Free time doesn't have to be productive

April 12, 2023

Free time is a funny concept. While I’ve been fortunate enough to be spending my weeks doing things that I’m interested in, I’ve found that I also have a lot of free time—something I’m not quite used to. I’ve been programmed to believe that I must be doing something productive at all times, and if I don’t have anything to do, I should be finding new things to keep me busy. That could be volunteering or signing up for more extracurricular activities at BB&N.

I’ve realized that free time can be really good; however, it can leave an empty feeling. Recently, I’ve been using my free time to binge TV shows, but in the end, I feel bad about the time I wasted. I think that I should be doing something better with my time. So, I’ve had to remind myself that relaxing is not a bad thing. I guess it’s just that I have to use my free time doing things that will make me feel good. For me, Netflix and social media apps are easy platforms to get lost in, so from time to time, I like to take a break from apps like Instagram or Snapchat. Scrolling through apps endlessly at times can make me feel dissatisfied.

Now, my time at BB&N is coming to an end, and it’s time I take this time to do things that I wouldn’t normally do. Take a step back and appreciate this period of calmness (at least for the most part). I no longer jam-pack my free time with extra things to do, but instead, do the things that I’ve always wanted to do for myself but never took the time to actually do. For example, I’ve wanted to get back into the piano for a while now, but never got myself to do it. I’m also spending more quality time with my friends and family and appreciating this moment in my life.

Recently, I’ve also started to learn how to play the guitar, and it’s much harder than it seems. Although, with more practice, I’m sure it’ll get easier and everything will feel more natural. Maybe by the end of SSP, I’ll even be able to play a couple of songs. I want to make sure that I prioritize these new activities and not let anything get in the way. As I’m getting older and preparing for college, I can definitely say I’m growing and learning how to let go of the need to always be “productive,” and instead, fill my free time with the activities I genuinely enjoy.