Thus far in my college career, I have found that in college the most valuable life lessons you’ll learn are discovered outside of the classroom. I’m only three weeks into my sophomore year of college, and already I’ve learned a few valuable lessons.
One of the first lessons I’ve learned is that solitude is not always a terrible state. I’ve always been able to enjoy time alone, as long as that alone time is within the confines of my room–a private space. Where I’ve struggled to embrace being alone is outside those safe walls of “my space” and within the boundless sphere of public space.Well believe me, when you’re in a new environment where you have few friends, you learn how to be alone.
Transferring to a different college has put in a situation where, as of now, I’ve yet to form many substantial or even superficial friendships. Most of the time, I am forced to go about my daily routine alone. The thought would usually be daunting to me, but as of late, I am beginning to embrace being alone–not lonely–but alone.
This morning, as I sat to breakfast on my own (turns out the dining hall is the space where I often find myself alone), a few thoughts crossed my mind. These thoughts I have realized are miniature lessons that are surely food for thought.
The first thought regarded my stark sense of awareness that I was indeed alone, as I often find myself when having breakfast. But more significantly, I noticed that I was completely comfortable with being alone. Not once did I feel left out or isolated from those around. In fact, as I silently observed the atmosphere around me, I felt that I was so in touch with everything going on around me–despite being so separate from it all. I am growing fond of solitude because in that state I find a strange sense of solidarity with myself and the world around me. That thought alone fueled further thoughts.
The second lesson I’ve learned is that of peace. This semester I’m taking eighteen credit hours, working eighteen to twenty hours a week on top of that, staying involved in various activities on campus, attempting to find a balance between my academic life and social life, while also maintaining a long distance relationship. Needless to say, my time is taxed. There are moments where I feel like I’m teetering on the fine line between sanity and a full meltdown. Yet, sitting down and enjoying breakfast this morning, I realized that somehow in the hectic state that is my life, I have found a deep sense of peace. Especially in those moments when I take the time to slow down, breathe, and just be. Slow down. Breathe. Just be.
Peace can be found even in the most strenuous moments when I take the time to just let go of all tensions and thoughts and be present in each moment. This brings me to the last lesson I discovered over a bowl of fruit this morning.
The last lesson I realized, while enjoying breakfast, was simply that I need to take the time to live each moment –whatever that moment may be with all its joys or sorrows. The idea is not that I will always be happy in every moment, but that I ought to appreciate each moment for the value that it has. After all, the fact that I am alive and able to experience a moment at all in and off itself should bring me enough joy to get through whatever that moment may offer to me.
At the end of it all, my breakfast only lasted ten minutes. To be honest, it felt like an eternity. The lessons I reflected upon though for those ten minutes can afford me a lifetime of happiness.