It’s important to make time to take time

Nolan Hovell

As college students, every day we wake up bound by a schedule and obligations to family and friends to accomplish the set of tasks that make up our daily routine.

Many students find writing things down to be helpful in remembering to do them. As time passes, our schedules and routines change; they get larger or smaller and the names and places change. Through the monotony of it all comes random chances and variations in our every day that add color to the ever-growing picture of our lives that will be complete upon our death.

It is possible to become so busy living and experiencing that our brains cannot fully process what exactly is going on. Have you ever had a moment in which something like a song or a long cherished possession sparked your memory of a time before and wondered how it is that you’ve come to this moment in your life?

We do not always willfully consider the effects and influence a specific event or person can have on our life until something changes because we are so busy enjoying that we take it for granted. Thus, we must make time to take time.

Meditation is a powerful exercise that has been used for millennia as a means of sorting through and processing one’s thoughts and experiences, so as to make sense of this world, which can seem so absurd. Like dark clouds, thoughts and feelings occupy our mind, and it is wrong to simply ignore these forces.

By taking time to sit and contemplate the things going on in our lives, we find the truth of it all. By entertaining these ideas that bounce like atoms off the walls of our brain, we are allowing the rain to pour down. Then the clouds drain, and only then can the sun come out.

Awareness of mental health concerns has increased in recent years, especially within the context of student life. College is a time to learn, experience new things and find your direction in life. Between hectic class schedules, relationships and jobs, finding time to sit and do nothing seems quite wasteful on the surface.

But think about it. When there is no person or activity drawing our attention, it is easy to look to our phones and devices as a means of down time.

I challenge everyone to instead go outside, find your favorite bench, tree or any spot where there is no invasive noise or distractions, close your eyes and look deep within yourself. Is there something you’ve been running from? Is there someone whom you love who needs to know it?

By reflecting on the information we have already received, we begin to see the truth. We discover things about ourselves that are not so easy to say and maybe even harder to say.

Many great philosophers like Aristotle and Confucius have used meditation to seek understanding of the world around them. Meditation allows us to view ourselves as a single part of a whole. In this time, at university, where we are discovering our passions and ambitions, it is important to make time to take time out of our moving life to better understand the reality of our situations.

And for this reason, I believe meditation to be a powerful force that can open many doors for opportunity; all we have to do is look inside.