Just this week, I completed one of my favorite annual traditions, which is watching ‘Arrested Development” from the first episode of season one to the last of season three.
Such a tradition is just one of many I’ve developed since freshman year at school to help me spice up what is sometimes the monotony of school life. One of my issues in high school, besides really bad acne, was ignorance in the area of dealing with free time. It’s not something teachers tend to spend time on but it is most definitely an issue that students of all ages must deal with. It’s a crucial skill in life to be able to plan for boredom and use that time enjoyably.
If you want to implement a strategy to tackle boredom, you should begin by breaking down ‘boredom” into different types. I’ve found that there are three types: short periods say, an awkward 15 minutes in between classes; longer periods two to eight hours; and very long periods which can go anywhere from a day to a full weekend. Each type of boredom requires a different strategy to effectively tackle and enjoy it.
Fifteen minutes might be the most difficult to kill it really all depends on your location. For us UR students, anywhere near Wilson Commons or Connections means coffee might be a worthwhile endeavor, although not necessarily reasonable given time constraints and incredibly long lines at Starbucks. If you’re into it, you can grab a newspaper and sit in Gleason or, if it’s one of the two weeks where it’s nice out during the school year, you can even sit outside!
Two to eight hours can be a great chunk of time if used wisely. This isn’t my game, but I know a lot of people who can spend that entire time on YouTube and Texts From Last night. In my opinion, though, this time is better utilized with a quality nap. I don’t care how much sleep you got last night, you should be stockpiling for the weekend (you can do that, right?) and the best way to do that is with a few naps throughout the week. If you need to kill this time at night, though, you’re not going to want to be sleeping. Two hours is more than enough time to head off to the Tap and Mallet to grab a beer with an exotic name. Or, if you just want a good old Genesee Cream Ale, you can even head right over to the Elmwood Inn and get it on draft.
Full days of boredom should be valued beyond all other full days. After college, we’re rarely going to have days where we can literally be bored all day; people take vacation days just to do that! That’s why I suggest two avenues. If you’re looking to fight off the boredom, do something creative like a road trip down to New York City; on the other hand, if you’re looking to embrace the boredom, all you have to do is find a few movies, a few beers and a few buddies/biddies and kick back.
However you decide to use these awkward amounts of time, appreciate the fact that we still have time to be bored. Sooner than we’d like, we won’t be able to afford that luxury.
Epstein is a member of
the class of 2010.