If you’re asking me

Live in the present

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear reader,

How many times a day do you think back to a conversation and regret what you said? How many times do you worry about what your life will look like three years from now?

When do you ever take the time to live in the present?

According to Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

In college, the fact of the matter is that we all worry about the same things. Whether or not we will do well on an exam, if we will succeed in our major or if we will even graduate.

The plain truth about the past is that it is, well, in the past. You can’t move forward when you’re overthinking every passing moment.

There will be times when you instantly regret something you said, but instead of stressing yourself out by repeating it in your head, you just need to center yourself in the moment and remind yourself that you’re no time traveler and you can’t go back in time.

Everyone makes mistakes. We’re human and we can’t be perfect all the time. I need to remind myself of this all the time.

There will be times when I think I do something dumb and I start to overthink, but then I remind myself that it’s very likely that no one will even remember that moment.

By thinking about the past, you are only making things harder for yourself. You have to clear those thoughts from your head and keep living.

You are not alone in constantly worrying about the future, but we are all so caught up in this anxiety that we don’t notice the fun parts of college.

Have you ever sat in Hilltop late on a Saturday night, looking out the window and watching the stumbling partygoers climb the hill after a long night?

Have you ever sat your homework down to climb into the car with your friends and drive to Taco Bell at 12 a.m.?

You can’t miss out on these experiences because you’re not living in the moment in fear of the future.

Everything will work out in the end. As life goes on, things will slowly start to fall into place and you need to trust that this will happen. We can’t keep worrying about the future when it hasn’t happened yet.

Jenny Maenpaa wrote about 3 ways she stopped obsessing over the future.

Answer “What if…?”

Maenpaa said that sometimes we push away the what-ifs because we are scared of them, but the best thing to do is to consider the what-ifs and battle the fears head-on. She said to then answer these what-ifs in order to move forward.

Focus on what you can control

According to Maenpaa, we should always only think about the things we can control in situations. She said that by thinking about productive things in the moment, it is easier to push away thoughts of the future.

Look for evidence

In the article, Maenpaa said that we can’t make assumptions about others and we believe that every thought we have is a true, clear fact. She said that we must interact with others through this lens so that we can better control our emotions and maintain positive relationships.

You only get one college experience and you only get one life. If you dwell on the past and think about the future, you will miss all of the happy moments in the present.

According to Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Schad can be reached at [email protected]