(Don’t) seize the day

Why you should live life like there is a tomorrow

The expressions “live everyday like it’s your last” and “live like there’s no tomorrow” keep me up at night. I’ve realized after three years of university that living life with the mindset that I may die tomorrow leads to no ambition and little in the way of accomplishment.

But still, these attitudes exist. I even feel this way sometimes. For example, when you’re scrambling to finish an essay at 4:47 in the morning, you feel so awful that for a split second you may wish there would be no tomorrow. At least then you would have a justification to stop writing the essay, go watch the sunrise, then pass out for the best sleep of your life.

The month of September in university takes more will power to not have fun every day than any month out of the year, including the holidays. There are many social events throughout the week that occur on and around campus from morning until night. There are student groups grabbing for your time during the day and parties to go to at night to meet new people. It easily happens that there are multiple clubs you may want to go to each day that have conflicting schedules.

Parents and mentors say you should enjoy your time at university because it will be the best time of your life. I completely agree: University life is immensely fun because whatever your interests are, they are never hard to find in university; not including the classes you may enjoy.

But if I lived every day with the mentality that it was my last day alive, I would do something outrageous, like go to the largest class and make a big scene just for the fun of it so students would have a story about me to tell around campus.
Afterward, when I would be hanging out with friends, I would be waiting to hear if my escapade had circulated. By the evening I would be off to the pub to buy everyone rounds of drinks with all the money and credit I had left.

Living as though it is your last day alive leads to the thought that consequences do not matter. I would be spending more money, doing things without thinking them through and never achieving anything valuable because I would not be thinking about the future.

In the end, these are nice inspiring quotes, but after spending more time socializing than studying and spending more money than I had, I’ve come to live my life as if I had many more decades of tomorrows in the future. This gives me more time to socialize and learn because I don’t have to cram it all in within one day, every day.

If these clichés mean that I should appreciate every living second, then clearly that’s hard to do.

Matty Rygiel is an English student at the University of Winnipeg.

Published in Volume 64, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 15, 2009)

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