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Looking Up

I was walking to class on Thursday, staring intently at my phone. I don’t think I was looking at anything particularly important, probably just scrolling through my emails. Whatever it was, it could wait. It wasn’t until I heard a honk that I looked up. A truck, driving on the sidewalk, was waiting for me to look where I was going. I dodged it then immediately returned to whatever I was doing.

Of course, this sparked a crisis. Am I really that stupid, that I almost walked straight into a truck? How did I miss that? Why am I like this? Then I came to the realization: I haven’t been paying attention at all. I’ve been so wrapped up in where I need to be next, what I’m doing that night, when I’m going to have time to do my homework, that I’ve forgotten to focus on the present. Which matters more: watching someone else live their life on their Snapchat story, or living my own?

When I stepped on Virginia Tech’s campus four years ago as a junior in high school, the first thing that I fell in love with was how beautiful it all was. Now, as a student there, I fail to take it in, to stop and admire how nice Burruss looks when the sky is clear, or whether or not the trees have started changing. (I looked up yesterday, and can confirm they are in fact changing).

I keep having these little moments, these reminders that I have to get up and leave this place in just two years. I have 3 and a half semesters left of Hokie stone walls and crossing the Drillfield. It’s scary, and it’s sad, and it’s a little bittersweet. It means more to me than ever to look up, and to take in what’s around me. Every moment matters, whether it’s a moment spent typing a paper in Newman, grabbing lunch at Turner with friends, or even just walking to class in the morning.

Maybe I’m just sentimental, but the fact of the matter is that these things are important to me. Instead of worrying about these two years flying by, I need to enjoy them while they’re happening. I don’t mean to preach, or to sound like your mother telling you to put your phone down, but I gotta say, I think she might be on to something. Try forgetting your phone, and focus on the people and the places that are right here.

Photo courtesy of @craigwithcameras

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