One of the most surprising things I’ve noticed here at Princeton is the allure of busyness. Not the sort of busy work that’s associated with classes or much-too-frequent precepts but the kind of work that people drown themselves in to not have to deal with personal or emotional issues. It seems inevitable in a campus full of so many ambitious figures; those who consider the long-term track infinitely more important than any minor obstacle in the present. But what ends up happening is that students who are unhappy or dissatisfied with their current lives live vicariously through the facade of “success” and “achievement” based on how jam-packed their schedules are. It seems all to frequent that I hear a friend despair at having too much time and therefore feeling like a “failure” at Princeton.
This isn’t to say that everyone feels this way. There are always those who genuinely enjoy the work they’re doing and are therefore super busy living out their dreams. However, there are also others who enjoy working in moderation but push themselves to the brink simply to not have to think about their problems — concerns about their future, family and friend issues, relationships.
With my move to a single room this year, I’ve found myself with a considerable amount of time and a surprising degree of luxury to reflect on various aspects of my life. Despite my extracurricular commitments and efforts to keep in touch with others, I've found myself more stressed out in my room thinking about my future and what I’m doing here than worrying over scheduling an event or God forbid, an econ problem set.
?The tendency to bury yourself with work so that you don’t think and simply do is a phenomenon that occurs across all walks of life, but I think it’s particularly dangerous here at Princeton where there are so many opportunities luring you toward pushing yourself to the edge.