In her introductory column, Victoria Marchiony recommends shedding the monotonous routine in favor of something new.
I’m one of those people who has spent her entire life causing awkward silences at dinner parties by making obscene and or scathing comments regardless of company. And my somewhat trademark inability to avoid saying exactly what I’m thinking has led the universe to give me the opportunity to share my opinions with all of you. Welcome to my column, “Seen and Heard,” where I’ll do just that.
The premise of this column is to take a critical look at Main Campus and pick out the idiosyncrasies that make the Temple community unique. These can range from general characteristics of the college-age group to the specific behavior of our ferocious squirrel population. The connecting thread to my topics will be that they all give you the, “I was just thinking that” reaction. My goal is always to keep you entertained, but also to provide insights into who we are as a community and why we do the things we do.
As I sit in my hometown of Saxby’s writing this inaugural article, I find myself wondering where my month of break flew away to. While a three-month-long semester can seem to drag on forever, why does it always feel like the breaks vanish in the blink of an eye?
My current theory is that though time flies when you’re having fun, it can evaporate when you’re doing nothing. In the moment it seems like you’re dragging things out, but when it’s done it feels like you’re waking up from a trance with no record of how you got there.
Take my day for example: In the past 24 hours I’ve watched six episodes of “Dirty, Sexy, Money”–if you haven’t seen it, don’t bother, it was cancelled for a reason–added pictures to the collage growing on my dorm-partment walls, chewed an entire pack of gum and stalked a solid 30 percent of my friends on Facebook. After all that, I find myself wondering how it’s already Friday since I’ve accomplished approximately nothing. Now, don’t get me wrong–spending a weekend alternating between eating, sleeping and surfing Reddit can be blissful, but there’s a certain point when the monotony makes everything blend together. This is as true for the weeks school is in session as it is for the time that we’re “free.”
Everything is good in moderation, but after a period of doing anything repeatedly, we hit a wall. A few weeks into the same exercise routine, your body gets bored and stops responding. After four months of eating the same breakfast, it doesn’t taste as good. Couples complain that the sex they thought was so incredible the first 40 times loses its spark after a year (week?). Even in the short term we face the problem halfway through, that rich chocolate cake isn’t as amazing as it was in the first bite.
In a world where we’re constantly bombarded by novelty, it seems that we always need something new to excite us into paying attention. The same is true with activities: School may seem interesting for the first month-and-a-half while we’re getting to know professors, arranging schedules, meeting new people, etc., but by midterms we’re bored of the routine. When we’re less engaged, time moves incredibly slowly. During breaks, we often lock ourselves into similarly monotonous patterns filled with nothingness, using the justification that we’re “resting.” When break concludes, we wonder how we could have spent an entire month on our parents’ couch watching the “Daily Show.”
Here’s the good news: As you wake up from your break-induced semi-coma, the beginning of this semester should move along pretty quickly because it will hold your attention. The bad news is that the dragging, trance-like feeling will probably be back. The solution I’ve come up with is to make sure that you break up the monotony with other things to stimulate you in between. Instead of endless weekends of going to the same party and drinking the excessive quantities of the same crappy beer, challenge yourself to wake up. Shake awake with something different, even if it’s just the same beer in a different city.
Here’s to a more engaging semester than the one that came before.
Victoria Marchiony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.