Living or Simply Existing?


Olivia Carrara

Life goes on whether you are fully living it or watching it move by. It is a common idea that everyone is living, but I believe that some people are simply existing without even realizing. Being a high school student who spends a large portion of each day behind a wooden desk, taking endless notes, and studying for countless tests, I have found it difficult to completely live life to the fullest. That being said, it is not impossible for a full-time student to live, it just requires taking risks and having priorities. It is easy to exist, to go through each day same as the prior and be content with life, but that cannot be the main reason we have time on this Earth. It is time for people, including myself, to strive for more than going through each day existing. Existing is the easy way out, it is the simple way to go through each day, but it should not be a fallback.


Many aspects separate living and existing and determine how people are living. Living a life you enjoy full of activities you love is living, while continuing to work a job you dread is merely existing. Doing what you love may not be what pays best or might just be deemed an “average” job, but it will be something that continuously makes you enjoy waking up and taking on every day. Emotionally existing, when feelings restrict people from taking chances, being spontaneous, or enjoying simple things, is different from living as well. Existing is when fear affects how you act and dreams are not often pursued. Living is taking your emotions and truly experiencing them; noticing that fear is holding you back, but having the courage to overcome it. Living is traveling somewhere you have always dreamt of going despite all the reasons you have to stay home. Living is changing every aspect of your life that is holding you back from your aspirations. Existing needs to be replaced for living in every moment.

To exist is to simply survive. It is to experience every day in a simple manner, truly enjoying few moments, and just doing what is necessary to complete the day. Nobody should wake up with thoughts like, “I just need to make it to the end of the day.” When you are living, days are never dreaded, days are enjoyed and looked forward to. Living is understanding what you want to do and going after it. It is cherishing each second because you love how you are spending your time. Life needs to be experienced and should not just be a simple routine. It is time for people to stop spending time doing everything they do not enjoy. People need to stop settling down because they have what can be considered a “successful” job or a good life. Just because you are doing something that pays well or is thought to be an aspect of a perfect life, it does not mean it is right for you. I think everyone needs to consider whether they are living or existing, and then they should make fearless decisions to be able to discover how they were meant to live.

Adventure is often something people dream of having. They want to discover new places, experience new cultures, and travel the world, but most people never do. While it does have to do with financial abilities, it is also avoided due to fear of the unknown. Adventure can be found anywhere, not just across the world. It needs to be noticed that while adventure seems out of reach, it may just be your mind restricting you to see the opportunities that life presents to you. I challenge everyone to start living; to stop going through the same routine every day. I want people to learn that existing is easy, but living is the one way to fulfill life completely and to experience every moment with all emotions and all the passion in the world. Life does not wait, so it is as good a time as ever to start living life the way you truly desire.