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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DU chapter.

The other day, my friend, who is from Florida, asked me how leaves grow on trees. “Do the leaves just magically appear,” she asked, “or do they form buds and gradually grow?”

Initially, I laughed at this ridiculously pedantic question. No one had ever asked me how leaves grow, so I had to think about it. After a few minutes passed, I could not tell her the answer. Honestly, I had never noticed.

While this anecdote may seem idiotic and silly, it makes for a brilliant metaphor. So, here it goes…

The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and campus is crowded. It’s officially spring. Now, spring offers an opportunity for reflection. To look back on the last few quarters, the things we’ve done, and the people we’ve been.

I’ve sometimes found that these moments of reflection that I desperately crave are in short supply. It seems that time is of the essence, and there is simply not enough of it. Impermanence is the only consistency.

Things of every nature and facet of life are happening so fast. I worry that I am not fully appreciating them. Even more so, I worry I am not noticing the changes within myself.

So, on a warm spring night, I went for a walk, with no other motive than to be alone with my thoughts.

I looked inward and pondered philosophical inquiries.

Am I happy? What am I going to do with my life? What does it mean to be successful?

I cannot say I have perfected the recipe for my personal happiness, and that’s okay. I have a career plan and a path I intend to follow. But, in terms of the grand designation of success, I am, to a large degree, a selfish egoist.

You know that one song you can’t listen to without thinking of that specific person? The spot on campus you can’t pass by without smiling in memory? Exactly. Personally, I hope to stain memories and make handprints on the hearts of those around me.

For a brief moment in time, we were able to not only exist and cross paths, but to trade pieces of our souls to complete one another’s. It is remarkable and deserves to be treated as such.

While this is probably too deep for a simple article, I think it is important to understand that the people we are don’t just magically appear. Rather, we gradually grow, just like the buds on trees.

I encourage everyone to slow down, recognize, and appreciate their individual growth. Before we know it, this stage of our lives will come to an end. And what will we have to show for it?

I hope to measure my successes in the smiles I cause, the laughs I elicit, and the epiphany of another that their mere existence meant something to me. May they be as abundant as the buds emerging on the spring trees.

I'm Emily Perry! I am a double major in both English and History. Additionally, I am a part of DU's J.D. Dual Degree Program.