Recovering the Long-Lost Art of Killing Time: A Primer for Hoyas

March 19, 2015

My spring break plans consisted of going to my house, catching up on sleep, and playing FIFA 15. It was a casual, ordinary spring break, except that my house happens to be my townhouse here in Georgetown (yes, I know I’m lucky). And with exceedingly few people left in and around campus, relaxation started to rapidly transition into boredom shortly after Saturday lunch. It was at this point that I found myself wondering: “What exactly do I do with all of this time?”

What follows is a guide for how to handle one of two things that Georgetown doesn’t teach you: what to do when you have too much time and not enough to do. For the other, ask the College Republicans how to handle a shotgun. Heed this advice if ever you find yourself alone for the foreseeable future without the obligations that usually accompany being a person.

My immediate reaction to being so liberated from appointments (classes, clubs, and the like) was to sleep so long and so late that I wouldn’t accidentally make any more. I view this as my body’s attempted assertion of dominance over my calendar, for which I have punished it severely with caffeine now that school has resumed. The result was total day-night reversal: being awake until 5 a.m., sleeping 12 hours, making dinner, and then resuming the utter destruction of my sleep schedule. Was this bad for me? Undoubtedly. Did it help pass the time? Absolutely. It’s like the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re irretrievably unconscious.”

At some point, though, I did have to wake up, and so the rest of the time I was constantly faced with loneliness. At first, I thought about spending some time on ChatRoulette to while away the hours, before I remembered that that was a horrible idea and that if I really wanted to see a stranger’s genitals, I had the entire rest of the Internet. At least in porn, the genitals are groomed—or so I’m told. However, gaming did provide a great deal of relief from the crushing weight of utter abandonment by my friends. Joe may have been alone, but his level 67 High Elf in Skyrim was surrounded by his loving housecarls.

If ever you’re faced with similarly oppressive ennui, I highly suggest finding a game that is both addictive and very time-consuming. I spent two whole days playing one game of Civilization V and I regret nothing, except trusting that two-faced bastard Alexander of Macedon. If this sounds painfully nerdy, think of it like this: isolationism has existed since the dawn of solitaire, all that’s improved is the technology.

Now, some of you might be reading this and assume that it’s resulted in my “withdrawal” from “society” and that it will result in my inevitable “Gollum-ization.” But hey, I was on spring break! Some people choose to get drunk in Cancun; I choose to play video games until I run out of batteries. But, oh, sure, I’m morally suspect because tipsy Xbox at 6 in the morning is somehow “a deplorable state of human affairs.”

An important thing to remember about drowning yourself in technology is that you will still get bored unless you vary your chosen opiates. It’s like eating marshmallows: one is yummy, several are a guilty pleasure, but cramming a couple dozen into your mouth in quick succession will make you want to purge the earth of anything that remotely reminds you of air-puffed sugar. Have a couple different game disks ready.

Occasionally, friends may want to stop by. If these friends should want to play video games with you, let them. And this should go without saying, but if you ever have a free hour, or say, a free entire week concurrently with somebody who will willingly sleep with you, do that. I refuse to grant anything more than two sentences to this painfully obvious concept. Apart from that, defend your precious Xbox time with tooth and nail; you won’t have any more until the next vacation.

At the end of the day, it’s worth noting that killing time is not the same as wasting time. If you enjoy the time you spent as much as I clearly enjoyed my spring break, then that time wasn’t wasted. Far too often we as Georgetown students tend to throw our happiness by the wayside in favor of productivity, forgetting that being happy is productive, too.

Now on that note, you should probably ignore all of this advice for a couple of months. Don’t you have a paper due soon?


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