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For the fun of it

| Wednesday, January 23, 2019

If being a full-time student, working two jobs and having a sliver of a social life has taught me anything, it is how to manage my time efficiently and effectively. I treasure those rare moments when I look at empty spots on my calendar and think “Wow! What in the world am I going to do with my free time? Should I catch up on sleep, or maybe watch a movie?”

As I get older, though, I realize I am quick to waste my free time on my phone or laptop, and then I wonder where the last three hours have gone. I want to be selective with my time and how I spend it and have found that reading a book of my choosing for the sheer joy of it is a relaxing way to pass time.

Like most other children, I loved to read when I was younger. “The Magic Treehouse,” “Nancy Drew” and “The Babysitter’s Club” were among my favorites, and I would read any chance I could get. Whether at school, home or practice, I always had a book nearby. Riding my bike to the library and picking out new books used to be so exciting, and now I have to drag myself across campus to study at — quite possibly — one of the last places I want to be.

What happened between now and then?

I can only speak for myself, but responsibility hit me like a dump truck when I got to college. Even now as a junior, half of the time, I still have no clue what I am doing with my life. Planning your own schedule is both a blessing and a curse that every college student has to figure out on his or her own. Obviously, school should come before anything else, but we are lying to ourselves if we think we do not waste at least an hour a day on one form of technology or another. The sooner we acknowledge how much time we waste, the sooner we can be productive with it. For whatever reason, reading is never an option when I am considering what to do with my free time. I think I am in denial that, if I sit down to read a book it would be a “waste of time,” yet hours spent on Pinterest and Instagram is somehow productive.

This semester, I am making it my goal to read more in my free time, which will undoubtedly be a conscious effort. It will be a better way to spend my time and hopefully keep me on track to continue being semi-productive. Next time you have an hour or two to spare, think about all the library signs and bulletin boards you have ever seen in your life, and pick up a book.

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

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