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How to Triumph Over the Comfortable Pull of Nostalgia - Chris Smith

How to Triumph Over the Comfortable Pull of Nostalgia


Nostalgia may be comforting, but Chris Smith counsels how students can find their path to Christ, high school grads use summer to focus on the future.

There are many times I find myself giving into a strong feeling of nostalgia.

How common this is, I do not know, but there seems to be evidence that this sentiment is particularly strong in the much talked about “millennial” generation, the generation in which most of our graduating seniors find themselves categorized.

We’re all aware of the phenomenon of time seeming to go faster as one gets older. I am sure there is some law of Quantum Physics which explains why this is so, but even with that scientific reassurance, there is a tendency to let the acceleration of time lead to a state of melancholy.

It is not uncommon for graduating students to experience these feelings; I know that I did. I have spoken with multiple students in the past few months who have expressed a mix of excitement and fear about graduating high school. This is completely understandable.

You are standing at a point of transition, and the magnetizing pull of the past can seem comforting over the unknowns of the future.

And while I am not saying you should all go out and buy “carpe Diem” coffee mugs, or join some Epicurean drum circle, I would propose that the graduates take time this summer to reflect on both the good of the past and the promise of the future.

The virtue of Hope is “the desire of something together with the expectation of attaining it.” And while it is a forward facing virtue, I believe that our capacity to hope is informed by the experiences of our past.

This is a beautiful thing about being Catholic.

We are allowed to look back and look forward at the same time, and by doing so, are able to more clearly see our path to Christ, Who is the Beginning and the End.

About Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith is the Director of Guidance at Seton. He has an M.A. in National Security and Statecraft from the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Christendom College and is currently working on an M.S. in Education from Franciscan University.

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