The Brooklyn College Vanguard

The Toxicity of Urgency

   Flowers do not bloom overnight. It takes cycles of photosynthesis, months of nurturing, sustainable environments, and time in order for growth to spur. Time, in truth, is a concept needed for the living to develop their purpose and capabilities.

   So why is it that we understand that idea, but seem to defy it when it’s about us? 

   Picture standing on the sidewalk between Brooklyn College’s two main entrances. You’re looking at the glum expressions on students’ faces as they wait for the light to turn. Immediately after the switch, they dart off like missiles, making their presence known through their unrestrained bumps as they pass.

   It all seems familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s an echo of the stigma behind New Yorkers; the dramatization of our sense of urgency and our rudeness towards other people. And obviously, that stigma includes us. But an underlying matter, which people frequently gloss over, is that our unhealthy sense of urgency plays a role in exacerbating our soaring levels of anxiety, depression, and isolation.

   Because we are always in a rush, we never stop to be present at the moment and really unravel the thoughts we have. For one, how can we be more empathetic and authentic towards ourselves and others if there’s no process? It will only set us back and become more severe through time. So should we alter our understanding and utilization of time? No, let’s not be too extreme. 

   In some ways, college is a microcosm. It offers the structural characteristics of adulthood yet fosters an atmosphere coated with safety and leniency. What I’m advocating for is the parting from stringent old ways, to better accommodate a generation in need. We could start by cultivating a space where our current sense of urgency is not necessary. We need resources that can teach us about proper time management and how to live in the moment, allowing for a better understanding of what it means to be an individual and still keep our sanity. More often than not, this sense of urgency rushes us to bypass crucial steps of our growth.

   If there’s one thing to adulthood I’m certain about, it’s that success is determined by the foundation you’ve set for yourself. If you have all the right groundings and support to aid your efforts to succeed, you will. It only takes a small leap to reach monumental progress, and only through progress can you bring momentum to your life. Carpe diem.

About Edmund Zhen