I am a big fan of romantic comedies, and think that the superior ones can teach a lot of great life lessons. In fact, the best and most impactful piece of advice that I can recall “receiving” actually came from a film—a romantic comedy entitled About Time to be exact.
The plot of About Time centers around a young man named Tim who has the ability to travel back and forth in time to specific days of his past. He uses this time traveling ability to slightly alter his past, improve his relationships, and, yes, fall in love. He soon realizes, however, that even his special time travel does not prevent him from falling prey to some of life’s obstacles, such as medical issues with his sister and father. Eventually, through several series of small but impactful moments with his friends and family, he comes to realize that he is happier when he simply lives each day out the first time it occurs. His voiceover gives the advice to “live each day intentionally, as if you traveled back in time to live that specific day to its fullest.”
Although a fictional romantic comedy film about time travel may not seem the most likely source of great advice, this maxim has rung true for me many times in the year or so since I first saw the film. It helps me to put everything in perspective whenever I get too busy or stressed about the future. I realized that I had spent too many days in the past simply living them in preparation for something in the future, whether it be midterms, finals, interviews, going home, or even just the weekend. It is most assuredly important and beneficial to be cognizant of one’s future, but it is equally imperative to enjoy the present along the way. Especially as my days as a UCLA undergraduate come to a close, it is important that every day is as good as it can be.
Not all days of one’s life are going to be great, but living with this mantra can help ensure that each day is at least a bit better than it would have otherwise been. Here is a wonderful clip from the final scene of the film:
Happy 10th week, and go watch About Time!