Think Tank: Time


On Wednesday, I had a progress meeting with my capstone advisor. I ran into him on the way to his office, so I asked if he wanted some time. I meant to ask if he wanted a few moments to collect his thoughts or get himself ready, but those parts didn’t make it out of my mouth. He laughed at me and said, “Do I want time? Can you give me some?”

Today, my coworker asked me both seriously and rhetorically why it was only Thursday and not Friday. I replied that unfortunately, that was how time worked. He joked about re-engineering time to speed it up.

Those two moments in time about time have been at the front of my brain, and I can’t seem to shake them from my thoughts. In my last year as an undergraduate student, I currently have a very strange relationship with the concept. On a daily basis, I stare at a clock and count down the seconds until I’m relinquished from whatever I’m doing, whether it’s an 8 a.m. communication law class or leaving to go home.

But in other cases, especially now that I’m approaching some deadlines for very important things, I feel like I don’t have enough. Statements of purpose and capstone drafts still remain unwritten, and entire days slip by before I remember the things I have to do or reply to messages. Sometimes I think I hear a clock ticking somewhere, a constant reminder that I’m losing time. And in the last month or so, a gnawing feeling of malaise and random spurts of anxiety define my days.

Like any good student preoccupied with postmodernism, I try to console myself with the idea that time is a social construct. Even though our calendar year is parsed out depending on the planet’s orbit around the sun and its own revolutions, the ideas of a “Thursday” or an “afternoon” or “9 p.m.” are arbitrary concepts we’ve come up with to make life easier. It would be incredibly difficult to tell someone to meet you somewhere, to set a deadline or know how long ago something happened without a scale of measurement. In that sense, I’m glad we have time. It keeps me on a schedule and on focus, for the most part.

But in the same thought, I’m realizing that my time as a student is running out, which only stirs up my ennui. I only have two more classes in my major to take. I’ll be presenting my senior project in the spring. My undergrad career will be over in six months. And I’m not sure where life will take me come June, whether that’s to an internship, graduate school or new job.

I don’t have any real research for this blog post, and I didn’t really set out to find my answer in writing/posting it like most of my Think Tanks. But part of the therapeutic process of writing is getting your thoughts out in front of you, and taking the time (see what I did there?) to parse them out. I’ll see how I feel once the quarter is over.

How do you feel about having enough time to do things? Let me know in the comments.

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