Counting Minutes

Time constraints. We all encounter them at some point. Those times when a simple hour becomes imperative, when each minute feels like a second, and when each tick of the clock marks the ever-closing period you have to complete something – when each tick threatens to determine your fate, whether it be beneficial or harmful. The clock keeps on ticking; the minutes still continue to count down. Panic starts to edge up on you, the clock portending you with it’s unfaltering rhythm. And it never stops.

This past week has been a week full of extremes. Following an unforgettable evening on Saturday when I spent the night dancing away with an exceptional young man came the dreaded beginning of every student’s worst nightmare: AP tests. Since Monday I have completed the AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB, and AP English Literature and Composition Exams, and let me tell you, my brain is one big pile of mush. I went from a magical, dream-like night out to hours spent locked up in windowless, frigid rooms, with pencils frantically bubbling in answers and calculating answers as if their life depended on it. My week transformed from the epitome of convivial, jovial fun to the complete and absolute opposite of it. I think my body is still in shock from the drastic change.


Lately I have been pushing my body as far as it will possibly go. I’ve taken a liking to “burning the candle at both ends,” as my mother likes to remind me, and I’m definitely feeling the toll. After some desperately needed rest preceding prom, I got a manage on my health and saved up enough energy to last me through the majority of the evening. I can proudly proclaim that I did not have to take more than three breaks while dancing, but I can also sadly admit I fell asleep in literally less than ten minutes succeeding it – I dozed off in a hotel chair while my boyfriend helped clean up the decorations.

After only a day’s rest I went right back at it and tackled psychology, a day after that calc then lit. While I have tried to preserve as much energy as I can, it seems my reserves are running low once more, and I have recently developed another fever. This weekend will provide some much needed downtime, and after Monday when I take AP Biology, I can enthusiastically say I will pretty much be done in all of my classes. I think both my brain and my body will thank me for that one.

While the majority of my week has been comprised of some seriously high levels of thinking in some seriously stressful time constraints, some wheels have gotten to turning in my brain. Life is kind of like one big countdown. Each day we are living, the years and days and hours and minutes we have left on this Earth continue to diminish; each moment we spend is a moment we will never get back. This time you’re taking to read this blog post, you’ll never get to spend it elsewhere. That extra five minutes you spent browsing social media will forever be allotted in a metaphorical trashcan full of purposeless and wasteful moments. It really struck me, the concept of it all. And with only ten or so days left of my entire high school career, I can personally advocate just how quickly it passes by.

But what are we doing with the time? Is there really a way to beat it, or make the most of it? Sitting in various desks working precariously to make every second count while completing my tests, I realized it could all just be for nothing. Not every student gets a 5 on every AP exam, and surely not every kid even passes them. Yet most kids put in a valiant effort, they make use of the time provided, and do most everything they can to ensure success – but it’s not always given to them, it doesn’t always pay off.

In a sense, life is kind of the same way. The clock moves a lot slower, granted, but the time burns down just the same, until suddenly you realize you don’t have much left of it. All those things you promised yourself you would do still sit uncrossed on that list you made years ago; the chances that you told yourself you would take later never ended up re-appearing. And while we all strive to work towards some kind of purpose everyday, in the end what is it that we are really working for? Society’s values today are so highly focused solely on money, success, and proving to the world that you are something that I think a lot of people just get lost in it all and end up not really being anything.

I’ve slowly come to realize this concept, and although I know that I, too, fall into these traps of social conformity, I try to remind, and challenge myself, everyday to become void of them. To put my energy and efforts into acts of love – restoring it, sharing it, and teaching it to others. To be compassionate, bold, and stand up for all that I believe in, even when I may be faltering while doing so. Granted I may simply be talking all nonsense due to the amount of intellectual numbness that threatens to take over my brain right now, but I think this week I may have stumbled onto something, and I’m not going to shy away from it. Whether you have experienced a small epiphany like this yourself or are just now being introduced to this idea, I suggest you may try and do the same. Take a few moments and really look at your life. What do your days consist of? Working for the betterment of others, or working for the betterment of yourself? Partaking in things you love everyday, or things that you begrudgingly dread?

Whatever the answers may be, the clock doesn’t stop moving. Life doesn’t slow down, and the minutes keep on disappearing. Make your time worth remembering, and challenge yourself to make the changes necessary to do so. Unlike the AP tests, you don’t know when your time here is going to run out. Treat everyday like it will.