It's inevitable. Once the academic year starts, my life becomes an endless maze of prioritizing assignments, jobs, and social time. I'm running on caffeine and showtunes alone. I haven't called my parents in months, and my family starts to wonder if I'm even still alive. It's all due to one simple problem: Helium Hand Syndrome.
Actually, my dad and I both suffer from the debilitating disease. Basically, when people ask for volunteers, our hands involuntarily start to raise and suddenly we're quadruple booked every day of the week. Other people look at us like we're crazy when we sacrifice sleep for a job or volunteer work. Our calendars are packed to the brim, and our schedules are planned to the hour.
It sounds like a personal version of hell, but being busy is one way that a lot of people cope. For me, being busy is what forces me out of bed in the morning and keeps me running until bed. It stops me from laying around all day doing nothing of importance. For others, it gives them a sense of purpose. Still others just do it because it's their job. And you know what? That's okay.
If you're chronically busy voluntarily, there is nothing wrong with that. If you're doing it to cope with something out of your control, there is nothing wrong with that. If you can't stand to be busy but do it because it's your job, you are valid in your frustration and exhaustion. And if you're not busy, that's okay too!
Having something to do at all hours of the day can be hard. It's stressful and leaves you with headaches beyond your control. It saps your energy and strength. It forces you to make sacrifices and choices that don't necessarily make you happy.
So next time you see someone, rushing from one meeting to the next, or frantically studying in the corner, allow them their time, space, and reasoning. Chances are, they know exactly what they're doing, and they wouldn't trade it for anything.