The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday June 3rd

Time is not linear — and that’s okay

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By Lara Becker

We are told that the ticking clock on the wall is an unchanging, constant fixture in our lives. It sits there, clicking its heels, and moving us bit by bit through a day, a month, a year. It takes us into our future.

Time brings us to unexpected places in life (Envato Elements).

Yet, strangely, time also appears to lag or speed up, in whichever moments it feels like. Sometimes a year can feel like a second, or a second can seem to last a year. A good week is just as long as a bad week. This can ring especially true in the mundane weeks of online schooling; through computer screens and repeated routines.

The clock has now brought me to my last year of college — and quite an interesting one at that. I think about the defining moments that have carved my path thus far, and it feels like my life had so many “almost” directions.

At first the goal was to move as far across the country as possible (California to be exact,) to not only get as far away from my hometown, but to find a new self completely.

Then it was Rutgers, with its vast, city-like landscape, where I would play the violin at Mason Gross and perform in a symphony orchestra.

And now, I am set to graduate at a small college 40 minutes from home — but it couldn’t have been a better place for me to land. The community here at the College really feels like a home I never knew I needed.

Of course it looks a little different at the moment. I think we all expected ourselves to be somewhere else right now, and for most of us we feel this in a literal sense.

But then again, if I were where I thought I would be ten years ago, it would probably be in the middle of an ocean, training dolphins.

In the same vein, I almost didn’t even apply to TCNJ; it was my choir teacher who pushed me to apply for her letter of recommendation in return.

Although you’re probably tired of hearing it, this time we’re in — this long and arduous space of self-isolation, distance, and re-framing of our ideals is carving out a new path for each and every one of us.

We are now on a journey with an unknown destination. We’re losing track of time; often confused at what day of the week it is. Psychologists with Huffpost suggest the complete abandonment of our ‘normal lives’ have thrown off our internal clocks completely. But no matter how we feel inside, the real clock clicks on.

Maybe it’s just a version of ourselves that we never would have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. It may be a redirection we never could have imagined, and for better or worse it will plop us somewhere we may have never dreamed.

Time is a friend you’re stuck with. Whether it’s fate, destiny or a worldwide catastrophe, I think it’s best not to fight it — and just see where you land.


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