I think the saddest thing I've ever heard was when my professor asked a classmate what his hobbies were and he replied, "Netflix."

Fellow Aztecs: Netflix is not a hobby. Perhaps if you can justify it by explaining that you enjoy watching shows to learn about a certain topic that interests you, then maybe I'll be convinced that TV can be a hobby. But until then, I can't in good conscience consider bingeing television a legit hobby.

After my professor asked about our hobbies or whatever it is we fill our free time with, he asked us what we would rather be doing if we didn't have to go to school or earn an income. Those answers were much different than "Netflix" or "I don't know." People said they would be traveling the world or learning to cook.

Lots of people would agree that something gets in the way of them doing what they truly want to do or want to try. That 'something' may be time, money, other priorities like school or family. But most people seem to be wasting away their days doing things that they would rather not do. At first, most people would agree that they can't do whatever it is they want to do without money and that they can't earn money without their job. People suffer through having to do work that they don't want to do in hopes that one day they will maybe be able to finally do whatever it is they actually want to do.

This is a rather American view on life. Americans like to think they should work hard in school or their jobs so that later in life they may be able to do whatever they actually want to pursue. One country, in particular, Italy, views life very differently. They believe that it is silly to prioritize things that we do not enjoy doing in hopes that it will eventually help us to be able to do what we do enjoy. They believe in prioritizing both if not only the things that we enjoy doing. Employers in Italy believe in giving their employees weeks of paid time off throughout the year so that they may enjoy the activities that make them happy. They believe in prioritizing world travel or being with family because it makes us better people and therefore better employees.

In fact, it seemed like most of my classmates agreed that they prioritize schoolwork or their jobs over any other kind of activity that makes them happy or leaves them feeling fulfilled. Even at young ages, we are stuck in the mindset that we don't have the capacity to satisfy our souls. I believe that too many people are afraid of pursuing their true passions and use other things like school or money as excuses. If you truly want it, you'll find a way to make it a priority. If you tell me that you don't have time to practice the instrument that you love playing because you have a fulltime job, that's on you because I can guarantee you that if you prioritize it, you will find the time. If you tell me that you've always wanted to take art lessons but don't have the money because you have bills to pay, make it as much as a priority as paying for your bills.

This is certainly a more optimistic stance on life but definitely not unrealistic. My dad always tells me that he has never waited for retirement to retire. I've taken that idea to heart. I don't prioritize my schoolwork or my part-time jobs over my other activities like writing or exploring San Diego. In fact, schoolwork may be at the bottom of my list. I prioritize traveling as much of the world as I can with my circumstances, I prioritize writing for my blog, I prioritize learning to draw, etc. That isn't to say I don't care about my school or my job. I still give both 110%, I just don't use them as an excuse not to do other things as well. For example, my cover photo is from my most recent trip to San Francisco. I decided to take almost a week off from school and work to go to SF for my birthday in the middle of the semester. How do I do that you might ask? I finished all of that week's readings/homework/online assignments prior to leaving and requested time off from work. It's that simple. Don't let being a student stand in your way from pursuing your real passions. If you're so unhappy with school, do something about it.

I'm not saying drop everything to go chase your dreams necessarily. I just wish more people didn't fill their days with work that they don't actually want to do. That said if school is your true passion then kudos to you because you're already one step ahead of all of us. I encourage you to try giving priority to something else in your life that you've always wanted to enjoy. Try living like the Italians!

For more content, check out my up and coming lifestyle/travel blog: A Living Purpose :)