With the first month of school, a pervasive aura of “busy-ness” looms around college students. There is not a day that goes by without a post on Facebook about submitting an essay a minute before the deadline, or a Snapchat Story of roommates working on homework in the lounge, or a rant on GroupMe about how much work someone has to do. I am guilty of these things too, but I’ve come to realize that I am not alone in partaking in the culture of being busy.
As students, there seems to be a socially constructed pressure to overload on courses, extracurricular activities, jobs, internships, etc. A lot of students have the mentality that if they join 12 clubs, get 2 on-campus jobs, study abroad, and take 18-credit course loads each semester, then they will be successful in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t misguided to be involved in the school community, however being busy becomes a vice when it gets to the point where you constantly feel stressed out, sleep-deprived, and drained of energy. Adding superfluous material to your resume is definitely not worth being miserable all the time. If you can manage doing a billion things and still stay sane, then major props to you. But, most students lose sight of the fact that their health and well-being should be their first priority.
Millennials are the most stressed out generation, and this is a major issue that needs to be fixed as it leads to a multitude of health issues such high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. The pressure to be busy may be a direct cause of this stressfulness. Since middle school, teachers ingrained in my mind that the way to be successful is to maintain good grades, take advanced classes, go to college, participate in a bunch of clubs and activities, get internships, and “real-world experience.”
However, this way of thinking is extremely linear and forces students to become like robots. Instead of imposing students to wear themselves out in order to reach “success”, teachers and professors should galvanize students to do what makes them happy.
Perpetually being burdened by work can often lead to burnout and breakdowns, so we all need to take some time to take care of ourselves. Take at least one hour out of the day to do something that makes you happy and that you love. Self-care is of the utmost importance and you can never go wrong with a nice bubble bath with a Lush Bath Bomb, sipping some warm tea and reading a good book, or cuddling up in a warm blanket and watching Netflix. Whatever you do with you time, make it worthwhile, and makes sure that it makes you happy.
As Socrates once said, "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
Although Socrates lived during 450 BC, he was very wise in offering this piece of advice as it can still be applied today.
Happiness should not be derived from constantly wanting to have more meaningless things to do in order to receive praise from “success.” Instead, happiness comes from within, when you have the time to internally work on ourselves. Through cutting down being busy, we can learn to appreciate the simple pleasures of life.