To be honest…with Kelsey Neth

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To be honest, I always wonder if I’m spending my time wisely.

I tell myself I’m busy and I am. I have classes, homework, the after-school job and duties to the organizations I am a part of that all keep my calendar full. But as hard as I work and as many obligations as I have, I am still left with those random hours of time between everything. What do I do with this precious time?

Sleep. I will do anything to arrange my schedule for a few more minutes of rest. I will tell myself that yeah, of course I can get ready in five minutes. I will carelessly give up things that I had originally planned to do. Or I will plot out next semester’s class schedule so that it allows for a couple hours of sleeping in or maybe an afternoon nap.

Not only do these few extra minutes of sleep rarely make me any less tired, they also leave me with feelings of regret and thoughts that maybe the moment of rest wasn’t worth it. Like when I miss Jewell Time because my class doesn’t start until 11:15 and I wake up to pictures of my friends all hanging out together in the PLC. Or on those nights when my bed looks so comfy, it distracts me from the crazy adventures I could have had with my friends. Looking back, investing my time in other people may have been more rewarding than anything sleep could offer. Don’t get me wrong, the occasional nap is much appreciated – and maybe it’s just my FOMO talking here – but I will always wonder what I missed while I was asleep.

Stay inside. Whether by choice or by force, I find myself constantly indoors on some of the most beautiful days. Everyone knows those days when the sky behind Gano is blue and clear, when the wind gently blows through the trees, when the air is crisp and the clouds cover the sun, making the world just seem cozy. On those days, the number of people hanging out on the Quad can greatly increase. However, when the number of events becomes too many and the amount of homework becomes too heavy, even the most beautiful of days isn’t enough to get me outdoors.

The recent popularity of hammocks is a promising start to getting back outdoors during those in-between moments. But I could also go to a game at the stadium and enjoy the weather while cheering on my Cards. I could even just roll down my windows in the car and stop worrying about the wind ruining my hair. As long as I soak up a little Vitamin D and take even a second to appreciate the earth’s beauty, that moment of not being indoors is worth it.

Mindlessly scroll through social media or binge-watch Netflix. What do I learn from doing this? Just what my classmate from high school had for breakfast and how fictional Ted eventually finds the “mother.” I am so obsessed with getting to know every little detail of the things that don’t matter that the activities that could actually make a difference in my life end up very low on my list of priorities.

For example, when was the last time I used my free time to read a book? You know what I miss? Getting to read FOR FUN. The hundreds of books I hungrily read as a kid were the foundation for everything I know today. But then I got an iPhone and haven’t really picked up a book since. I could be learning a new language. I could learn life lessons from the world’s most revered authors. I could discover a new passion. But I’m not doing any of those things.

So this is my simple advice. Have new adventures. Don’t miss out on the beautiful days. Learn new things. And above all, stay safe and make every moment worth it, William Jewell.

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