Two days before returning to Quinnipiac, my dad told me that I had wasted my month long winter break. Of course my initial reaction was to vehemently oppose his every word and give examples x, y and z as to how I had not wasted my time, yet in the back of my head I knew that he was right.
I feel as though it is common culture to spend hours of your day devoted to things that may not provide any real benefit to you as an individual. Netflix is our refuge, our phones our idols, and the occasional walk to the fridge our exercise. According to a study done by Baylor University in 2014, women spend an average of 10 hours per day on their phones. Almost half of their day was dedicated to this little device that many would feel incomplete without. Men were not any better, spending roughly eight hours a day on their cellular devices.
By the time the second week in December rolled around, we were all in need of a break, and deserving of one as well. However, I underestimated the vast amount of time I would have on my hands while there were no assignments due or extracurricular obligations. Granted, this is not the case for every member of our student body. Many students took J-term courses, while others involved themselves in covering sports games for student media. But still, they took initiative.
Initiative and being proactive were keywords my father used when giving his wasted winter break spiel. Sure, I hung out with friends, attempted to get a job and semi started a blog, but I had no initiative to do more. When my former employer said they couldn’t hire me back for a month, I should have immediately gone somewhere different to offer my time and talent. As a journalism major, I could have even contacted my local newspaper or television station as a prospective intern. There were endless possibilities that I could have engaged in to further my growth as an individual, and I did not capitalize on a single one.
Now, this isn’t meant to be a pity party or a pessimistic lecture, but rather a point of view on how I wish I spent my five weeks off. Everyone has a passion in life. Whether that’s in the arts, in science or math, athletics, or whatever the case may be. A passion should never be suppressed, but rather nourished and grown upon. Winter break is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of opportunities to develop such passions and even discover what yours is in the first place.
My dad only wanted what was best for me, and knew the potential that I and every other college student contains. Often times we lack confidence in our own talents and therefore constrict our time to that of a screen. I’m fully guilty of doing just this, but it is in first recognizing our failures that we can address them and impact the world in the way we were meant to. In the end it all goes back to that famous cliche, time is money. It is valuable, can be earned, and at the same time wasted. Just make sure you decide exactly how you wish to spend it.