Lifestyles

There’s More To Life Than Just Existing

More to Life than Existing 1Every moment, we are living and dying with each and every breath. A simple fact of life is that you’re living. However, as we go through the motions of our everyday lives, we often forget this simple fact. Rather than living we begin to simply exist.

We go to jobs that leave us uninspired, count down the days until our next break during the semester, and often forget to tell those around us how much we value them. Our deadlines and daily obligations make us feel as though we don’t have time for others and even ourselves.

That exam we have to study for hinders us from taking a trip to the beach. Our nine to five workday prevents us from taking that much-needed vacation. We often feel trapped in our own lives by our constant obligations.

But here’s a fact that we are often too afraid to admit to ourselves: you can do anything that you want to do. If you’re unhappy with your job, quit. Don’t like where you live? Move. We are not here to live in fear of our own lives. We are here to make them the most fulfilled and amazing they can be.

Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations has come to embrace this shift in perspective. Professor Harris’ philosophy behind this idea is the following, “Doing something differently will make you feel more alive.”

Harris encourages people to ask themselves, “Do I feel like there’s something missing from life?” If the answer to that question is yes, then you must ask yourself, “How can I cultivate change?” 

Doing something that makes you feel alive does not necessarily have to include a plane ride or some elaborate adventure, but it can be acts on a much smaller scale. Volunteering your time, going for a walk, star-gazing, or just taking the time to be alone with your thoughts can renew an appreciation for life.

More to Life than Existing 2Lauren Niesz, a computer science graduate student, said, “The one thing that makes me feel alive most is fulfillment. Once you complete something and you are proud of the object of completion, a true sense of purpose comes over you. I feel like you don’t really feel ‘alive’ unless you have conviction of purpose in your life.”

Niesz continues, “We have to appreciate the world around us to really appreciate all we have done to affect it. In order to do that, we need to just look at life and our surroundings and be still in them.”

We often neglect to take advantage of the beauty that surrounds us. As Monmouth University students, we are a mile away from the beach but most of us never listen to the waves crash along the shore. We have become accustomed to having a constant routine in our lives, and while consistency is good it may lead to a mundane existence.

Alyssa Consentino, a senior psychology student feels most alive with a suitcase and passport in hand. “Traveling and experiencing new cultures makes me feel alive. I love learning about different cultures and customs throughout the world—it truly helps me connect to those around me, feel a sense of purpose and above all else- alive,” said Consentino.

Don’t allow the daily grind get you down. There’s more to life than getting that ‘A’, meeting deadlines, and making money. While all those things are important in leading a fulfilled life, there are several other elements that play a vital role. We all crave excitement, connection, and adventure. Don’t waste another breath on living a life off just pure existence. To quote a famous cliché, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Embrace the moments in your life that truly make you feel alive.

PHOTO TAKEN BY Campbell Lee

PHOTO TAKEN BY Alexandria Afanador