"Do you have no life at all?"
Fortunately, I have not heard that question in any part of my life. To be honest, such remarks would by no means offend me. In fact, I might sometimes joke with a friend on a Friday that I would have no life at all, claiming that while everyone would be out having fun that night, I would spend time in the lab doing some “work” before going to bed. However, there lies the dangerous misconception of overworking as the result of having no life, when, in fact, it could be the reason for socially withdrawn behaviors (which still do not equal “no life” anyways). After reflecting upon the insight, I feel urged to reject this incorrect notion of “no life” and prevent more people from inadvertently falling victim to it.
A perfectionist, I usually put more than adequate effort into my work, which leaves me with relatively little free time. At the beginning of my freshman year at Lycoming College, I was somewhat nervous and chose to dedicate most of my time to maximizing academic performance. That was, perhaps, the first level of overworking. But of course, the workload from 100-level courses could never consume all of my time, and I still had rather much time at my disposal.
I eventually took on more commitments (i.e. getting jobs, holding leadership positions, and pursuing personal projects), gradually sacrificing more and more of my free time. During my sophomore year, I was a Resident Assistant and Vice president of a large student organization, on top of working 17 hours a week and maintaining a high academic standing with 16 credit hours. It was not a rare thing to be running on caffeine for consecutive weeks, considering that I probably had five hours of sleep on an average day. In such weeks, it was obvious which I would prefer between “hanging out” late, and going to bed early. Nonetheless, in no ways did I have “no life” – there were actually too many things going on in my life.
Now some might think that I do not have the luxury of time to “enjoy” life simply due to my own circumstances. That idea is both right and wrong. It is wrong in that I still do enjoy my life – in fact, I find satisfaction from a busy life (the topic is to be discussed later, so look out!), and believe many would feel the same. On the other hand, it is true that I do not have the luxury of time to do certain things. Let’s say, for example, that maybe I have a hundred and thirteen priorities ABOVE partying on a Friday night. I simply do not have all the time in the world, and so I have to think about using my available time wisely. Others may not see the way in which I think, and are prone to assume that I am wasting my time. As you can see, the difference in life priorities makes it easy to judge other people. “No life” is then used incorrectly, and some might actually take it as an offense.
To sum it up, as long as you value your time and try to use it in a way meaningful to you (and not to anyone else), your life is as good as it can be. If you try to live someone else’ life, that is not much different from having no life at all – said a friend of mine when we discussed this topic.
So keep cool, and you do you. :)
*All the examples I use above only serve the purpose of demonstration and do not imply that a lifestyle is better than any another.
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