Everyone is Busier than You – Commentary

Emma St. Aubin estau255@uwsp.edu

Somewhere between now and high school, boasting about busyness has moved up the fad ladder.

Somehow, having no free time available has become a translation for success, and we wear said success like a badge of honor, challenging anyone who is seemingly competing for said badge.

Homework? I have more. Exercising? I don’t have enough time to. You wake up at 7 a.m.? I wake up at 6 a.m. No matter the scenario, someone has you beat.

We are all college students and we all have busy schedules. But that’s just it—we are all college students and we also all have free time. Whether we spend that free time for something relaxing like a nap, procrastinating on homework by browsing Facebook and watching Netflix, or going to the library to memorize anatomy terms, it is still free time.

Most of us struggle with “free time.” We live in a society that is responsible for the idea that busier is better, and if you aren’t busy, then you’re doing something wrong.

But you know what? Life is supposed to be about doing things you enjoy. If you’re always too busy for those things, then what kind of life is that?

Having time on your hands isn’t a bad thing. It will leave you time for hobbies and time to think of your life and figure out how to stop glorifying “busy.”

The reality is we create most of the busyness ourselves. We feel the need to impress others with our busy schedules and we go to extremes to do so. We pull all-nighters, we spend hours on end in the library, and we join clubs we don’t have time for.

Extreme busyness can potentially be prevented with organization and good time management. It’s about balance and setting priorities.

But not participating in the busyness challenge doesn’t equal laziness. Chances are, most of those who aren’t competing to be busy aren’t focusing their attention on how their lives appear online or in conversations. They are actually being themselves and enjoying the moment for the sole purpose of enjoying it.

Slow down, don’t join every club, and learn how to say no. Sit down with a novel, turn off your cell phone, and pay attention to the life around you.

Rather than praising busy lifestyles, start praising the balance between a heavy workload and relaxation. It will result in a much happier life. Life isn’t about always being busy; sometimes it is about being free. 

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