It’s a Friday night. I’m a college student… and I’m sitting in my room alone, writing this blog, and listening to 80’s music. And honestly, this is the most relaxed I’ve felt since my senior year started a month ago.
Daily I watch housemates, strangers, and friends zip from classes to school clubs to bars to exercise to restaurants, and on and on… Perhaps this academic year more than any other I’ve done the exact same thing, too. But the stillness tonight has revived me and helped me realize how utterly exhausting and burned out my peers and I are from this frantic pace. I hate watching my friends with a constant frown on their face or a wrinkle in their brow, while a glowing screen reflects off of their vacant eyes.
Dear fellow college students, we are terrible at setting aside genuine relaxation time where we can be alone and recharge. Maybe this is just me, but reflective introspection in solitude is absolutely necessary for my wellbeing, just as much as three meals a day, exercise, and belly laughs with friends.
We don’t know how to be alone and be okay being alone… As in silence without the presence of the internet. But those kinds of moments are exactly what can be the most liberating and recharging, and I highly suggest trying it at least once a week; but more if you can. Journal. Draw. Listen to music and reflect on the past week. Read something you find interesting. Reprioritize for the coming week. Remember what you value, not what the world tells you to value. For me, that means my faith and getting to know the people around me in a deeper, authentic way.
I think the inability to say ‘no’ for many people my age is part of this struggle. Yes, there are always fun things to go out and do, but sometimes what your brain might love you the most for is taking a night to be still!
“Slow” is really not a word in our vocabulary, but it’s one we need to start incorporating into our regular routine. It may not be the most popular option, but it sure is a lovely, healthy option. Go-go-go is only going to wear you down, even if you’re go-go-going with fun things. There’s a reason you need a certain amount of sleep to function properly. There’s a reason you can’t burn through all of your homework in one sitting. We were created to rest. That’s not “lame” or a weakness, it’s just a fact we need to shape our lives around.
Trust me, solitude and stillness will never lead you wrong; it can only help you in the long run.