The busy trap: student edition
The most common piece of advice given to those starting their university careers is to make the most of the next four years.
As students dive into the most exciting and hectic chapter of their lives, they must keep in mind that in order to be successful, they must “make the most of it.”
Laurier culture booms with a small campus, small community feel; we are a school that thrives on being involved and helping each other out.
The campus clubs, volunteer opportunities and extra-curricular possibilities are endless and can sometimes be overwhelming.
First years are plunged into Laurier’s “get involved” atmosphere and try desperately to find as many opportunities as they can.
However, the busy lives of student involvement can go largely ignored since university is viewed as a mere break before stepping into the real world.
Though as many people like to remind us and attempt to scare us, the more you get involved, the more successful you will be in both your academics and future career.
But what happens when you find yourself too busy?
When you reach the point where the extra-curricular activities made to improve your social lifestyle become more of a chore and you find yourself buried under a pile of stress and anxiety?
Tim Kreider’s “The Busy Trap” featured in the New York Times, not only applies to “real” adults who find themselves overwhelmed with the heavy workloads they take on, but to students as well.
Kreider notes that we are constantly saying how “crazy busy” we are with all the things we are involved in.
Whether it’s taking care of yourself, doing your job or maintaining a social life, the most commonly used word to sum up all these factors is “busy.”
Having a life in the 21st century means that we are constantly “busy” and if we aren’t busy, then we worry that we aren’t doing anything productive.
While we all acknowledge the fact that our society is obsessed with being busy and having our time occupied with a bunch of random tasks, Kreider reminds us that doing absolutely nothing is just as important as being involved.
According to Kreider, we should not feel guilty if we want to spend a day lying on the couch.
We love the idea of having a vacation and sitting on our butts watching as much TV as we can, but how come we never take the time to do just that and enjoy it, especially during the school year?
Two weeks of school has not even gone by and our calendars are probably already filling up.
However, Kreider is making a very good point about the joys of not being too busy and advises us to avoid getting caught in the “busy trap.”
It is important that we, as students, get involved in the things we love to balance our lives and make our university schedule a more enjoyable one.
This should not mean however, that we let it consume us to the point where we feel that we have no time for ourselves.
It is okay to take a break and it is okay to put everything on pause so that you can hide away for a couple of hours and not feel responsible for anything.
Besides, don’t you find yourself to be repetitive when you’re constantly saying during your catch-up with friends, “Yeah I’m too busy. My day was so busy! I’m tired because I’m so busy.”
I am extremely guilty for using this quote when a pal asks me how I’ve been or what I’ve been up to.
Instead, I think it’s time to nix the term “busy” and just talk about what I’ve been doing in my spare time.
We students have to do readings, write papers, study our notes and fulfill our roles in our extra-curricular activities.
Unless your life has consisted of lying in bed and staring at a blank wall, we are all busy in some way or another.
We understand, we sympathize and we know: we are all busy.
Take that into consideration this semester. Did you take a break today? Have you done something just for yourself? When was the last time you felt relaxed?
You are not alone, we all have our own hectic schedules to deal with. While balancing the work schedules is important, it is crucial to fit in the lazy-ass aspect into your routine.
So go ahead and be a couch potato for a little bit before jumping back into your crazy-hectic-exciting-BUSY lifestyle.
You might be able to enjoy yourself this time when jumping back into that hectic workload pool instead of drowning in it.