These days, many of us are hyper-aware of the lives of friends and acquaintances we see online. The constant noise of everyone’s activity can be overwhelming to our own lives, especially when we waste hours scrolling through our screens.
When our timelines are perfectly matched to our interests, aspirations, and passions, we are left with an endless source of possibilities for what our life might look like if we modeled ourselves after someone else.
University is a transitional period in our lives. We have to ask ourselves: where do I want to go from here? What is the next step ?
On the other hand, university students are at a unique point when we come to live within a 10 minute walk of all our friends. We are at a point where we can indulge in whatever excites or intrigues us.
As students navigate work, internship searches, and existential crises about what their future will look like, it’s important to step back and enjoy what the present brings.
‘Too many choices‘ is a phenomenon that describes the difficulty associated with making a decision when faced with a variety of options. Certainly, this cognitive response could impact our economic or romantic desires while distracting us from our daily lives – it’s a fine line to walk.
These thoughts hadn’t occurred to me until I told my mother that the world and the future are my oysters. She laughed at my excitement, but warned me that pursuing happiness by considering the next possibility can lead to feelings of emptiness.
My excitement stemmed from the lives I saw on social media, carefully curated posts from others. Studies documenting the impacts of overchoice on one’s mental health report lower choice satisfaction and poorer decision-making in the face of increased possibilities.
This, combined with the fact that what we see on social media highlights the positive aspects of our lives in what we choose, can lead to dislikes for what you have and can lead you to wonder if what you are doing is correct.
I had an epiphany recently. Watching my upper-year friends prepare for graduation and seeing my postgraduate friends settle into life after college made me realize how much there is to enjoy in the present. We are at a time in our lives that should be cherished for its unfiltered fun, meaningful friendships, and self-discovery.
Someone else’s online presence we can envy isn’t real – it’s a carefully constructed aesthetic veil. The real satisfaction in life lies in the little moments with the people around you.
Rida is a third-year political student and one of the That of the magazine Associate news editors.