Stop Waiting and Start Living

Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.” 


I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one Monday morning, dreading the week to come, when I stumbled across this quote. I stopped and thought for a minute because I always go through my weeks waiting for Friday, for break, and now for summer. I’m always excited to get to the next best thing and have a break from school, but this quote made me second guess my longing for a break. 

I saw this quote on an Instagram account run by two guys named Alvaro and Shawn. The two of them came to my high school last year and gave a talk on fire safety to my senior class before we moved to college. Alvaro and Shawn were burn victims of a dorm fire at Seton Hall University and shared their moving story with us. Not only did Alvaro and Shawn inspire my classmates and I to take fire safety seriously, but they inspired us to take our lives seriously. Although it was heartbreaking to hear how they had fallen to the fire, it was so moving to see how it changed their perspective on life. The two were so grateful to have made it out alive, and now work on sharing their inspiring story with others. Alvaro and Shawn travel around the country to various high schools and colleges to educate on fire safety, but also to educate on something more: being thankful for the life you’ve been given. 

It has been nearly a year since Alvaro and Shawn shared their story with me, and every time I have a fire drill in my dorm I always think of them and the safety precautions to be taken. I will never forget the moving story they shared, and how they inspired me to make the most out of every situation. 

Yet sometimes I find that we all take our lives for granted and forget to be thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given. Now, because it’s the end of the year and the work just keeps piling up, my mind is only focused on having a break. I’m so ready to go home for summer that I just can’t wait. But even though I’m more than ready for break, seeing this quote on Alvaro and Shawn’s Instagram reminded me of the whole message behind their fire safety presentation. 

We need to seize every opportunity and make the most of our experiences, even if they may not be what we want. We are so blessed to live the life we do, and we should never forget that. Sometimes we’re so focused on just waiting for what we want, we forget to realize the amazing things that are happening right now in front of us. We need to enjoy the little things, because we’ll look back one day and realize those little things really do matter in our lives. 

Now that it’s our last month of school, I encourage you all to follow this quote. Slow down and stop rushing to finish that assignment or write that paper. Stop waiting to be done with whatever you’re doing, and just start living in the now. We constantly wait and wait for the next best thing in life, but we have to remember to enjoy what we have in this moment. We can choose to be happy simply by having a more positive perspective. Our time left here for this school year is limited, so make the most of it. 


To hear more about Alvaro and Shawn’s story go to