Time: Not Throwing Away My Shot

When sitting at my desk, I have a watch, cell phone, laptop and desk clock all ticking away. A constant reminder that time does not stop. Actually, I have a slight obsession with time: planning my time, knowing the time, counting down the time.

Time plays a prominent role in HamiltonAlexander Hamilton, portrayed in the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, feels the burden of time working against him throughout the show. When first introduced, Hamilton claims, “And there’s a million things I haven’t done /But just you wait, just you wait…”

Aaron Burr, the musical’s narrator, Hamilton’s antagonist and our country’s eventual vice president, sees time as a ally. Burr sings “I’m not falling behind or running late / I’m not standing still / I am lying in wait … I’m willing to wait for it

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GIF courtesy of Tumblr

“Just You Wait” vs “Wait for It”

Hamilton and Burr, in the musical, are strikingly similar and yet complete opposites. Hamilton is blunt, non-stop and never hesitates. Burr, in contrast, is patient, quietly waiting for his chance to shine. Burr believes he has control over himself not time; Hamilton – with all his hubris – believes he can speed up time.

Burr and Hamilton both represent extreme conceptions of time. Burr could wait his entire life; Hamilton speeds his life up so much he dies at a young age. How do you balance “not throwing away your shot” without “jumping the gun” in everyday life?

In an interview with The New Yorker, Miranda explained, “Burr is every bit as smart as Hamilton, and every bit as gifted, and he comes from the same amount of loss as Hamilton. But because of the way they are wired Burr hangs back where Hamilton charges forward. I feel like I have been Burr in my life as many times as I have been Hamilton. I think we’ve all had moments where we’ve seen friends and colleagues zoom past us, either to success, or to marriage, or to homeownership, while we lingered where we were—broke, single, jobless. And you tell yourself, ‘Wait for it.’ ”

My senior year is quickly winding down. I have two weeks left in my last full-time semester. In January, I’ll be taking my two capstone. In May, I’ll graduate. Over the next semester my goal is to not throw away my shot but also to wait for it. I’m going to make the most of these last few months in college and set my self up for future success but I have no intention of rushing through my senior year. I will balance the days I feel rushed, like Hamilton, with the days where I “wait for it.”

 

 

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175 Days: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started College

With only 175 days until graduation, I have been reflecting a lot on my experiences at Drake. The things I got right, the things I didn’t. The classes I’ve loved and those that were terrible. So even though it is cliche, here are a few things I wish I had known my freshmen year!

It’s okay to not have your entire life planned out. Actually, it’s better to not.

Coming into Drake my freshman year I thought I was a scientist. Science was something that I could do well and I thought that meant it would translate into a career. I started at Drake as a neuroscience major thinking that there is nothing more interesting than the brain.

One semester into classes though, I realized that while I did love studying the brain, science wasn’t the career field for me. I did fine in my classes but did not find them interesting or engaging like my peers did. It was then that I learned what public relations is and decided that would be a better fit.

Since transferring to a PR major and eventually adding a politics double, I have learned so much about myself and determined a little more what I would like my career to look like. That doesn’t mean that my time as a neuroscience major wasn’t valuable though!

Surround yourself with people who are better than you.

My entire college experience has been determined by the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Freshman year I would have never expected my dorm neighbors to be some of the most important people in my life. We have spent the last three and an half years learning, laughing, failing and growing together. They are some of the smartest, kindest, funniest and most compassionate people I have ever met. And every single day I spend with them I learn something new or look at a moment from a different viewpoint.

So when making friends during those first few weeks in college, look for people that are studying something entirely different from you. You can learn so much from them. Find people who are smarter than you, kinder than you and challenge your assumptions. They say the friends you make in college are friends for life; I certainly hope so!

Just a few of the people who inspire me constantly.
Just a few of the people who inspire me constantly.

You won’t get an A+ on every test.

In high school I had never failed a test. My first test in college? I got a solid D. Having never failed a test before, I wasn’t quite sure how to react. I thought that grade meant that I was a failure. I thought there was no way to come back from that. That’s not true; failure happens and can be a valuable learning tool. Having failed that first test I was more determined than ever to do well in my classes, I had a better idea of what it took to do well in my courses and learned that my GPA does not define me.

 

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Senior Year: Only 200 Days Left

On a long drive the other day, my sister asked, “Have you figured out tickets for graduation yet?” As she spoke I realized that graduation was nowhere on my priority list. It still seemed like a murky distant future that may never arrive. But it will arrive; in 200 days to be exact. In 200 days, I will leave Drake University and with it my comfort zone.

Despite my best efforts, I cannot remember a time before I was in school, before I was a student. But soon I will leave the “Drake Bubble” and enter the “real world.” I will no longer live in a tiny apartment with three of my closest friends; we most likely won’t be in the same country. Classes will be replaced with meetings. There will be no more all-nighters spent writing a paper on James Madison’s theory of the republic. My entire lifestyle will change.

 

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Spare Time

A defining aspect of college life is the constant feeling that there is something that you should be working on. Mornings are spent in class, afternoons at an internship, evenings are left for group or extracurricular meetings, and late at night is for studying, reading and writing. Weekends are for getting caught up before the week starts again.

This hectic schedule will not be missed. Looking forward to my spare time, I am beginning to plan how I will spend it!

Attend community events. Every September, Des Moines hosts its World Food and Music Festival. This is by far my favorite thing to do in the area. There are so many incredible special events in every community and after graduation I look forward to discovering my new home through these types of events.

Workout regularly. Between my hectic schedule and complete lack of sleep, finding time to work out always seems impossible. After graduation though? No excuses.

Join PRSA. PRSSA, the student version of the Public Relations Society of America, has been a defining factor in my life at Drake. I’ve attended, and presented at, two national conferences, made lasting connections with PR students from around the country and deepened my understanding of my field. PRSSA has always been a priority; PRSA will continue to be one.

Learn a new skill. While graduation will mean finally getting to watch ALL of the shows I’ve been queuing on Netflix, I hope to devote my free time to learning a to-be-determined, non-career related skills. Maybe I’ll learn to sew or play an instrument.

 

While graduation means losing many of my favorite parts of being a college student, I will be gaining so much. Spare time is just one example. I’ve just messaged my sister to update her on how tickets for graduation will work. Though it is still difficult to comprehend that my life changes in just 200 days, I am ready and excited.

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