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SMOLDER: Value of time cannot be overstated

Column: Breaker of Chains

The minute hand strikes 12 again. 

This monotonous exercise is something everyone is a victim too. We survive as the clock goes round and round. Some may ask what is the point? 

Why just sit there and wait? Why does it always feel like when life is boring, time slows down and when life is fun, time is gone in an instant? 

Time is the great equalizer when you think about it. We all have a finite amount of it. It matters not how much of it we have but how we use the amount that we got. 

If you were to truly breakdown how much time you truly have, the figures can be kind of scary. The average lifespan of a person is approximately 70 years. Of this time we spend about one-third of it sleeping. 

That leaves about 47 years of usable time left, which is itself inaccurate once you account for eating, cleaning, work, hygiene and other remedial tasks. In total, we spend approximately 20 years doing these tasks. The numbers can be subject to change based on lifestyle. 

That means that if you live to the average lifespan of a person on Earth, you have approximately 27 years of real-time. If you are 18 to 22 years of age when reading this, then consider your time already smaller. 

I think this rough breakdown shows just how much time the average person has. 

The shortness of our time here should be spent in the best ways possible. Visit that remote island. Ask that girl out. Read that book. Compose your next masterpiece. Some of our planet’s greatest individuals were known for what they did in such a small amount of time. 

Freddie Mercury died at 45 years of age. Martin Luther King Jr. was 39 years old when he died. John F. Kennedy lived to be 46 years old. 

All of these people took the resource they had such a finite amount and did what they were truly driven to do. 

Live in the present and not in the past or future. Take risks and do not worry about what might happen if things go wrong. 

Going back to when I was in high school, I spent much of my time studying and reading. I certainly regret the lack of attention I paid to do what was important, “living”. I think people need to always remember the most important thing in life is not necessarily a job or wealth you obtain, it is how you spend your time. 

The secret to a fulfilling life is different for each and every person. Usually, that is done through being close with other people and experiencing this crazy world we call the universe. 

The world is wide open space just waiting to be changed. It is a place of limitless opportunity. An oasis in the desert of dreams. 

Just remember time is the only thing you got that can not be replaced. 

Zachary Smolder is a School of Engineering freshman, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. His column, "Breaker of Chains," runs on alternate Fridays.


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