An Entire Weekend of “Doing Nothing”


I am bombarded with schoolwork all day, every day.

But not today. This weekend, I had absolutely no deadlines to meet; no essays, tests, readings, projects that I know will painstakingly be added up to create my final second semester grades.

While my ideal reaction to this type of situation would be to rejoice and find solace in my record player for hours on end, Saturday morning left me a little bit confused about not having anything compulsory or mandatory to do. What bothers me most is that my own definition of “doing nothing” wasn’t the act of simply being idle and letting all my vital functions do their usual work, but instead the act of not doing anything school-related at all.

In the light of recent events that have happened within my school community, I spent a lot of time in between car rides thinking about the culture that has become definitive of my generation as far as schoolwork and “working towards a bright future” is concerned. We feel as if we must constantly be on top of things and make as little mistakes as possible. The only mistakes that are ever tolerated are those that we can learn from or turn into well-crafted personal essays; otherwise we must avoid failure at all costs. Emphasis is placed on molding a perfect image of ourselves that we must present to others in order to be judged, scrutinized, and put up on a pedestal. There is hardly ever any time to breathe or take a moment to do what truly makes us who we are.

Months have gone by since I’ve been able to wake up and just lie in bed without feeling obligated to get up right away in the interest of doing homework and studying for tests. My room is now free of all the piles of papers, folders, and notebooks that have cluttered almost every surface available, since now is the only time I’ve ever actually gotten to clean them out. The last time I really listened to music or watched a film without trying to finish something in the background was probably many weeks ago. For the first time in months, I spent my Sunday out with friends free of the nagging and unproductive feeling that I have at the back of my head almost all the time.

This entire weekend was like a gasp for air; a minute’s rest from being suffocated by the anxiety I feel so much of every single day. I cannot help but question how this type of mindset might have affected the amount of time I currently devote to doing what makes me who I am; things like writing, reading without stopping to take notes every five seconds, and discovering new places – things that would never seem like a burden to me. My mind feels a lot like an old, dank, and cluttered antique shop when I don’t have time to just sit down and think, and this weekend is one of the few times this year in which I’ve been able to do just that.

Despite my previous perceptions of “doing nothing” as being lazy and unproductive, it might have been precisely what I needed in order to question how much I’ve been allowing myself to grow as a person, and not solely as a bundle of daily routines and unnerving anxieties.


Image (c) Flickr





  4. Well said. We sometimes need that “nothing” to remind ourselves why we find the point in doing anything at all. Float on my friends.

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