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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: An ode to doing nothing

opnothing-illo

This winter break, I did nothing. 

And I mean nothing. I didn’t travel. I didn’t take any classes. I barely even left my parents’ house. I was, in most senses of the word, a boneless blob for the majority of it. 

Yet it was the best winter break I’ve had in a long time. 

Last semester was one of the most stressful semesters of my life. A full course load, two university jobs and a new apartment had me rushing around campus more than ever before. Once I got home, I didn’t have the mental energy to do anything except go boneless blob mode. 

So much of 2023 was defined by hurry. I endlessly hurried to finish assignments, complete projects and pack in as much as humanly possible into 12 months. Even though I did a lot, I didn’t have all that much fun doing it.  

Re-reading my journal from this past year over break almost made me cry. Despite my academic success, I was constantly overwhelmed. I’m happy with what I accomplished, but I can’t help but feel like I should have done it in a healthier fashion. 

My winter of rest rejuvenated me for the new year. As we take on 2024, we should all incorporate the relaxing spirit of winter break into our daily lives. 

I understand I come from a privileged position with this statement. Many students worked over break, adding additional stress, instead of sitting around watching “Jeopardy: Second Chance” every night. 

But instead of work and school, it’s just work. And it’s okay if, in the midst of a working schedule, you took the nights or days you had off and spent them just sitting there, doing nothing. Trust me — somewhere across the world, I was probably doing the same thing. 

My long winter’s nap helped me reset. I came into 2024 with fresh eyes, ready to face the challenges of the year with renewed confidence. While I don’t expect this to last all year — or even significantly into January — I feel much more optimistic for my future. 

So, I’ve resolved to take the spirit of doing nothing into the new year. Why should I stress? It won’t make things go better or faster. I want to spend 2024 relaxed and happy. 

I’m not saying to do nothing all year, but what you shouldn’t do is grind — work continuously, no matter the negative impact on your mind and body. 

In our society and particularly in college, we’re rewarded for constantly working. All-nighters are a rite of passage. Constant stress is inevitable and expected. I’ve fallen victim to this mindset many times, staying up late to finish projects or dropping fun activities to stay home alone and study. 

But this winter break showed me that maybe I can break free from that cycle. Not every day has to be “successful” or even all that productive. Some days fall short of the mark. That is, and should be, okay. A good day should be one where you are happy, not one where you get the most homework done.  

So, if you didn’t do anything over winter break, don’t feel bad. I didn’t do anything either, and I found the most fulfilling three weeks in recent memory. 

As classes start back up, it will be increasingly difficult to find time to do nothing. But, if you find a free evening or weekend, don’t feel pressured to spend the day worrying. Instead, become a boneless blob for a while — because we all need it.  

Danny William (they/them) is a sophomore studying cinematic arts. 

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