On being busy

Maya Kandell/Staff

For all of UC Berkeley’s diversity and heterogeneity among its students, one thing remains constant — people are always busy. Since constant activity is lauded, we seem to find some sort of sick pride in doing things merely for the sake of doing them. This way of thinking and its invasion into one’s psyche can really mess with a person.

There were days when an ambiguous sense of urgency didn’t readily follow us everywhere we went. In those days, we might’ve been in high school or middle school, finishing our work with time to spare. Only since entering college has this concept of constant busyness taken up residence in our minds. We focus on filling up our schedules and finding ways to get ahead. We end up shirking the idleness necessary for the very self reflection that would cause us to pause and question our motives for this incessant working. What are we moving toward? Or at least, what are we trying to escape? Stuck in our own world of obligations, our own time-management concerns become more important. Focusing on our numerous amounts of obligations sucks the fun out of life and is, in a way, selfish.

Instead of cultivating friendships or forming a better relationship with our parents, we focus on grinding out our days by finishing as much as we can in the allotted time given. What happened to our sense of livelihood and humanity? Perhaps the competitive nature of UC Berkeley has done this to us, or perhaps something else in us has changed. In any case, this paranoia should be examined. We should concentrate on doing shit that’s meaningful instead of shoving all of these resume-boosting extracurriculars to the top of your why-did-I-do-this-to-myself pile. Maybe we should stop compulsively pursuing the next goal and sprinting for a finish line that’s constantly increasing into the distance.

Being busy is shitty, and we should be doing meaningful things instead of striving to get a ton of mediocre work done. What’s the use of doing well anyway if you can’t enjoy it — if the happiness you seek by achieving goals is so ephemeral that you must constantly seek new ambitions?

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].