In our last CU Succeed newsletter, we featured a contest asking teens to answer “What Claim Your Youth Means to Me” by posting their response on Facebook. Here is the winning post by Tori Carpenter and winner of $250 in iTunes gift cards:
What Claim Your Youth Means to Me
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. ― Allen Saunders
I’ve always thought life was mainly about time. Not enough time, too much time, it’s what everyone thinks about, complains about, agonizes over. But is it really that we do not have enough time rather than we just spend so much of it deciding what to do with it that it’s gone before we are capable of utilizing it?
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard an adult say they wish to go back and change something they did, I’d be . . . well, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this, but that’s beside the point. All we ever do is think about everything but what matters. Everything but the present.
In fact, that’s really all life is anymore. Life is future. We spend our whole lives planning for more planning. It seems that even when future comes, we do not enjoy the life we planned for because we are too busy planning for more future. We save money so we can go to college so we don’t have to work at McDonalds, so we can afford a fancy house, so our kids can be successful and go to college. It’s an overwhelming, never ending cycle. But sometimes, maybe we should forget about all of that, and just live in the moment. Just sit back and enjoy the moment you planned for. You only have one chance at life so don’t spend it trying to secure something that is not even guaranteed.
There will come a time, years from now, when humanity will be so long gone, no one will remember we ever existed. There will be nothing left of George Washington, or Emily Dickinson. There will be nothing left of you. No one left to remember all the funny things you said, or remember that you never could do anything without analyzing it’s metaphorical meaning. You are truly the only thing that really matters. So quit living for everyone else. Live for your own benefit. Get up off the couch and do something for yourself now, just because you want to (well, within reason. Please don’t go get drunk or anything).
What I am trying to say is, remember that you only get to be young once. Someday, you will be responsible for other people. One day, it won’t be just about you. So enjoy what you have before it ceases to exist.
Claim your youth.