Emily Price is a junior psychology major with a strategic human resource management minor. She is a staff writer for the Newswire from Miamisburg, Ohio.
During move in this semester, everything felt totally normal except for one thing: This is my third year. Now, more than halfway through my time at Xavier, I am suddenly old. I am closer to graduation than the first day of my first year, and closer to age 40 than age 1, closer to the working world than childhood. There are adults long graduated from college who are most likely rolling their eyes at me, but hear me out.
My entire life, I have been the youngest. Because my birthday is in July (meaning I didn’t turn 18 until the summer after high school graduation), wherever I was, all of my peers were older than me. Yes, I’m still one of the youngest, but now my friends and I have crossed the border of what used to be an effort to be the oldest and is now an effort to be the youngest.
Many things have changed. Unlike a teenager, my body now requires at least seven hours of sleep to be at minimum functionality. The number of roller coasters I can ride in a day has decreased significantly from double digits to barely a handful. I even find it satisfying to wash dishes and put them neatly back in their place. These aren’t necessarily bad things, but somehow I feel insulted by the passing of time.
Most people say that as you age, time seems to fly faster than ever before. There is speculation as to the reasons for this, but there is one in particular that strikes me: Time feels like it’s moving faster as you age because each increment of time becomes a smaller percentage of your life. When you are 1 year old, a day is 1/365th, or .27 percent, of your life. When you are 20 years old, a day is 1/7,300th, or .013 percent, of your life. Therefore, at 1 year old, a day seems longer because it’s a larger percentage of your life. One day to a 1-yearold can be huge because they have only lived 365 of them. However, as a 20-year-old, a day can feel much shorter because they have already lived 7,300 of them. Of course, this concept continues throughout life, and the older you are, the quicker time seems to pass. A 20-year -old will always feel time is moving faster than a 1-year -old does, and a 50-year-old will always feel that time is moving faster than a 20-year -old does.
Here at Xavier, I have no idea where those first two years went. It feels as though they happened just days ago and also that they happened a lifetime ago. So how exactly did I get to be a junior? How has this much time passed while I did homework and hung out with friends? Why does time not have to ask our permission before it leaves so quickly?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the person that I have become, but I am still baffled that it happened behind my back.
That is how it works, though. One day, you’re moving in freshman year. The next, you’re taking your last final of senior year. Time may not ask us for permission to come and go, but we can take control of it by living in the moment. I may not be able to ride as many roller coasters as I did in high school, but when I did go to theme parks, I rode them all day long. I may no longer be functional on two hours of sleep, but when I was a kid, I had all the sleepless sleepovers that I could.
So, I am old, and only getting older. I just realized that last week marked the start of my junior year of college. Now that I have been reminded that time won’t wait for me, I am going to be present in every moment. I don’t have time to waste on not enjoying college because the truth is, time won’t wait for me to catch up. The time you spend in college is supposed to be the best time of your life, and I am going to make that true.