We go to the University of Richmond, a school people call the hidden ivy of the South, and with that comes pressure. Pressure to do well in school, pressure to make a name for yourself at a young age, and generally just a lot of pressure to succeed. However, there are times in life when something happens and you realize that it’s not one thing that determines your life, but everything. Life is made of infinite moments that can take you anywhere, and it is better to try and fail than to have never tried at all.
A friend of mine from my old school passed away about a month ago. Her name was Tally Sepot. She was 19 years old when she died in a car accident on a highway in Pennsylvania returning to Penn State from a charity function. Tally lived next door to me last year, and she was extremely kind. We used to watch television and hang out together occasionally. Imagine a person your age, someone you know, being here one day and gone the next. It’s things like this that shock you. Tally and I weren’t that close, but still, I couldn’t grasp that what happened to her really had happened. It made me realize that what I do each day, how I treat people, my relationships, that’s what matters, not—for example—every single grade I get.
These past few months have been hard for me. I transferred here from Penn State. So to say it’s an adjustment is an understatement. It’s been an adjustment to get assimilated into Richmond’s society, but I’m really glad I transferred here. I think I made the right choice. People often ask why I transferred. I could say it was academics, I could talk about how cold it was or how large it was, but really it was a feeling. It was also a feeling that drove me to choose the University of Richmond. I had other choices, but this school felt like the right one. Sometimes in life you are forced to make hard decisions—decisions that can potentially change your life—and it is for the best that things change. We are young. Now’s the time to try new things, make mistakes and learn from them.
Recently several family members of mine and my dog have been diagnosed with cancer. Nowadays cancer has become so prevalent and common that I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with it one day. It’s horrible, and I’m not ready to let those loved ones go. I’m only 20, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to let life go. That’s why I want to travel, learn, grow, love, laugh and live as much as I can while I can.
With everything going on, to me, each moment counts. Just a week ago ISIS attacked Paris and 130 people died. People may ask you where you see yourself in five years, and you may have a general idea, but you never truly know. I don’t view each day as another day of school, I view it as another day of life. I don’t know what’s going to happen five minutes, an hour, a day, a month, or a year from now, but that makes everything all the more valuable. Carpe diem—seize the day—because you never know when it might be your last.
Contact features assistant Caroline McNamara at firstname.lastname@example.org