Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

In West Lafayette we had an abnormally warm few days, and I noticed that people were outside far more than usual. Yes, I know that students are generally not hanging around outside in mid-winter. What I mean is that students were enjoying the weather more than I often see on a normal spring day.

As I was walking to Purdue Memorial Union from Heavilon Hall, I passed through the raised beds of grass where we have trees planted, which hang over the courtyard area. I stopped for a moment and took in the sight, for as many trees as we had, there was a hammock holding a student. I thought it was interesting to see so many students that had had the same idea. I thought, too, earlier in the day, that I would have liked to spend more time outside if I could. If I had a hammock, I would, no doubt, have been up in a tree with my peers. Why is that?

The answer is relatively obvious, but I still find it interesting. On an equally warm day in April, would this many students have been out in hammocks? No. Humans, by nature, appreciate things they don’t have access to far more than things they have an abundance of.

In winter, I miss the spring days where I could take a nap in the sun. In the summer, I miss the days where I can curl up on a couch and read “A Christmas Carol.” Do you know what I have noticed about myself and many others? That I don’t do those things in their proper season. I take a nap in the sun on a random warm day in winter. I curl up on the couch with a book on a particularly cold summer night.I don’t appreciate or take the time to enjoy the season when I have it. Likewise, I don’t appreciate fleeting opportunities when I have them. It’s only when they are gone that I miss them.

I propose that a lot of peace and relaxation in our lives could be achieved if we take each moment, every warm day, in winter or in summer, as special. This sounds redundant and like a bit of a cliche, but it is something to think about in your own life. What do you ignore, each day, because “it’ll be warm again tomorrow” or “you have too much to do?” Not every day will be like this one. The seasons change, your life changes. During the semester I miss the freedom of the summer, every day. During the summer, I can’t stand how much time I have on my hands, and I can’t wait to be back to work and class where I will finally be organized and a master planner. Do you know how much more I would enjoy my life if I appreciated the school semester like I plan to in the summer? If I appreciated the freedom of the summer like I imagine I will in winter?

It’s a state of mind we need to be aware of. We need to consciously acknowledge the fact that we aren’t enjoying each day like we could be. Find a way to take advantage of opportunities when they come. Find a way to love the crazy, hectic, busy, stressful school semesters, and try, try, try to take advantage of your free days when you can, because as most know, they are few and far between.



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