The Elephant in the Room: Scheduled happiness

Despite only gracing the planet with my presence for 19 years, I sometimes feel like I’ve been living for an eternity. The lines between the weeks start to blur together after a semester really gets into full swing. For example, on any given Wednesday, I can tell you exactly where I will be and for how long I will be there.

First to Carm, then to Eaton to learn about Karl Marx or whoever else came up with some neat sociological theories. Then, my favorite part of Wednesdays, I meet my friend Ally for lunch and we go walk Sandy and Coco, two adorably fluffy husky-chow mixes that bring light into my life. (Side note theory: if you didn’t grow up with a dog, I think you love dogs more as you get older because you didn’t have one during your childhood. Please email me with responses to this theory.)

Next, I have class in Tisch, and then during the awkward block of time between the end of my film class and the beginning of recitation, I sit in the library and get Hodgdon before heading to a four-hour screening. You’re not technically supposed to eat during these recitations but I do it anyways because 6-10 p.m. happens to be when normal people eat dinner. Either I eat at geriatric dinner hour or late like a Spaniard and unfortunately, my fragile body can handle neither. So I rebelliously eat my falafel plate (or sometimes a quesadilla if I’m feeling crazy) while I watch some historical silent foreign films.

My point in explaining my routine is to highlight that sometimes life can get monotonous. When I wake up at 9 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, I know exactly what I will need for the next 13 or 14 hours. I make a little jar of trail mix and fill up my water bottle and I will be effectively sustained for as long as I need to sit in Tisch. My roommate is convinced that the only things that I need to survive are food and attention, which may be true, but I also need some time to do things that I love.

We have all these things that we are committed to do and are here to do, like go to class and do our homework, but it is what we choose to do with the extra time that really makes a difference. For me, music is my saving grace. I have a radio show on WMFO with a good pal of mine and the ability to focus on music and music alone, if for even just an hour, has been monumental to me. (Preserved Jams! Monday nights! 9-10!) It can be so easy to get caught up in the comings and goings of the weeks during the academic year. While the assignments change, you have to make an effort to keep your schedule interesting too. My message is simple; take time to do things that you love, whether it is getting your pump on at the gym or spending some time catching up with friends on Sunday mornings. It is important to make time for happiness too.