5 Things To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

5 Things To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

If you still have time off from Winter Break and don't know what to do with yourself, give these things a try.

As a busy college student, days where I have free time are few and far between. It should then come as no surprise that, halfway through my break, I'm not sure what to do with all of this time that has suddenly been bestowed upon me. As I spent a good portion of my day laying on the couch, deciding what to do, I came up with the best idea I had for the past week: "I should make a list of some of the things that people could do if they don't know what to do." So, without further ado, here is that list.

1. Think of things to do.

What better way to spend your time than to think about how you're going to spend that time? I never realized how consumed my brain is with thinking about mentally taxing things, like "What central argument should I center this paper around?" or "Should I follow up my initial text if she doesn't respond to me within ten minutes?" Sometimes, it's nice to sit back, relax, and figure out the things that you're likely not going to do.

2. Ask your phone or pet about their day.

More likely than not, we talk to other people everyday. We ask how someone is doing, how their day was, and what they would like to do. We don't, however, always talk to the creatures and technology that make our day. I used to love conversing with my dog, but since I no longer have a pet, I have turned to talking to my Android smartphone. One crucial question that I just had to ask her today was, "What do you dream about?" She responded, "I had a dream that cats and dogs became best friends. It was awesome." Contrary to popular belief, it seems, Androids don't dream of electric sheep.

3. Go for a walk or run outside.

For me, nothing clears the mind more than going for a run or taking a stroll outside. If you have the access, the beach is a fantastic place to do so. Allowing your feet to sink in the sand as you run along the shore takes a lot of the stress off of your knees and ankles that running on a street or track usually does.

4. Take a shower (or bath, if you're into that sorta thing).

I'm at my most creative when I'm in the shower. Not only does a mildly warm (or a slightly colder after a nice run) shower feel nice, but it cleanses your mind. A bath, I suppose, can have the same effect. Sitting in your own filth, however, just seems to defeat the purpose of washing off in the first place.

5. Write/jot/draw/scribble on a piece of paper.

This is my go-to strategy for overcoming writer's block. In fact, just jotting down what popped up in my head led me to writing this list. With no worries of your writing getting graded or sent back by an editor, the only limitations are those set by your mind.

If you still have some time off from school and work and have no idea what to do, give some of these things a try. You won't feel like you're wasting time because, chances are, you were wasting time to begin with.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.


BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Artist Turned Writer

Why I decided not to go into college for art, instead embracing writing.


Like most kids, I was asked many times what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never took it seriously, of course. As opposed to other kids who would say they wanted to be an astronaut, a rockstar, or the President of the United States, I always gave answers such as ladybug or snowman.

I was a weird child.

From a very young age, I was always more creative than analytical. I usually spent my time listening to music, singing, drawing, and more. School work was always a struggle for me. I would sit at the kitchen table for hours upon hours trying to study so my grades wouldn't tank.

My parents used to have to quiz me on the material because that was the only way they could ensure I was actually studying and remembering the information. My sister was always the opposite. She would get straight A's without even trying, and she never really had to study. School just came easily to her. Growing up and having so much difficulty learning always made me wonder what my future would be, or could be.

I was in fifth grade when I took notice to my older cousin, Nicole. She went to the Philadelphia School of the Arts and was majoring in textile design. Like me, she always had difficulty in school. Whenever I would see her, she would tell me all about her classes and what she was learning, and she seemed to really be enjoying it.

This made me think... Could I really make a career out of art when I grew up?

I had decided to follow in my cousin's footsteps. I wanted to do exactly what she did. Go to Philly U and study textile design there. I always excelled in art at school, and I loved to draw in my free time, so I thought it was a perfect fit for me.

Then I got to high school.

When I became a freshman in high school, I started to read a lot more. Books were always a nice escape from the crappy high school drama, or if my family was driving me crazy. While I still worked hard in my art classes, and my plan was still intact, I started to try my hand at writing.

I used to write short stories on a website called Wattpad. However, it was a dirty secret and I told very few people. I was always very afraid of publishing publicly to the site, and I even used a pen name just in case anyone I knew used the website. As I continued through high school, art started to become more of a chore than something I enjoyed. I tried to power through, thinking that I was just going through a phase of doubt and that I just needed to keep at it.

As a sophomore, I joined my school's creative writing club with my boyfriend at the time, just for fun. I was always nervous to share, but when I did, to my surprise, the feedback was positive. This got me writing more and, even though I didn't continue in the club due to work overload, writing was kind of just... always in the back of my mind.

My school's art program had art as just a two-year elective program that students could take for fun, and those who wanted to do it in college were required to take those classes accompanied with a two-year AP course. My junior year of high school, my first year of the AP course was absolutely miserable.

Going into it, I was very optimistic and excited, thinking that the real preparation for college was going to begin. It quickly went downhill for me.

Very few people took AP art where I went and so my class consisted of me along with three other students. I thought this would be great, and I would get a lot of focal, one-on-one assessment with my teacher. We would have peer reviews and critiques, and everyone always had a lot of negative things to say about my work.

I started to think that maybe I wasn't good enough. I would put everything I had into a piece and it never seemed to be acceptable to both my peers and my teacher. It got very discouraging and I wanted to quit.

By the time Winter Break started up, I hated the class and pretty much just tried to finish out the year.

During this time, I started to think of other options. Art wasn't working out as I hoped, and applying to college was in the near future. My parents would give me suggestions, but nothing ever sounded interesting enough to me. I'm one of those people who want to do something I love as a career. I'm not in it for the money, I believe happiness is worth more than money.

I was sitting at my desk one night staring at my current art project that I didn't want to do when a little voice crept up in the back my mind, saying...

"Be a writer..."

I started to actually consider being a writer since it was something I enjoyed and something I thought I had genuine potential in. So, I decided to go to my English teacher, who also happened to be my favorite teacher, and asked her about being able to take AP English my senior year. She told me that, with hard work and a writing sample, I could be admitted into the AP class.

I worked my ass off to get my grade to an A in the class, and when the day came to write the writing sample for consideration of admittance, I did the best I could. I was stoked when my teacher told me I made it.

Where I Began... and Where I Finished

My senior year of high school was a whirlwind. I did really well in my AP English class and in my communications class. We had an assignment to write an article, one of which was to be put into the school's newspaper. My article wound up being selected, and I was so proud of myself.

I rejoined the creative writing club and my teacher became basically my mentor, without intending to.

I'm currently halfway through my freshman year of college, at Rowan University. I'm a Journalism major with a dual minor in Professional Creative Writing and English Literature. I'm a news writer for Rowan's newspaper The Whit, and I'm proud to be starting to write with Odyssey.

I'm no longer afraid to be public about my work, and I'm proud of it.

If you asked me when I was young what I wanted to be when I grew up or what'd I'd be doing in college, I would've never guessed that I'd be where I am. Sometimes, things don't work out. That doesn't mean you won't be successful in the long run or find something else that fits.

Keep looking, you'll figure it out. I did.

Related Content

Facebook Comments