It is the second semester of my senior year, which had me thinking last week about what I did during the spring of my senior year of high school. Specifically, I went to 14 Mets games and wrote about the Mets every other night for a blog my friend and I had started, and still managed to pass all my classes. Week nights, weekends, Opening Day, countless cold nights and warm afternoons — I spent them at Citi Field, and it was probably the best few months of my life.
I can’t possibly repeat that 14-game performance this spring, what with living in Providence and all of that. And I know that not everyone feels the way I do about the Mets. But there’s still something important to be learned here. It’s senior spring, the last few months many of us will ever have that consist of more free time than responsibility. Some of us have jobs lined up; some of us are going to graduate school; some of us have no idea where we’re headed. But seniors, regardless of your situation, we’ve only got a few months left at Brown, a few months in Providence, a few months left with a college schedule and college friends.
So today, I don’t have a point to make so much as a request: Have fun with it. Do the things you’ve been putting off all these years. Cross those items off the bucket list. I went to 14 Mets games — what have you always wanted to do? Now is the perfect time to do it.
Sure, we can’t go completely crazy, or at least, not yet. There are still papers to be written, problem sets to be turned in, tests to be taken. But please, trust me on this: You’ll be okay. You’ll look back in 10 or 20 years, and realize that the 85 you got on your final hasn’t made your life any worse than the 95 you might have wanted. And meanwhile, you won’t have fond memories of studying — you’ll have fond memories of the things you did instead of that extra hour of studying. The concert you saw, or the cool place you went or the ridiculous thing you did. I have class at 9 a.m. on Fridays. In a few weeks, I think I’d like to see “Avengers: Endgame” at midnight on Thursday. I’ll be tired the next morning. Maybe I’ll miss something in class that would have been useful on my final paper.
But you know what? I’ll be okay. And that final paper grade won’t matter to me in 10 years. But I know I’ll remember dragging my friends to a movie at midnight on a Thursday, dressing up in some Iron Man apparel and enjoying my last few months in this place with these people. Because it’s not something you find anywhere else. “Avengers: Endgame” isn’t quite 14 Mets games — although it might take about as long — but it’s something.
That, in the end, is my message today: Don’t waste these last few weeks. Yes, get your assignments done. Don’t blow off studying completely. Hand in your papers on time, and don’t check out of class: There are still valuable lessons to be learned in every course Brown offers, whether it’s Associate Professor of English Deak Nabers discoursing on Edgar Allan Poe, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs Richard Arenberg spinning the polarization wheel or whatever happens in science classes.
I know that I, for one, plan on taking my own advice. Last Thursday night, I finished a statistics assignment. Friday afternoon, I took the train to New York. Saturday and Sunday, I went to two Mets games. It’s not 14, and the 2019 Mets aren’t the 2015 Mets — at least not yet, and not when Jacob deGrom isn’t pitching — but it was worth it nonetheless. I finally got back to Citi Field. I spent time with my family — especially my brother, who is 11 and just starting to like the movies and TV shows I show him, and my dog, who weighs 130 pounds and drools like a fire hose. I’ll remember this weekend. I’ve already forgotten my grade on my first statistics problem set.
Find the balance, is what I’m saying. Get your work done, but don’t only get your work done. In these last few weeks at Brown, find time to live. In short, don’t do anything you’ll regret. But if you don’t do anything, you’ll regret that most of all.
James Schapiro ’19 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send responses to this opinion to email@example.com and op-eds to firstname.lastname@example.org.