of the night.

There were the days spent wondering if I was bipolar, with tears having stained my pillow the night before over a fucking inconsequential text message yet feeling ready to tackle the world the next morning.

Then there were the many, many moments where I’d stop and appreciate something small yet actually so large when you begin to muse. I’d be in the car driving to school and just think What the fuck? This thing MOVES itself. This two ton hunk of metal can take me ten miles away without breaking a sweat. That’s incredible. This is beautiful.

So there’s all these moments, the details, that make it seem like forever when I think about it. And yet I’m here. And yet it’s over. Freshman year feels so far away yet too close to have been a whole four years ago.

The google search yielded a quote that resonated:

I know that I’ll never have an afternoon as long as the ones in my childhood.

With the knowledge that every passing day feels shorter than the day prior, I began questioning what I should do with my most valuable resource.

One thing I immediately considered, of course, was productivity. Read more books, prepare for classes, get an internship.

But then also, I recalled the childhood afternoons. Afternoons of imagination and wonder. Although there wasn’t an ounce of productivity between my action figures and I, I was so content, so immersed.

Even if my afternoons seem to get shorter with each passing day, I hope to remember those afternoons with the same regard that I hold my childhood ones. I hope to get lost in the moment, which now means more about worldly exploration than action figures, but getting lost nonetheless.

What feels different about my childhood afternoons is that I was rarely waiting for the next big thing. There was no college looming around the corner, no essay deadlines or waiting for my friends to text me back. The only thing I waited for during those afternoons was dinner.

I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I want to put full focus on remaining in the moment. Less waiting for the next landmark, more appreciation of what’s here.

Maybe then my four years at college will truly feel like four years lived instead of four years gone by.

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