Living a Life that Matters
As I rummaged through the mess in my disorganized bedroom just days before I was slated to move back to campus, I stumbled upon a box of items I collected over my first two years of college. A reusable rubber straw. A ball I found outside of the Plourde. A tiny stuffed animal I won at a late-night event.
“I should really get rid of these things,” I thought. “Why do I even have them?”
And then I pulled out a large and overpacked envelope I picked up at First-Year Orientation.
Some of its contents were about tutoring services, while others were about how to schedule classes. One packet even outlined the importance of using your college years to prepare for the real world that awaits us all.
What I found most striking, though, was not anything I found inside the envelope, but rather, something I had scribbled down in all of my nervous excitement almost four years ago to the day.
“It’s about living a life that matters.”
Of all the courses I took, all the exams I struggled through, all the experiences I had, it was this lesson that rang true.
It’s about living a life that matters.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Especially when you live in the midst of a global pandemic.
I spent my junior year of college in my bedroom. An old table that belonged to my grandmother took the place of the desk I had frequented on the second floor of Tsosis on late nights. My computer became my classroom and I had to turn to my screen to find my friends. The bright and shining world that I had lived in my first two years of college faded to dust in my hands as life as it once was became nothing but a memory. How could this possibly be conducive to living a life that matters?
Well, the first thing that came to mind was doesn’t this emphasize the point that Assumption has been screaming at us all along? In Theology, Philosophy, English, and History classes?
Life is fleeting, make it matter.
It always sounded so intense to me, the pressure of making our microscopic lives matter. We are around for a small blip of time in the grand scheme of things, but still, we fight to make it worthwhile. What can I possibly do in the years I am granted that makes a difference in the world, that leaves a mark, that truly matters?
I think that when we get caught up in the enormity of “living a life that matters,” we think that such a request is simply impossible, especially when we have lived a year in isolation.
But after having spent the past three years at Assumption, learning from all different disciplines and speaking with individuals from all different schools of thought, I don’t think living a life that matters is something that can be measured on a scale. I don’t think it can be defined by how big or wide or grand something is.
I think it is really up to us.
What does living a life that matters mean?
Perhaps it’s the life we live while in search of the answer. For every path we take, every opportunity we seize, every roadblock we overcome, and every connection we make along the way.
It’s all about living a life that matters.