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Human doings

| Thursday, February 13, 2014

Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day and all, I could write something generically quirky and self-deprecating about being single, but I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to do that because Valentine’s Day is dumb and I can eat all the chocolate that flex points can buy whether I’m in a relationship or not. That’s because I’m an adult and adults can do that.

Instead, I’m going to finally try to come to terms with something one of my professors said last semester. Right before finals, he said college students are so busy and erratically scheduled that we are human doings, not human beings. He was right, and his words resonated with me.

I would probably be one of those who people who tried to schedule every minute of their day, but I know I would get so hopelessly behind schedule that wouldn’t even be worth it. Instead, I rely on my trusty assignment notebook to let me know when and where I need to do something. Yes, I still have a physical assignment notebook. In fact I rely on it so heavily that when I lost it once for 15 minutes, it was enough to make me seriously consider dropping all my classes and just starting over again next semester.
So, armed with little more than my planner, a cheap black pen, a yellow highlighter and a to-do list more accurately described as overwhelming than achievable, I go out and I do. There is remarkably little time for me — or any college student — to just be, which is fine because we would probably waste it mindlessly scrolling through our newsfeeds anyway. I figure I have a limited number of years left in my life in which I can run on little sleep and lots of caffeine and still be tolerable to be around, so I might as well take advantage of them.

I enjoy being busy. I enjoy having a schedule that changes by the day (and oftentimes by the minute) because it keeps things interesting and makes me chase my passions. But I also enjoy the rare chance to cease all of the doing and to relish in the being. I’m talking about the late night dorm discussions with no phones or computers, the spontaneous trips to the Grotto and jogs around the lakes. When we leave our responsibilities and schedules behind for a bit, we get to find ourselves and just be. And being is especially important in a world of doing.

So happy Valentine’s Day, human doings. Single or taken, enjoy your chocolate because the Huddle only has this good of a selection, like, twice a year. And while you’re doing that, maybe take some time this weekend to just be. You deserve it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Jack Rooney

Jack is a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame, and The Observer's former managing editor. He is currently spending a year living and working for the University in Ireland, and writing columns to keep him busy. For more random thoughts and plenty of news links, follow Jack on Twitter @RooneyReports.

Contact Jack