Aim high but take time to enjoy life

A little shy of three years ago, the greatest event occurred — my nephew was born. Anyone who knows me knows that Owen is the greatest inspiration in my life.

They also know that I’m a perfectionist. For the majority of my school career, I spent every second making sure every “T” was crossed and every “I” was dotted. I didn’t go out with friends until my homework was done. I participated in every activity possible. I never had time to just relax and enjoy myself.

Then Owen was born.

I always valued my family and my friends, but I put my schoolwork first.

Every guy I’ve dated, except my current boyfriend, was fourth or fifth on my priority list. I often wonder what kind of relationship I could have had with them if I didn’t put them last on my priorities.

I’m still involved in a lot because I have always set my goals high no matter how much stress it creates.

But when the stress built up, I was lucky to have Owen to remind me how to laugh. His current favorite phrases are “Nate is a butthead” and “I like the Stater.” And no, I did not teach him to call my boyfriend a butthead. And I did not teach him to say he likes the Stater. But it’s the little things that make me smile.

I have high goals, and often the need for love gets pushed aside for those goals. Journalism is for me. But I have to be reminded every once in a while that I also need others.

In my favorite book, Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie reminds Mitch Albom that “when we are infants, we need others to survive … at the end of life … you need others to survive … But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.” So find that person who makes you laugh.

Owen has helped me smile when I’ve been upset. Just two weeks ago, I was upset because I still don’t have an internship, but Owen told me “to be happy.”

Owen has reminded me how great it was to be a carefree child. We go to the zoo and the park. We watch “Spongebob” and “Bob the Builder.” Whenever I need to get away for a mini-vacation, Owen is there to help me forget my stresses for a little while.

As a journalist, I must meet deadline after deadline. But Owen reminds me to slow down, breathe and enjoy life.

If I could leave one word of inspiration with everyone, it would be to stop worrying. Don’t worry about that paper that is due tomorrow. Instead, enjoy life. Stop. Remember what is important: friends and family. Yeah, passing sociology may allow you to graduate next week. But where would you be without your loved ones?

Owen has greatly impacted my life. But so have many others. It would take every inch of today’s paper for me to list every person who has impacted my life.

So I would like to send out a big thank you to every person I have encountered. Thank you.

Jennifer Wells is a senior newspaper journalism major who won’t graduate until she gets an internship and the city editor for the Daily Kent Stater. She is also an employee at the greatest ice cream place in the world: Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Stow. Contact her at [email protected].