“College is the best time of your life.”

That’s what all of our parents told us before we came here. The message was simple: Savor the moments college, they will go by quickly.

If only time could stop long enough for us to grasp this lesson. But it’s only when we are caught up in passing time, that we realize that our lives are moving right in tempo with the ticking clock.

The first few days of freshman year were a time to stop and smell the roses, I guess you could say. That’s when I sim­mered in all that came knocking on my door, lit­erally. It was an era of cook-offs every other day, Olds dance parties, and one-on-one meals with people that I’ve talked to twice since then. It seems like a blur now, but when I was living in the middle of it all, I thought there was some meaning to the fast-paced do-this, do-that lifestyle.

But then things get normal. A once fresh and exciting Friday night with new people becomes the usual movie night with the same people. The ten thousand meals I had with ten thousand people now settles into weekly meals with one to two people. The homework gets old, and it’s no longer a matter of thriving in every class — it’s just a matter of getting the homework out of the way. Time stops, so we think, as we settle into a steady rhythm of life that’s too mundane for us to realize that these moments will pass.

It was in my second semester of my sophomore year that I realized: The days are long, and  the weeks are short. Yet the mundane moments that filled these days were far more sig­nif­icant than I realized. The beauty of these moments, I found, was in the consistency.

It was in the surface-level con­ver­sa­tions that, week after week, led to deep friend­ships that freed me to share my heart and who I was. It was in the regular nights cooking or watching movies, that made these people I do fun things with the people I did life with. It was in the hours I spent thinking my homework was pointless, that became moments of grat­itude for the rich things I had the oppor­tunity to learn.

We are far too indif­ferent with the concept of “just a regular day,” that when those days are gone — and we notice — we ask with sur­prise, “Where did the time go?”

I’m a junior now, and the good ol’ freshman days seem far gone. Time seems to move faster, but we all know that it really isn’t. Our awareness of the ticking clock just goes away when things seem stationary.

Maybe a new per­spective is what we need — on the simple moments we gloss over yet still take up our time and change us even though we don’t know it.

Time is an honest friend — patient in its con­frontation — but utterly real when it taps us on the shoulder and softly says, “I’m running out.”

All we have to do is listen.