Just live in the moment.


Chloe Houwman

With summer right around the corner, make it a priority to live in the moment. Forget your expectations. Be spontaneous and go with the flow. Lose track of time. And most importantly put your phone away.

Chloe Houwman, Entertainment Editor

For those of you who do not know me, I am an individual that has always been 10 steps ahead. This means that the future has always been planned out and that I am (almost) always prepared for what awaits — whether that has to do with college or what I am going to do with the next hour of my life. The problem with this mindset, for me at least, is that the more I plan and the more I focus on exactly how something should go, the more I am let down. So, I have spent the majority of the year trying to reframe this mentality, and I am pleased to say that I have been somewhat victorious. Here is how I did it.

Disclaimer: Lol, I have always wanted to do one of these. This guidance is purely a recommendation to you on what has worked for me. I am no professional, and I still struggle with this viewpoint. So, please take all advice with a grain of salt (or sugar).

Focus on your surroundings.

This first piece may seem like common sense, but it is virtually impossible to grasp. What I have found works best is noticing the world around me. When I drive, I take in the scenery (not much to look at driving down Minnesota Avenue, but you get the gist). When I am outside, I breathe in the fresh air (I do not know how else I would get oxygen, but you get what I am saying). My point is, simply being aware of one’s surroundings and using your five senses can connect you to the moment.

Forget your expectations.

As I mentioned before, I used to plan out how everything would play out. I was constantly on a schedule and creating lists of every possible task that could be completed. I was worn out all the time and when plans would fall through, I would be let down. Once I let go of not only the expectations that others had for me, but also the expectations I had for myself and the situations I was in, I was able to have more fun and relax more often. 

Lose track of time.

For so much of my life it has felt like I have been watching the pot boil (is that how the saying goes)? What I mean by this is that I felt a constant obligation to watch the clock and wait for the day to pass by. Everything I did felt like another box checked off my never ending mental to-do list. Talk about a life with no meaning. When I was able to stop checking the time, I was filled with a sense of tranquility. What I thought needed to be done in five minutes was not as important as I believed it to be. The assignment that was due in two days did not need to be completed the night I got it (that is what WIN time is for, amiright). Lose track of time, it will go by faster and be filled with more meaning.

Be spontaneous and go with the flow.

The other day one of my friends texted me at 9 p.m. to come over on a school night. This is something I never would have done because I typically prioritize my sleep and school work over everything, but I went anyway, and we had the best time. So often I feel the need to have everything planned out. This makes experiences less exciting because I am always thinking about what else needs to be done when I am with others. Be more spontaneous, and you will in turn have more fun.

Put your phone away.

Yes, I know I am a hypocrite; I am legit on my phone all the time. But I can honestly say that when I take the day or weekend away from my phone, specifically away from social media, I notice an increased awareness in what is happening around me. I challenge all of us to put away our phones when we are around our friends or families so that we may engage in conversations and activities. 

So with summer right around the corner, make it a priority to live in the moment. Forget your expectations. Be spontaneous and go with the flow. Lose track of time. And most importantly put your phone away. See you in four months.