Have you recently been asked, “Where have you been?” Is the weight of your work causing you to want to retreat into a cave and never return? Well, there is a way out. If you have been absent from friends and events on campus, do not let that lead you down a path of complete isolation, for there are ways in which you can pull yourself out.
No one particularly plans to fail at following through on their grand plans and gestures with friends and beyond, but it happens all the time, and that is OK. What isn’t OK, though, is making this an unhealthy pattern and the feelings of guilt afterward.
Although it is a given fact that everyone is busy, we must still allow ourselves time to have genuine, wholesome fun. There are a few ways in which you can ease yourself back into your neglected social routine, with no apologies needed.
Impromptu movie nights are probably the easiest event to “plan.” All you need is to be knee-deep in homework at 11 p.m. in Earl Gregg Swem Library, suddenly have an urge to watch Anne Hathaway, push your work to the side and invite others over as you turn on “The Devil Wears Prada.” This type of creative burst could even inspire a certain new discourse with friends and allow you to get out of your head for a bit. I mean, we all get sick of talking about the same drama with the same people, so why not add a new movie to the repertoire and inspire new thoughts?
Another way to reintroduce yourself to the world is by stepping outside. The weather is at a sweet spot right now in Williamsburg, so you might as well take advantage of the outdoors as best as you can. Even just walking around campus can do wonders, especially for those who live off campus. Sometimes it is easy to forget that there is activity happening 24/7 on campus, and you can remain in sync with it all by taking a few laps with your earphones on. Plus, you never know who you are going to run into or what adventure awaits, and you may be incredibly thankful for that experience.
One of the most important routines to check into now and then is making phone calls. If you physically can’t get out of your cave, at least let your phone do it for you. Calling far-away family members or friends about daily events at college allows yourself to get some new energy and excitement about even the most mundane events. Making phone calls is like writing journal entries, and the more you put it off, the more overwhelming it may be to catch up. However, don’t let that stop you from doing it anyway.
All of this is not to say that being alone and isolating yourself is not helpful, because we all need it. Just make sure to not be afraid to take time for yourself and then unapologetically jump back into the busy current that is school life. No one needs to know where you have been, and you don’t need an explanation when they say, “I haven’t seen you in a long time.” Simply enjoy finally being in the presence of activities you have been away from for so long. Trust me, your presence is appreciated wherever it may be on campus, and there should be no guilty feelings about being present.
Ellie Moonan is a Confusion Corner columnist who wants you to know it is socially acceptable to take time for yourself.