The Gustavian Weekly

It’s Now Or Never

By Eric Schneider Opinion Columnist | May 2, 2014 | Opinion

Eric_SchneiderI have always been interested in creative writing, but have never really sat down and said to myself that I am going to write creatively. Right now, I am just sitting here, writing, and I am totally being honest about everything that is going through my head.

I am focusing on the present moment, and not getting caught up in the illusion of time that we all seem to be mesmerized by. Being able to take an empty piece of paper, and canvass it with your words is something unique to the human experience. Yet it is an ability all humans can indeed cultivate with the right practice.

When I first arrived at Gustavus, I had mostly written my whole life using a pencil and paper. I had only written maybe one or two essays on my family computer that did not even have Microsoft Word. I remember using a computer in my high school to work on a research project about alcoholism, but rarely was I assigned major writing assignments that involved significant research and a page total of more than four.

Now, writing has become something that I enjoy doing for its own sake and for reasons that I honestly cannot explain with words. For those of you who do have an outlet, where you are allowed to use your entire being to create something, you may understand where I am coming from. If not, just realize that one day you will most likely find something you think is beautiful, and you will also know what I mean.

An Islamic saying goes something like this: “The ink of a scholar is worth more than the blood of a martyr.” I believe that words have the power to change how we think, and, as a consequence, how we perceive reality around us.

The most important lesson of all is learning who you are, so live it up while you can.

The most important lesson of all is learning who you are, so live it up while you can.

Now, I am not claiming that I can make you change the way you see reality, only suggesting that words have the ability to alter a person’s conscious experience through the ideas they express.

Some of my favorite authors are able to write stories that make you feel as though you are actually the main character, experiencing everything that is going on around them while you are reading the book.

That is why I enjoy reading fiction novels so much, a hobby that has all but disappeared from my own generation completely. When I read a book, if it is written correctly, I am able to transcend space and time and enter a world that is familiar, yet totally a unique experience in itself. A good story will make you feel an array of emotions, and will have you reading as though your life depended on it.

The point is that each one of us is a unique individual who has the potential for great things; all we have to do is believe in our own strength as a human being, and push ourselves to be better than the day before. That is why I am writing this article right now, so that I can express my innermost thoughts to you as another person trying to find the right path to take in this journey.

It’s crazy for me to think that I am already a junior in college, and that soon I will have completed my undergraduate degree. It is a privilege to attend a fine institution such as Gustavus Adolphus College; a privilege that in many respects should be a universal right to all men and women across the planet, however, I digress.

The most important thing I have learned in college thus far is to know yourself, and to realize your place in the universe. I cannot stress how important it was for me to go through challenges in order to be where I am today. It is the hardships that make us who we are, because without the hardships, we would not have the capacity to enjoy the good times or feel alive as is humanly possible. The tough times we may experience during this life are never easy, but without them, the good times would cease to exist altogether.