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Time is a Social Construct

Time is a Social Construct

The present is weirdly comforting. That feels somewhat odd to say because, in my day-to-day life, it feels like I am chasing down the clock hand trying to catch up. Who would have thought a student would ever say they have enough time, let alone too much – with all the assignments and meetings and classes and work and well everything else you could think of. Every time exams roll around and it’s time to hand in assignments, my stress levels shoot up and my days become a playground for high-paced routines filled with meetings, studying and trying to catch up. 

So why say it? Because I like to live in the moment. Okay, this sounds like some cringy quote on a tile with the overused sunset over the sea as a backdrop. It is true though, I never liked thinking about the future too much because it stresses me out. Especially since when I do think of the future I would not even know where to start. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, and if I get any ideas I spend too much time mulling over the possibility of them ever reaching fulfilment to the point that I get sick of thinking about them and go back to the comfort of the present. That is how I see the present, as something comforting, because you cannot escape it, it’s just there and all you have to do is exist in it and it will pass and move you along to the next moment. The future on the other hand is out there and concerns a version of yourself that you do not even know yet. 

Maybe this is just a coping mechanism for not having to deal with things that seem too scary or too big because focusing on something in the now is the only way to temporarily escape the one question that will follow you through your whole life: what is next? For some people that is an exciting question to answer and a point they are eager to reach, and for others, it is literally that, a question just staring back at them. 

Now when I’m talking about the future, that can honestly be anytime and I believe that this is very different for each person. For me, the future is after IBCoM, because that is what is unknown. My whole school career is planned out and I know what is coming, I have the luxury of this safety cocoon that is being in school. So while I will still have to do an internship and go on an exchange, that is still within my own little comfort bubble where I get to go out and experience things without really leaving the bubble.

Time will forever be one of my favourite existential crisis topics. We have so much of it, yet we are forced to spend it in certain ways, which makes you realize how precious it is. Time is something you never get back and something you have no influence on. You go through phases in your life on how you use your time and what your perception of it is. Ten years ago I thought summer break lasted forever, I would be a kid forever and stress was not in my vocabulary. Today I use the word stress almost daily, I know exactly when summer break starts and ends and I am officially not a kid but an adult with adult responsibilities. 

So time can be comforting. It’s all about perspective. I could tell you what you already know about time and we could both agree there is not enough, sigh and move on. However, I could also tell you that you have a lot of time; you have today, the day after that, the day after that and oh yeah the day after that as well. Getting stressed out about how fast everything is going by won’t slow things down. If you are stuck in a bad period just remember, you cannot be stuck there forever. 

Anyways, there isn’t really a point to any of this if I am being honest, but if anything I hope you are not too stressed about things in the future you cannot control. The only moment you really have any effect on, that truly matters is the present…how comforting. 

Written by: Gauri Ghisai 

Editor: Nimrat Kaur

Visuals by: Melis Zavlak

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