It may come off as cheesy, as obvious even, but no matter the connotation of this simple phrase, it is the one thing that all students should do: Be present.

Last week in my Literary Analysis class, one student expressed her views on entropy – how could everything, all life and all matter, be pulled towards chaos? Another student in this same class explained that out of every class taken at the University of Colorado, this particular class was the only one that she felt completely engaged in.

The downfall within today’s society is that everyone, especially students, are constantly pondering on the past and are anxious about the present. What time then do we have for the present? The past is simply a memory and the future is, well, the future. Everyone can change their future. In class, many students are on their laptops, their cell phones, texting, tweeting, scrolling through instgram, while a professor and fellow classmates are sharing ideas and opinions. This is the time to absorb it all – to learn from each other and to engage in a democracy that is rich in opinion. We all have different backgrounds, ethnicities, stories, cultures, talents, strong suits, all of which contribute to our own individual opinions and then contribute to the ideas and opinions of others. Not only are we, as CU students, paying thousands upon thousands of dollars a year to attend school, we are also spending valuable time in class – my point is, we should all engage in, and take advantage of, what we are paying for.

A common misconception: College is only relevant because we need a degree to get a job.

First, true. We definitely do need a degree to get a job and I know that I myself have had this thought too. Much of the time, I find myself thinking, “School is easy, I can do everything the night before it’s due, study a day before the test, and get an A.” And this is true. However, I am not present. Why should we, and why would we, not be present in the conversation during class time?

The University of Colorado campus is beautiful and every single person in America can agree on that. Being present and training ourselves to be, I believe, can positively affect our happiness, too. Walking through campus, instead of looking down at the sidewalk and at our own feet, look up at the beauties around. Be present every second of the day because we learn from the past and grow everyday in order to prepare for the future.

And so, when I think of entropy, all I can think is how absurd it is. Gradually declining into disorder. If we as students take a personal vow to be present by engaging in our studies, in discussion and even with (dare I say it) homework and assignments, growth will overcome chaos.