I was struck by the following message on NUS Confessions. This message posted at night on 31 Mar 2013 was simple but poignant, and it resonated with me. I reproduce it here in full:
“My friend and I stayed overnight at Utown last night, we sat outside Starbucks throughout the night, doing our work slowly and having some laughs at random and trivial things that we said and did. People who knew us asked (with “oh i am really sad for you” eyes) if we were rushing projects. No we were not, we wanted to stay overnight because we wanted things to slow down, time to pass less quickly, we wanted to enjoy the breeze at Starbucks without having to rush for the last train.
The truth is, I am graduating and I am starting to miss being part of this physical space, I am starting to feel the amount time left for me to be “in the moment” with the surroundings in school is only that little. Just because we are burdened with the fight with the bell curve and there’s a need to excel amidst it, we often unknowingly forgo the experience of being just as who we are and who we want to be in this physical space.
It was a quiet and slow night, I had a lot of flashbacks of snippets of memories with different NUS friends (who were once just project mates), memories from mundane activities. Many times we think it is the fun and exciting things that we will miss the most, but in fact it is not, but the ordinary activities we do like eating bee hoon from The Deck, sharing a molten chocolate cake from Starbucks, walking along the link ways, meeting people you haven’t seen for semesters and getting encouragements from them.
There are just way too many simple things that warm your heart (and you may not even realise it until you stop getting all these), but we are too caught up in the race we forget to slow down, to pause for a moment (or a day) to savor the beauty of these things. I know week 11 is coming up and many of us have endless reports and assignments/projects to complete, but trust me, take half day off from the race and just chill in school, you won’t regret.”
In the hustle and bustle of life, we are all too caught up in our own affairs – studies, activities and what have you. (Myself included – I have been told I am a workaholic.) How often do we pause to relax and reflect? Or to simply allow ourselves to experience and enjoy doing nothing?
The next few weeks will be particularly stressful for most of you, but heed this advice – take some time off to chill out in school. And I agree with the author of the above message – you won’t regret it. Best wishes for your examinations!