As Yellowjackets, we all realize right after our first semester that this place puts you through the wringer. Getting through a semester is a Herculean task that most of us do without realizing just how busy our schedules get. Two weeks into any semester, every minute of every day ends up being occupied by some commitment, be it e-board meetings or study groups for an upcoming midterm. It’s riveting to see our entire student population, fueled by caffeinated beverages, become a slave of their own intricately color-coded calendars. Everyone here always has “something” to do. Although this is a fascinating phenomenon in itself, what is even more intriguing is how we don’t truly realize how much work we’re constantly doing.
It was when my suitemate had to send us a calendar invite to schedule a “suite dinner” that I realized we’re all just a bunch of workaholics. Three years at UR made me more responsive to recruiter emails than texts from my childhood bestie. While all of us Yellowjackets are pros at being busy, what we actually struggle to do is “nothing”.
As finals came to an end in December, I busied myself packing for a trip back home. It was when I was home that I realized that I had absolutely nothing to do. While the entire world was enjoying the holiday season, no recruiter emails entered my inbox, and I had no application deadlines for a month. I couldn’t do anything, even if I wanted to. I struggled to decide what to do with all of the time I had on hand. With no color-coded time blocks on my calendar, the newfound freedom that accompanied the blank space was unsettling. I kept thinking I had something to do, only to realize it was a whole lot of nothing. I decided to set “goals” for myself — get up at seven, work out, paint something, and so on. Not surprisingly, my initiative to make a schedule to do nothing failed miserably.
So, what’s the best way to do nothing? You’d think as a senior at this school I would’ve learnt this by now. Interestingly, doing nothing is something I learn every holiday season and unlearn throughout the school year. There isn’t any “best possible way” to do nothing.
Doing nothing is never going to amount to something — it’s inherently an unproductive task. In fact, it isn’t a task at all. It’s just about getting through the day without thinking about the next minute, and really focusing on who’s around you. It’s about going with the flow, and the only thing you’re going to get out of it is a better mindset when you actually go back to doing something.
So go on, don’t feel guilty about doing nothing after finals. Start that Marvel movie marathon you’ve always wanted to, take a walk around the block like those old couples you see outside your window, or just scroll through cute cat reels on Instagram. Just do exactly what you feel like doing, even if it’s nothing.