Edit desk: Going through the motions


The summer before I left for college in 2019, my mom frequently uttered the same phrase to me: “Enjoy each and every second of college, because it goes by so quickly, and understand that there will never be a moment in time like this where you are surrounded by so many people your age.”

This never really sunk in until recently. After living through an ongoing pandemic, which began when I was a freshman and has continued into my junior year, I realized that she was right.

Time does not stop for anyone. It is something that is constantly moving. As much as we often wish we could pause it for a moment, time will never permit that.

I admit that I wish I could stop time and relive a couple of things twice, but that will never be the case since everything happens so fast— especially in these four short years.

As college students, we are always told how important it is to deem ourselves as different in order to stand out. 

Standing out and time go hand-in-hand with one another because we spend so much time trying to figure out who we are, who we want to be and what we can do, instead of going through the motions of what this special place in time has in store for us.

Whether it’s college applications, job interviews, sports or internships, we tirelessly try to present ourselves in a unique light because standing out is seen as the most important goal to accomplish.

Success is awarded to those who stand out because they are perceived as being more qualified, accomplished or experienced for the role, position or acceptance.  

But that is not how success should be measured. Instead, success should be measured by celebrating the small victories, not just the large ones. 

Obtaining the mindset of making a name for myself in order to truly be somebody, rather than a number in a large statistic, was something I always wanted in college. 

I aspired to be the best at everything I did. This translated into wanting to be the best teammate, student, friend, sister, daughter and roommate.

As soon as I got to Lehigh, I realized that being the “best” no longer held any merit. It was completely trivial because everyone’s definition of it was entirely different.

I figured out that the only person I was trying to prove this definition to was myself. Instead of wanting to stand out for being the best at something, I switched my mindset to wanting to be the best individual that I knew I could be.

All of the other things would come with it if I always stayed true to who I am and strived to be the best version of myself. 

After completing two years of college, I realize how important it is to highlight similarities and not just differences.

Despite the clear differences all of us may have on paper, we embody similar characteristics deep down. 

We are all more similar than it seems— or more than we want to admit. There is something comforting about being a Lehigh student because we will always share that similarity with our peers. Being a Lehigh student will always be a similarity that travels with each and every one of us near and far.

I think if this year has taught us anything, it’s clear that it is important to highlight our similarities and not just our differences.

Time moves way too fast and while it may never be right, it’s important to acknowledge the times we have had together as Lehigh students – our forever similarity. 

So, I’ll leave you with this: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” 

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  1. So, I’ll leave you with this: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Great observation that is never too early to learn nor ever too late to apply; Also not the only useful observation.

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