Stop rushing; start living.

Valerie Teegardin
Valerie Teegardin

Have you noticed that as you rush through campus to get to class, you’re generally looking down? I’m serious! I cannot tell you how many times I have almost collided with people who have their eyes glued to their phones or pavement.

As college kids, rushing through things is a part of our daily life. We rush through classes, rush through homework, rush through the week to get to the weekend. We’re rushers. It’s just what we do.

We go through the motions, but we’re not really living our lives to the fullest. We’ve got our heads down as we plow through each day as if it is a constant struggle blocking our goal to whatever it is we are striving to reach.

As we battle through our college years, life is flying by at rapid speed. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. It’s time to look up before it is too late.

Tonight I was in an elevator at Meriam Library when a guy walked in. As much as I hate to admit, I usually whip out my cell phone and “text” to avoid that awkward silence that always comes with waiting in an elevator with a stranger.

I didn’t even have time to reach for my phone before the guy made a comment about the cold weather. I was stunned. This stranger had just talked!

I made some remark about how this is typically what my summer feels like back home. For a whole thirty seconds, this guy and I had a pretty normal conversation.

Failing to reach for my phone had forced me to look up and I am glad I did. It was the best elevator ride I can remember, that’s for sure! But what if I had reached my phone just two seconds faster?

I doubt the guy would have said anything and we both would have been silently pleading with the elevator to move faster. Trying to rush through that horribly awkward silence to make it to our floor and go our separate ways.

And what a shame that would be. Wasting a chance to meet someone who could shake up your world all because you refuse to look up.

You know it would suck to miss out on that. Don’t deny it. So then why do we continue to rush through life, missing out on possibly life-changing encounters?

That’s why I propose a challenge for you.

The next time you are making your way through campus, I challenge you to say “Hi” to someone as you walk by, or make a comment to the stranger in the elevator. Yes, that means you’d have to peel your eyes off the cement or your phone to actually look around you, but the affect may be monumental.

Just try it, I dare you.

Valerie Teegardin can be reached at [email protected] or @vteegardin on Twitter.