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Busy isn’t always bad

| Monday, September 18, 2023

Recently, someone looked at my Google Calendar and immediately gasped. “Why are you so busy?” I laughed and said, “Oh I don’t feel busy.” She pointed at my computer screen and asked me where I had free time to be by myself, and I looked and just shrugged my shoulders. It honestly doesn’t exist — but I would not have it any other way.

I looked at my Google Calendar and tried to perceive it from an outside perspective and see what my friends saw, and I realized that I just simply am busy. I saw every single minute and hour of my day blocked into a few different sections: class, The Observer, RA duties, Campus Ministry, study/homework time, boxing/workouts, hangouts and thesis meetings. My calendar is made up of a bunch of rainbow rectangles that detail my life, and somehow it brings me peace. 

If any of you know me personally, you know that I am a huge extrovert. I thrive on knowing others and hanging out with anyone. Last spring, I told all of my friends in Keenan that I wanted each of them to sit down with me for a 1:1 lunch or dinner, just so I could get to know them a little bit more. One of them told me that I could never get each of them to agree to that, but I did. I loved every second of getting to talk to my friends and get to know them a little deeper. A section of my calendar that takes up a lot of my weekly time is the “hangouts” section, a place where I schedule various lunches, dinners, coffees and general study or hangout time. Sometimes it is as simple as running to Trader Joe’s with a fellow RA to grab section snacks or popping into The Observer office even when I don’t have to, just in case that someone else is doing work in the basement. 

Last semester, I felt busy in a way that was overwhelming. But I don’t think that it is overwhelming now. Last semester it felt like I was running a marathon every day of my life that had no end goal in sight. Everything was a chore, and I just knew that I needed to make a change for my senior year. I had big plans to quit all of the things that filled up my life. To probably no one’s surprise, I ended up adding more to my plate. Going into the first week of classes, I felt a lot of anxiety. I looked at my calendar and knew that I was going into a semester of 18 credit hours, a thesis presentation at the end of the semester and commitments to various clubs and organizations. 

Last Wednesday was the first night since classes started where my last scheduled commitment ended at 8:15 p.m. Normally I have something going on until around 10 or 11 p.m., but for the first time ever I was able to relax. I originally planned on taking time for myself and going to bed before 10 p.m. instead of my usual 1 a.m. Instead, I found myself sitting on a friend’s futon in the middle of the hallway, talking about life and how our weeks had gone. After that, I went and sat down outside of my friend’s doorway, talking to different girls who passed through the hall. Needless to say, I did not make it to bed before 10 p.m. No part of me wants to change that. 

There is a beautiful kind of joy that can be found in being busy in a way that makes life fun. I don’t count down the minutes until something is over, but I instead try to soak up every second and moment where I am surrounded by people that I love. Even on Tuesday nights where I work with Andrew and roll my eyes at him, I know that one day I am going to look back and miss joking with him and Gabby when the nights get late. Some nights, I choose to stay even later for no reason other than I don’t want to leave the people around me.

I have loved every single minute of this semester. And it isn’t because I am less busy. It is because I have filled up my moments with experiences that allow me to be close to the people that I love. Do I wish that I had more time to sleep in the mornings when I get up at 5:30 a.m. for boxing practice? Maybe. But do those feelings go away the second I see Maggie or Trista ready to face it with me? Definitely. 

I don’t think that it is a bad thing to be busy — in fact, it might be the best thing that ever happened to me.

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

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