It is easy to become lost in the labyrinthian stretch of one’s college years. The list of tasks never seems to end, seeping into weekends which had once been free from academia’s clasp. There is always something more to do, another assignment, an extra hurdle to expedite one’s climb to some higher summit than where one presently is. All these things bleed into unrelated hours, seep into the background of other concerns.The breaks are not free to slip this hunting hand, nor the holidays, leisure’s meadows left clouded on the horizon you’re all too aware you’ll be walking into soon enough - and who would not prefer to be prepared for the storms we know are coming? I’m no exception: I’ll be writing essays on Thanksgiving, taking an extra class with my feet just stepping off of Christmas, conniving after some distant gain and via ambition stuffing my empty days into bloated and hectic spanses.
I do not take my enrollment lightly, and not only because the entire world seems to inaccurately connect a degree intrinsically to livelihood. But I am so enamored with all the things I want to do, I have to do; so monomaniac in this mindset that I overlook the value, the importance, of nothing - and doing nothing. These blinders of constantly working, of a non-stop grind mentality, keeps me from a life where I need not sprint anywhere nor consign myself to any peak, where I can just breathe and be for a moment. Why should the leisure of a moment’s calm be unrealistic to seize?
What value is there for one with attentions as consumed as a university attendee’s in giving time and breadth to an absence of demands, to scorn the normalized state of constant preoccupation? What strides are made, what value is gleaned, empty, dead time - whether this period is set upon one or been set aside in the schedule of one’s life by them? Surely it would seem paradoxical, to compromise activity deliberately for its inverse, to sacrifice near-constant construction for ceased operations. Yet none deny the athlete their rest, none deny themselves sleep And how many articles are there abound on the internet preaching the miracles of meditation, itself the act of sitting and doing nothing for moments at a time?
We are more than our produce. We are more than perpetuating engines of a product, of our wages, of our end goal in our tasks. I exist beyond the essays I write, the deadlines that loom, the upkeep of my grades. The human condition is more varied, in possession of more depth and whimsy, than that found in planners. The measure of a person is not determined solely by how many tasks, how much money, how immaculate an education is pursued. And even if such were the case - we remain persons still, do we not? People have a right to be people, people have a right to be. We are not undone nor less worthy for taking a blip of time - time which is ours to experience and expend - and simply existing in its duration. To live is more than to do.