Editorial Notebook

Take advantage of every single moment

By Jonathan Caicedo March 7, 2018

On average, each of us gets 27,375 days. That’s it. 657,000 hours. Each and every moment of our existence is an opportunity—an opportunity to do great things, to enjoy life, and be the best version of ourselves we can be. It’s that last part I want to focus on here—striving to be a better individual, a version of yourself that you’re proud of.

There’s only a single individual who can define what being the best version of yourself means—that’s you. It’s no one else’s position to tell you what kind of person you should be, what mark you should leave on the world, or who you should make happy. Those are decisions for you to make, and you should be satisfied with them. Now, I’m not advocating that you should make rash, irrational choices—remember each and every decision you make has the potential to impact you and those around you. As much as I’d love to drop out of RPI and go pursue sheepherding in rural Iceland, that’s not the smartest decision for me to make right now, and it’ll just lead to further difficulties down the line that might make it tougher to reach my goals and to be who I want to be.

In the grand scheme of things, all of our problems are so frivolous. Assuming a conservative estimate of 1080 atoms in the observable universe, you’re roughly 1/100 sexdecillion (that’s 1 followed by 53 zeros) of everything that’s ever been, and everything that will ever exist. I’m not trying to make you feel insignificant, but remember that our problems sometimes aren’t as large as we might make them seem. Everything will be alright. Just keep your head up, stay strong, and do what you need to do to move forward.

It’s true when they say “you’re your own worst enemy.” Think of some of the things you’ve ever wanted to do. Now, how many of them haven’t you done? Why? You could have many answers—but I bet at least one of them is that you’re too nervous to do it. Or you’re too afraid to fail. Or have a lack of motivation. It doesn’t really matter the reason—there are some things you want to do, but aren’t doing because of yourself. You’re the one stopping yourself. How are you going to change that?

Overall, the thing I want you to try and think about is how are you going to be the best version of yourself that you can be each of those 27,375 days. You don’t have to be perfect, no one ever will be. You should just try to be happy with yourself, be satisfied with what you’re doing, and never settle. Take a risk. Ask your crush out on a date. Take time to travel. Make friends. Take care of others. Be spontaneous. But I believe the most important is to try and live with no regrets. We’re all writing stories here, and you’ll find it difficult to move forward with the next chapter if you’re stuck trying to fix the ones before it. We all get one life, you might as well try to make it your best.