Live like you’re dying

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This story was written by the SMU Live Staff.

It’s your last day on Earth. What are you going to do with it? SMU Live reporters spread across campus to ask their fellow students.

Many students took their time to form an answer. It seems like a simple question, but it forces you to evaluate what is most important in life. Some students want to travel to places like Uganda or Paris with their friends and family. One wants to revisit her childhood home, eat her mom’s lasagna and sit on the porch. Another would give her money to charity. Someone else would take a long ride on his Harley Davidson.

Here’s more:


The Taubman Atrium in the Owens Art Center buzzed with chatter as people took their seats for the noon Brown Bag Dance Series one day recently.

However, Katie Maiers a junior from Round Rock, Tex. did not talk with her neighbors. Instead, the blonde contemplated her final day on Earth.

“I would love to relive my favorite childhood memories,” Maiers told a reporter.

The French and advertising double major would time travel to when she lived in Idaho. For her, anything is possible on her last day alive.

She would spend the day surrounded by family and friends at her childhood home.

Her last meal would be her mother’s homemade lasagna.

Maiers final moments would be spent sitting on the back porch talking with family.

Taylor Lawson, 22, wears a red sweatshirt with black leggings as she walks into the Maguire Building. She’s a transfer student from Dallas majoring in business. She would spend her last day in the Caribbean.

“I would hop on a plane and go cliff diving in Negril, Jamaica,” she said.

Marin Powell, senior International Studies student has been skiing ever since she was a little girl. Her family is originally from Minnesota but they spend most of their summers and a couple weeks of the winter season in Crested Butte, Colorado.

Powell is a snow bunny. When it comes to her last day on Earth, nothing would be better than spending her time on a mountain skiing with friends, family and good food. She wishes she could click her boots together right now and head out to Colorado for the first snow.

“I would be eating all day long because I love food,” said a mountain girl dressed in her boots, daydreaming about eating her favorite food already. “I love fig and prosciutto pizza from The Secret Stash in Crested Butte.”


Christy Jackson, 21, is a junior majoring in Finance. She’s listening to Nancy Sinatra before going to study for a midterm on Thursday outside the Cox School of Business. She had a hard time determining what she would do with her last 24 hours.

“I would spend it with all of my family and friends,” she said. “I would want to go to Italy with them to drink and sightsee.”

“I want to make a statement for myself,” Sydney Saunders said, after a wrinkle of thought crept between her brows. Thinking about her last day on earth, she vowed to make it the best day of her life.

A sophomore civil and environmental engineering major, Saunders said she would leave the world on a positive note, amending her relationships and donating money to charity.

But she also said she wants a little personal tender love and care. She’d go to a spa, get her nails done, a facial and full body massage, you name it.

“I would completely pamper myself,” said Saunders.

While Saunders plans to treat herself, she also said she would spend most of her last day with friends and family.

And she’s not the only one who values time spent with loved ones.

“I would wake up and have my grandma’s scrambled eggs,” said Brad Dillenback, a junior markets and culture major.

Dillenback knows exactly how he wants to spend his last day on earth. After chowing down on his favorite breakfast food, he said he would go to the Dallas Arboretum with his family. Strolling through the colorful paths of the botanical garden, he would eventually make his way back home to his living room couch for a game of Dallas Cowboy football and a glass of scotch with his dad and older brother.

And he couldn’t forget about his deep blue Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“I’d go for a long ride on my bike,” said Dillenback. “I’d clear my head, reflect on everything then call it quits.”


For junior Mattie Lippe, a perfect last day on earth would be spent with her loved ones. Lippe would gather her family and a group of girls she volunteered with in Tanzania, for a day full of relaxation and good company. For Lippe, the people involved in her last day on earth are more important than activities. She explains the group would “just chill” together the entire day.

“I’d want them to have closure, and myself,” she said.

While sipping a pumpkin spice latte on a stormy afternoon in Dallas, sophomore communications major, Alexandra Johnson pondered what she would do if it were her last day on Earth.

She remembered her experience in Uganda where she served on a mission trip, building community centers and visiting children in orphanages.

“I would spend it with the kiddos in Africa,” said Johnson, “Serving in Uganda was the best experience of my life.”

Johnson also went on safari in Uganda and was fascinated by the elephants and zebras.

Gopika Shah was sitting in the Umphrey-Lee lobby with her head buried in a book. The senior economics and political science major was attempting a last minute catch-up on the few chapters she had forgotten to read over the weekend. The question caught her by surprise, but after a few solemn moments of contemplation, she answered with a smile.

Shah said she wouldn’t want to risk expediting her departure from this earth in something like a skydiving accident. With 24 hours left on earth she would like to lay in bed and binge watch a show on Netflix. She would also make a point of calling all the people she loves and telling them how much they meant to her.

Cayley Miles, an SMU senior and human rights major would spend her last day on a beach in Thailand. Although Miles has never been to Thailand, she has heard they have the most beautiful beaches in the world and visiting one with her family would be her wish.

Growing up in Lakeland, Florida, beaches and water is what she knows and that’s exactly how she would spend her last day on Earth.

“I grew up on the water and I could swim before I could walk,” she said. “It’s my happy place.”


For SMU senior accounting major Mike Hayes, there’s nothing more important than family. If he had one day to live, he wouldn’t spend it skydiving or traveling to an exotic destination. He would rather spend the day in an intimate setting surrounded by loved ones.

“I’d sit with my family and those closest to me and tell stories and relive memories,” he said.

Although Hayes lives with his younger brother in Dallas, he would want to spend the day at the home he grew up in with his brother, younger sister and parents in Southlake, Texas.

Senior Dale Potts would get really fancy if it was her last day to live. After flying to Paris with her friends, family and dog Fuzz, Potts would see as much as she could of the city, while eating her way though it. “I would eat really good food, a lot of really good food,” Potts exclaimed. “ I would also be sure to tell and show everyone how much I love them.”


Freshman Camden Moore would visit her favorite place in the world, Steamboat Colorado, where her family has a vacation home. She loves being surrounded by mountains in a tiny town where everyone is friendly. Add her family and friends to the mix, and Moore’s last day would be perfect.

“I would probably hike up to Devils Cosway because we do it every year,” she said. “I just love the views and the memories I have there, so it would be a great way to have a last hoorah.”

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