The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Creating artificial stress does not measure one’s success

By Georgia Phillips/photo editor

Are you too busy to read this?

You should be, and you should let people know in a proud, exasperated tone. You should also proudly share the amount of sleep you didn’t get last night. In fact, start a friendly competition with your classmate on who’s the busiest, and maybe the winner will receive a badge of honor in the mail because they’re probably too busy to attend the ceremony.

But really, what’s the point in cutting off hours from sleep if we can’t even function correctly at school and our jobs?

Walking into kickboxing class, a classmate started bragging about how she only got three hours of sleep the night before. I felt guilty sharing that I had a good seven hours. Why did I feel guilty? I make sleep, family and friends a priority while working three jobs, volunteering at my church, and attending school full time. I simply make time for the moments I’m going to regret missing one day.

We’ve all come across at least one student or old friend this year, asked them how they were doing, and heard “Busy!” “Crazy busy” or “Oh, just too busy to do anything!” Usually, that answer comes across as a boast disguised as a complaint. And usually our response is a “Oh, wow! Congratulations,” or a “At least, it’s not the opposite.”

The level of busyness is something we can control, yet we complain about it and stress ourselves. And if we’re not stressed, we’re lazy. And if we take time for ourselves, we’re weak.

The only time we might take a break from work and school is if we’re forced to. I recently spoke with a friend of mine who admitted to sneaking away from his dad’s birthday celebration to go to his desk and finish editing a video. He shared with me that if he didn’t stay busy, he didn’t have anything to be proud of. Yet, here he was missing out on a huge milestone because he felt the obligation to stay busy.

Perhaps, he didn’t want to see his father ring in another year closer to death and had to metaphorically close his eyes and say, “It’s not real. It’s not real.”

Maybe that’s the attraction of busyness. If we never take a moment to stop, we don’t have to face the hard truth in the real world. Hopefully, we can turn into people who step off the hamster wheel long enough to savor everyday moments. Not just birthdays, but moments that we’ll really miss once it’s gone.

And in each, there is hopefully a realization that their time on Earth is limited. Maybe we aren’t as busy as we think we are. Without time to reflect, our drive to show status can mean we create busyness even when it doesn’t exist.

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