19 September 2010

bored out of my mind: a exploration in why.

It's one of those weekends...just when I'm used to being busy all the time, I find myself with nothing to do.  It's not even that I don't want to do homework (well, I don't- but who ever does)- in fact, I've already read a chapter of religion, 2 chapters of biochem, and reviewed about half a chapter of physics problems.  I went to synagogue, went food shopping, cooked 3 nights worth dinner (microwaving "leftovers" during the week is much easier), and moved my car over to Livingston (a feat in itself, with the new weekend bus schedule).

And yet, I've spent a good portion of the weekend with "nothing to do".

Maybe it's a product of an extremely schedule during the week and most weekends.  Maybe it's just my lack of ability to focus on one thing for a long period of time.

During the week, I revere the short breaks I've given myself in my schedule- half an hour or an hour here and there, but nothing crazy.  Even bus rides between campuses become what I look forward to as a break from academic life.  I always find these reprieves to be insufficient during the week; yet, when I am given more time off, I find myself at a loss for things to do.  When a class lets out even 5 minutes early, I am ecstatic.  Five more minutes to myself!  Yet, hours without scheduled activities leave me struggling to stay sane- much the same feeling I get when I'm sitting in class for that same amount of time.

I think it comes back to the saying, "Too much of a good thing..."  There needs to be a balance between structure and freedom so that neither becomes solely the problem or the reward.  As much as I know I will hate sitting in lecture tomorrow morning, right now, I wouldn't mind at all.

Another hypothesis I have come up with is the "rules" that are in place forcing us to do different things throughout the week.  Because of these "rules", activities that are not enforced become much more appealing.

For example, if I was, right now, given the opportunity to listen to an interesting lecture, I would go- because it sounded interesting and I wanted to hear it- not because I must.  Tomorrow morning, I am expected to attend all four of my classes and marching band rehearsal, and there are consequences in place if I do not (a zero on a quiz, points against the attendance percentage my final grade).  As usual, I will be at all of those classes tomorrow...waiting for them to end so that I can have my 5 minute, 30 minute, 45 minute break.

And, as easy as it would be to skip class and turn that 5 minute break into a 2 hour one, I won't.  Because I'm used to fitting what I need to do into shorter periods of time.  What would I do with those extra 115 minutes?
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