Staying Present and Pleasent

Haley Meece, Journalist

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    Staying present and being in the moment is a lost art. With the immediacy and new quick pace of the world around us, people of all ages are finding it increasingly difficult to slow down and appreciate what is around them.

Many high school students including Tommy Mulder are finding themselves spending an increasing amount of time on their phone

    Many high school students have found that they find it difficult to place themselves in the moment and enjoy themselves. This is especially difficult for seniors, who are constantly thinking about college and their futures.

    “I often slip out of the present to think about the future. The fact that we graduate in less than three months is super scary. I definitely see it in my other peers too,” senior Tommy Mulder stated.

    Another senior who feels similarly commented on the issue.

     “I see this problem a lot with my class because we have been settling for mediocre work when we are capable of so much more. We need to remember that we need to do our best to live in the moment,” Craig Valdez believes.

    Another obstacle that is largely contributed to the inability to stay present is the shrinking attention spans of people of all ages. As much as many hate to hear it, this is largely due to social media and the instant gratification that it brings. People simply don’t devote themselves to things like they used to. Most people’s downtime is spent looking on on one screen or another, whether on social media or a game. Many people don’t consider the very important question of, “What is this app or page adding to my quality of life?” Many people spend hours mindlessly scrolling on Instagram or playing a game that doesn’t require any cognitive ability at all without giving it a second thought. In order to be more present in life around you, getting rid of unnecessary distractions is a great first step.

    “I constantly see kids getting distracted by things that aren’t relevant in the moment, but I can’t really blame them. I think that people are so hyper-focused on social media and ‘interacting’ with their friends through those means is really what does it. However, it’s not really real communication. It feels so real to this younger generation and it’s truly not and becomes repetitive and more fast-paced,” Mr. Felver says.

We have been settling for mediocre work when we are capable of so much more.”

— Craig Valdez

    Many adults are guilty of this as well. Some are just as distracted from the present as many teenagers.

    “I constantly find myself not being present. I find it really frustrating because I continue to find my priorities shifting towards my life at home and feel my mind drifting away from what I’m doing now,” Mr. Felver stated again.

    It’s quite easy to become distracted by things that aren’t relevant in the moment, but it is not difficult to bring yourself back.

    “My brothers taught me to enjoy my life moment by moment and when I do get distracted, I bring myself back by taking a few deep breaths and then making a mental list and approaching everything that I do one step at a time,” junior Amy Bacay recounted.

    Once we begin to pay attention to our habits, we find that we are continuously falling out of the present as a collective society. Once we are able to focus our attention on things that truly make us happy and mean something, then we can truly unlock our full potential as growing adults who are one day going to make a contribution to society. Simply putting away your phone at dinner, listening to all of the individual instruments in a song, looking at the hundreds of single brush strokes in a piece of art, finding underlying flavors in food, or slowing down to appreciate a cloud in the sky that looks like a pirate ship are a few very simple examples of being present and thus becoming a better person with a new view at the life that they are living. However, many continue to gravitate away from the present and don’t even notice.

“If I could bring my games with me to school when I was a kid like these students do today, then I would absolutely do it. However, I wouldn’t sacrifice other things for it,” Mr. Felver stated.