Busyness is Not Always What It Appears to Be
By Joseph Kulesza ’22
The college student is often subject to procrastination, writer’s block, or indifference from time to time; and it is during these times that we further subject ourselves to ridicule, calling ourselves lazy.
These moments of sloth seem like a dire contrast to the perpetually busy nature of being on a college campus, where the phrase “get involved” is as common as the phrase “clean up your room” is at home.
Any moment of time that is not spent studying for a chemistry exam, annotating a book for a humanities course, or socializing with friends is seen as a debit against our attempts at being successful on the balance sheet of life.
This attitude leaves us to seldom consider the contrary to perpetual busyness, so much so that it leaves the default mode of thinking about one’s time in college uncontested.
Yet, it may just be the case that the real threat to success lies not in one’s inability to be constantly busy, rather in our inability to be lazy.
The execution of everyday demands can be a taxing endeavor for the college student, one that leaves them subject to neglecting a more vulnerable part of their psyche, that being their interior mind.
It is in this realm of the interior mind where we contend with our problems, fears, and desires, and without adequate attention to this portion of our mind, everything else can quickly become disjointed.
Being helplessly preoccupied, it is all too easy to be burdened with problems and difficult decisions; while at the same time, it is in the quieter times of self-reflection that we come to understand the foundations of our problems and arrive at decisions that ultimately govern the plan we were otherwise feverishly trying to carry out.
These instances of access to our interior minds only occur when we are brave enough to ignore the immediate demands of our lives, or more bluntly, to be lazy for once.
In a way, what is many times seen as busyness can also be seen as avoidance, for those who may appear to have everything figured out the most may actually have it figured out the least.
The appearance of dutiful work and an extravagant social life can in actuality be distractions from the more abstract questions and problems that everyone is tasked with navigating eventually.
Although brains are better apt to carry out plans than reflect on their ultimate purpose, this doesn’t mean one ought not to be reflective.
What is seen as laziness can in fact be the incredibly fruitful activity of self-reflection. In the absence of laptops, textbooks, and friends, the sometimes chaotic nature of one’s time in college can be temporarily left behind and replaced with meaningful thoughts that have been previously ignored.
Under the guise of laziness, one can perform the important work of cleaning up the thoughts of our interior mind, and this task becomes even more important during final exams.
While it may be the case that there are textbooks for every class that is offered, there is not a textbook for life. This fact warrants that adequate time is spent attending to the difficulties and problems that come along with it, even if this is done at the expense of socializing or studying.
Ironically enough, time taken away from studying, annotating, and socializing can improve what time is spent carrying out these activities which are all commonplace in college life.
It is important to realize that not all forms of busyness are beneficial. Understanding why one is completing a task is just as important as understanding how that task will be completed. Only through the act of being lazy can one truly be productive, and in this way, busyness is not always what it appears to be.