Time. There never seems to be enough of it. It goes by so quickly. Fleeting. Elusive. Of the essence. Time, as in, "where did the time go?"

Time as a measure. Time as a harbinger. Time well spent. Time as an investment.

Investment? Sure thing.

Why, just this weekend, as The College Whisperer pored over Sunday's New York Times, there was old man time himself, taking the form of watches (now referred to, among the elite, as "timepieces") being offered up as precious investments.

A Breitling fot $41,500. A Patek Phillippe for $325,000. A Rolex for a mere $32,050. Watches that you don't actually own (at least not without a second mortgage), but that you merely look after for the next generation.

And here The College Whisperer sits, wearing his faithful Timex -- $49.95 at the Time Factory.

Sure, the bezel may be a bit worn. The crystal scratched. The date forever stuck on "10" -- correct but once every month. Still, true to the Timex credo, after more than a decade, it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' -- accurate, more or less, to within seconds (and with a free lifetime replacement of the battery, to top it off).

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, once opined, "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." But a watch -- excuse me, timepiece -- as an investment?

Perhaps so, but for my money, a watch is a watch. A tracker of one moment to the next. A reminder for the chronographically challenged. And time is something you can view -- if not exactly hold onto or go back in -- on your cell phone or under that wonderful old clock in Grand Central Station.

No, my money, as investment, is on the time-honored institution of higher learning. College.

Sure. Four years of college is expensive. Not nearly as costly as that Patek Phillippe, mind you, but we are talking the north side of six figures for private colleges, and the public universities coming pretty darn close.

Yet, as with any investment, it is not necessarily the initial outlay, but the increase in value, the profit, the big payout over time.

That Rolex may increase in value, returning a hefty sum, provided that toddler from Generation Next for whom you are looking after said timepiece doesn't run it over with his tricycle. A college education as investment, on the other hand... Well, the value of that investment over a lifetime could be priceless.

That's why planning for college, choosing the school that's right for you or your child, finding the perfect fit, the movement in time and space akin to that fine Swiss-made timepiece you so admire and covet, is so very important, and getting into that college, to foster that investment, so very significant.

For high school seniors, now tweaking essays and fine-tuning applications, it's crunch time. For juniors, and those first starting out in their high school careers, time may seem to stand still.

For those in the throes of the crazed frenzy of the college application and admission process, it's just a matter of time. Dig in. Get those applications out. Hold tight to every glorious moment in time.

For the junior, sophomore, and even the low man on the totem pole freshman, now is the time. The time to start planning, using valuable time as a means to hone skills, to broaden horizons, and to prepare to become an investor, of sorts, in your own right -- a college student.

Unlike that Patek Phillippe (I'd like to buy a vowel, please), you actually do own the time you spend preparing for college. More than that, with that sheepskin in hand, from the college of your choosing, you own the future.

What are those lyrics? Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future... Spend your time wisely. Invest in your tomorrows. This is your time. Seize the moment!

Oh my. Is it that time already? My trusty Timex tells me, there's no time like the present. Tick. Tick. Tick...

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Timing Is Everything. . . Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer, the authors of referenced articles and websites, and such guest bloggers as may appear.
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