Student Voice

2019.07.08Student Voice

Cherishing Every Moment: Carson Watlington, University of Richmond, USA

Carson, center, with friends at Lake Tazawa

It’s 2 a.m.

The grass’ dew has seeped through my clothes, and I know without looking that my fingertips are tinged purple from the chill. Quite honestly, I’m not very comfortable, but I keep lying in AIU’s lawn because the stars are so beautiful and I’m laughing so hard that I can’t find the breath to stand up.

My puffs of breath disperse in the crisp autumn air, and when I look over, I can see the flash of smiles glinting out from the vague outline of my friends. I am virtually unaffected by the frostiness of the night because I am caught up in the ridiculousness of the ensuing debate about the ‘UFOs’ flying overhead and warmed by the pure exhilaration born from fighting sleepiness with laughter. And during a flash of clarity, I tell myself that this is a moment that I will treasure for a long time. It is times like these when I feel the childish unwillingness to call it a night and let the present moment morph into a recollected story.

Recently, the occurrence of these types of moments has increased in frequency, possibly as a result of my heightened awareness of the inevitable end of my time here at AIU.

Fall foliage at Senshu Park

When I first came to AIU, my thoughts often drifted towards anticipating the time I would get to go home, but as I’ve made friends, discovered the AIU community, and added to my collection of ‘memory treasures,’ I’ve found myself gripping onto the days I have left here. Knowing that my time in a place I love, with people I love, is finite has led me to the conclusion that every day is precious. Rather than just looking forward to highlights (such as a special trip or a big festival) I’ve started to gain the same happiness simply from sharing an experience with the right people.

I sincerely believe that some of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet here at AIU will become my lifelong friends. Whether it be a coffee break, or a romp around campus, or a picnic adventure, or a late-night star gazing session, if friends are involved, I’m sure of two things:

  1. Fun is guaranteed, and
  2. Something memorable awaits every day.

I know that this situation is rare, and I am grateful to be in it. While I can already anticipate how sad I’ll be to leave AIU and the people I’ve meet here, it’s impossible to dwell on that future sadness for too long when so much fun to be had right now.

With friends from around the world at the campus rotary.