As a self-proclaimed go-getter, I have strived to have as many experiences as I can while adding to my resume along the way. I have held internships, volunteered, written for publications — and a lot of this is because I love being busy. Or at least, I thought I did.
College is an interesting place. We are being funneled through this system, jumping through hoops in order to get a degree that will hopefully get us a job when we graduate. We study and learn and join clubs and work, all to essentially better our future. But it is not all black and white, and there is something about college that I did not realize was (for lack of a better word) toxic until I experienced it myself.
We live in a world where being busy is glorified, where it is “cool” to be hyped up on caffeine, and where a lack of sleep due to studying leads to “Oohs” and “Ahhs” from classmates thinking you have it all together. College only amplified this glorification of busyness to the next level. I had never in my life felt bad for getting more than 7 hours of sleep at night until I got to university. And now, I am lucky if I even get 8.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having things to do. I love hanging out with friends and being a part of organizations on my college campus. Going to work my junior year was fun for me, and interacting with others on the weekends was always a joy. But there came a time last year when I realized something very important that would ease my state of mind, something that I would carry with me into my senior year: it is okay to not be busy.
Yes, that’s right. It is 100% okay to not have plans all the time. It is okay to focus on school and drift away from organizations and social situations that you aren’t in love with anymore or that simply just aren’t for you. It is okay to spend more time with your books in your room than socializing with others. And it is always, without a doubt, more than okay to say no or decline an invitation.
We are human. I think a lot of us college students forget that, but it is true. We can only go-go-go! for so long before enough is enough and we are so worn out that we can’t do anything but lie in bed. And throughout these past few years in college, I have learned more about myself and how I work as a person than anything I learned in a classroom.
I have learned that I am an extroverted introvert. I love being around people, catching up with friends, seeing movies, or having lunch dates. But I also truly value my alone time, or even my one-on-one time with Chris, when I can sit in my room with the book I am reading for whatever class I am studying for, annotating, listening to some calming music and sipping my tea. And most of the time, I have way more fun staying at home than on days when I am super busy or nights when I decide to go out.
…and that is 100% okay with me.
So the next time you feel bad for “not being busy enough” or doing less than the person next to you, stop. You are you for a reason. You do exactly what you want to do.
And here is why: nobody knows how you are truly feeling, and nobody can give you the happiness that you can give yourself just by simply choosing to do what you want. There is a huge difference between selfishness and self-love. And glorifying busyness? You tell me where that falls.
Share your thoughts on this topic with me! I would love to hear them.