Dealing with existentialism in college

It can be difficult to find one’s place in the world as a college student

Looking up at the stars can lead one to ponder key questions.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Looking up at the stars can lead one to ponder key questions.

Selinna Tran, Print Managing Editor

Sometimes, I look out at the night sky and try to count each individual freckle of the night sky — the stars. Like freckles on a face, some are smaller than others, and some are more concentrated in one spot. 

The current topic for my Earth science course is exploring the formation of the Earth and the vast unknown that is our universe. Humanity is currently learning just how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. We are merely a speck, or even smaller when put into perspective of the entire world of space. 

It’s hard not to get existential when exploring such concepts that question the significance of one’s being. I do not believe that questions of how, why and what will ever be answered in regards to our place in the universe. And honestly, I don’t really want to know. 

Even when I look out into the sky and see the nothingness beyond the stars that go far beyond what my eyes could ever see, I do not feel any smaller in my position outside of Magnolia Residence Hall. 

In fact, I feel more alive. 

The cold and vast expanse that is our universe should pare down the magnitude of my place on Earth, but yet, I feel only empowered knowing that we exist. We exist out of rare chance, or because of some intelligent creator, or whatever one may believe, but we are here. 

That is why our Earth, the space, our universe, is just so beautiful — to a point that is indescribable, and it is hard to depict this emotion without becoming pretentious (which I fear this rambling of an article is already heading toward). 

I suppose that the purpose of this article is to mainly share that life may not be as hard as we make it out to be, because we are miracles that exist in space. Or maybe, life is just as hard — maybe even harder — than we consider it to be, because even as a speck, we feel every emotion of pain, pleasure, anger, regret and more with an even higher magnitude. 

It is hard to be a college student — living and interacting in so many circles while simultaneously figuring out exactly what we want to do as our looming graduation date comes around. Sometimes these thoughts get so overwhelming that I just shut them out and take things one step at a time. 

When I look out at the night sky — at all the stars and galaxies beyond ours — I am able to ground myself in these swirling thoughts and find a sense of peace. I look at the moon, a symbol in so many fables, stories and cultures to represent or signify many things, but most often a feminine presence of life, death and the cycle that connects them. 

Maybe there is something there — in the vast night sky — that could resonate with the weary mind of a college student.