Opinion Opinion Feature

A good time, not a long one

After the Taal Volcano eruption, classes in Manila were suspended for two days. After the suspension was announced, my friends and I were talking about the ash fall in our respective areas. One of my friends, wondering why classes were still suspended, mentioned that the ash fall didn’t seem so bad in Makati as it had already subsided.

The rest of us, who were concerned for her safety, encouraged her to wear a mask even though the ash fall was not as severe in her area. She replied, “We’re here for a good time, not a long one,” but followed up that she will buy the appropriate mask. Even if I knew she was just joking, it got me thinking about what she said—a good time, not a long one.

“Living in the now” or “living on the edge” can be thrilling and exciting while we’re young because we feel like we have so much time on our hands. I noticed that there’s a certain culture among our generation where we prioritize what seems fun in the moment. A lot of us like to test the limits of our body while we’re young. We challenge ourselves to see how many shots we can take before we pass out, how long we can stay up before we fall asleep, or even how many cups of rice we can consume until we can’t eat anymore. But sometimes we fail to realize that these can have serious consequences for us down the line.

But this mentality is also apparent with those who prioritize work at the expense of their body’s needs. I have had several conversations with my friends and classmates where they would try to “one up” each other on how little sleep they got. I have always found it concerning seeing people brag about eating only one meal or clocking in only a few hours of sleep. Shouldn’t one be more proud when they are able to accomplish all their tasks and get the right amount of sleep?

We often neglect the signs that our body gives us. Sometimes they are as simple as resting when we feel exhausted or drinking water when our lips are chapped. Listening to your body lets you know what it needs right now. Sometimes if we’re not attentive enough, it can even be too late. We have all heard stories of people who experienced serious medical issues because of their careless behavior toward their own body, yet others only make changes when they are put in the situation.

Having been raised by doctors, I am constantly being reminded about my health. My parents have told me several times about the diseases that run in our family to emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle early on. It has been ingrained in me that preventing illness rather than curing it saves so much more money, resources, and time that I can spend on myself.

I’m no health expert, nor do I fully live a healthy lifestyle, but I do believe in the saying that it’s better to be safe than sorry. As college students, it can be difficult to handle all our responsibilities while still managing to take care of ourselves in the process. In spite of this, it is important that we keep our health in check so that we are less vulnerable to diseases in the long run. Being healthy does not necessarily mean you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. It can start from drinking more water, eating less fast food, and sleeping earlier. We may not feel the gravity of our actions right now, but it’s the little things we do everyday that can have the biggest impact on our future. And why not have both a good time and a long one?

Nikki Lacuna

By Nikki Lacuna

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