Party, sleep, or work. Choose any two, so goes the common Middlebury saying. As much as I’d like to disprove such a saying, I think there is a truth in it. College is about choices. Choices of where to spend your time. What’s most valuable to you?
I would want to alter the choice a bit to five choices: party, sleep, work, extracirriculars, or friends. Choose any three, the saying should go. I recently find myself making these trade-offs very consciously. I am pursuing a greater amount of extracirriculars this semester or at least it feels like it with so many auditions I’ve been in as of late (more to come next weekend). But the trade-off has been drastic and it puts me off that I spend far less time with friends as of late. But my story is common. The house I live in tried to schedule a meal together for nine people and it was nearly impossible with the amount of conflicts (we spent an half hour trying to schedule an hour dinner).
While I think organizing your time is a huge part of learning in college, there really needs to be a consideration taken for just “free time.” Free time is when I think most creatively (about things like the 100 Projects for Peace), when I take the time to have an in depth conversation with someone instead of rushing off to the next event. A lot of people have grown so attached to the scheduled life that free time irks them. We can’t allow that to happen. That creative time has special properties that get us thinking in new ways. Google has the idea with spending a portion of company time on alternative personal projects. The good ideas come from taking “free time” to think, to write, to be creative.