By Mia Brounstein
The carefree days of summer are behind us. Many of us have lived out the last few months in a state of relative comfort and ease: eating and sleeping at home, working summer jobs, going on vacations and enjoying more free time than we are used to during the school year.
On Aug. 28, however, the fantasy of summer disintegrated before our eyes and we returned to what Frannies like to call our “vocation as students,” a vocation in which our cloister is Egan Hall and our charism is responding to discussion posts before midnight.
Jokes aside, I don’t think we should downplay how significant this adjustment is. Over the course of just a few days, many of us had to move hundreds or thousands of miles, find our place in a new community and totally readjust our priorities.
I know I am not the only one who has faced this change with some bitterness.
This is an intense semester for me; it’s my senior year and I’m fresh out of an internship, stepping into a new position here at The Troubadour and writing a thesis. I’m intimidated by the weight of the tasks before me, and a part of me wants to go back to the ease of the summer and even of previous years in college.
On top of everything, the hazy mirage of life after graduation hangs in the distance, steadily drifting closer.
We all have moments when the responsibilities assigned to us leave us paralyzed. We doubt ourselves and God’s Providence, or we simply give in to our laziness and procrastination.
For me, it’s times like these that force me to put things in perspective.
Life is short, and in no time, the trials of the school year will be far behind me. Someday soon, I will be part of the real adult world and I’ll remember the everyday struggles of this time only distantly.
So, while it’s clear that the unstoppable flow of time makes it ridiculous for me to stress out about the details of a difficult assignment or project, it doesn’t excuse lazy or avoidant behavior on my part.
The responsibilities I have, now and in the future, are battles that Jesus wants for me. I can choose to embrace them or I can choose to waste them, refusing to put to work the strengths I have been given.
When I can look at my life and clearly see that everything I have, down to the very atoms that my body is made of, is a totally unnecessary gift from God, my responsibilities begin to look less like burdens and more like opportunities for me to both grow and show my Creator how grateful I am to be in a position where I can take on the responsibilities before me.
Of course things will go wrong and life will get difficult; of course I will complain and fail to be grateful (as I so often have), but in the end, all I need is to rely on God and step into the responsibilities he has called me to take on.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta