Viewpoint: Put down books to make lasting memories

By Sara Tirrito
Staff writer

It’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far in college — to put down my books, step back from my studies and realize that there is so much more to college than its academic aspect; there is so much living to be done in these four years.

Someday when I look back on my life, I don’t want to find myself grasping blindly for the memories that hold the true essence of my time in college.

These should be the memories that are overflowing, multitudinous: memories of road trips, movie marathons, hanging out with friends late into the night or participating in my favorite campus traditions like All-University Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas on Fifth Street.

Not the memories of weekend-long dates with my textbooks, hours of trying to comprehend Ideas in Math or evenings filled with seemingly endless reading assignments.

But to make the kind of memories I want to make involves putting down my books, stepping away from my notes and engaging in a world separate from my academic one.

This does not come easily to me.

I have always been a sort of study-aholic, but I have become even more so since coming to college.

Here, where we live, learn and study all in the same place, I find it exceptionally easy to lose myself in stacks of textbooks and lecture notes.

The blurred distinction between home life and school life in combination with my deep-seated need to succeed seems to only further encourage my study-aholic tendencies.

Nevertheless, I recently decided to put down my books more often and allow myself to make more important memories.

While this has been difficult to do, in the few weeks since I have begun making the effort, I have had some of my most memorable college experiences.

And those experiences and memories are worth so much more than my GPA ever will be.

Although I still spend a little too much time with my textbooks, I’m making a conscious effort to keep this lesson in mind. It’s a lesson that will be
important not only throughout the rest of my college years, but throughout the rest of my life.

There will always be pressures to excel, if not at school, then at work. If not to be a study-aholic, then to be a workaholic.

But this life is short; we only have so much time to experience everything we possibly can. And some experiences are by far more important than others.

In the end, it’s all about experiencing the things that matter — the moments that will form memories that we will hold dear far into the future.

Sara Tirrito is a sophomore journalism major from Texarkana and a staff writer for The Lariat.