In Perspective

Photography by Sam Skinner, Studio Q

Time is the most valuable thing we have. Paradoxically though, time is so valuable that we often forget to take the time to value moments, people, things.

About a month ago, I went to visit my brother and his two other housemates in Toronto. They all met at Queen’s when they were doing their undergrad and they have great memories of their time spent there. When I see them, they like to ask me about how things are going and about the different things that might be going on at Queen’s at the time. I was having brunch with them and a couple of their friends when I decided to ask them:

“If you could tell yourself something to value/take in/appreciate before going into your last year of undergrad at Queen’s what would it be?”

Although some of their answers differed, they all had a common theme shared between them: the time spent hanging out with one another.

My brother and his friends told me that while they were at Queen’s, it was very easy to keep in touch with one another — whether it would be because of classes, programs, extracurriculars, living in the same street, amongst other factors.

Due to how easy it was to see each other on a constant basis, they didn’t give much thought into how things would change once they finished their undergrad and moved to larger cities to start work. It was not until they said that they had to plan to see each other weeks in advance that I realized how true what they were saying was.

While social media helps us stay connected with one another, it is not the same as seeing each other in person from time to time. At Queen’s we have the luxury of simply walking up the street to go meet friends, something that can be done almost daily.

Fast forward to the beginning of May, and this new reality that my brother and his friends were telling me about became clearer and it also began to resonate with me. As the president of the Queen’s Student Alumni Association, I have the great opportunity of representing students at events organized by Alumni Branches from the Queen’s University Alumni Association. For my first event in this capacity, I found myself going to Ottawa for an “Over 50s event” in which I had lunch with alumni who were older than 50 (most of the attendees were older than 7o). In my table, I was able to interact with alumni who graduated in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. As I was talking to them about their Queen’s experience, I realized that many of them only get to see each other whenever there are events organized. Even though many of them only get to see each other a couple of times a year, they have one thing that unites them all: their Queen’s connection.

A few days after the lunch in Ottawa, I was at The Brass watching a Toronto Raptors playoffs game with some friends who were in my floor in first year. Half-way through the game, one of them reflected on how hard it would be to have moments like these in which we could all get together at ease by simply walking up the street for a couple of minutes.

After taking some time to meditate and put things In Perspective, I have begun to appreciate some of the simple things that I hadn’t contemplated in the past. As I enter what will be my last summer and school year as an undergrad at Queen’s, I know that I will value and cherish the moments spent with friends, the things we learned from one another, and how easy it has been to have the time and opportunity to see each other.