Sophomore Spotlight: How I’ve learned to enjoy errands
Having a mindset that enables you to enjoy every part of the undergraduate experience, including mundane tasks, can be freeing
September 29, 2019
It’s Thursday and you are dreading dragging your entire two week’s load of laundry to another dorm, but it has to be done. Or you’re standing in the post office line at Rand nervously checking your phone because you have two more minutes before class, but just have to pick up this package before it gets sent back. Or, worse yet, you have to brave the trek to the dumpsters behind your dorm hoping your trash bag doesn’t break and that there won’t be any giant flies by the recycling this time.
My experience last year feeling self-pressured to be five places at once was why I really wanted to be intentional this year about creating a mindset that enables me to enjoy the undergrad experience, whatever it may entail. A large part of being a college student is having to take care of various errands and responsibilities. I wanted to come up with a way to make these seemingly mundane tasks more enjoyable and worthwhile.
It can be challenging to be positive and excited about doing errands.. They seem to always get in the way, and feel like a waste of time. However, I realized that changing my mindset about them can really help me feel more relaxed when accomplishing them, and even enjoy them. Now, when I’m doing errands such as laundry, taking out the trash or cleaning my room, I try not to view it as a time block in my schedule that’s preventing me from accomplishing what I really want to do. Instead, I try to view these tasks as a moment where I can relax, and not focus on anything mentally strenuous. I’ll listen to music or the news of the day to help me enjoy the time I have to spend completing errands.
Likewise, I’m working on enjoying the little “commutes” throughout my day. Walking all the way to Peabody from Kissam can be a relaxing few minutes where I can enjoy the beauty of campus, or decompress after a class spent furiously typing notes. Another way to make errands more fun is to give your mom, sibling or best friend from home a quick call. This can help errands pass by in a flash and also lift your spirits.
Working out is also another “errand” that can be a great break from the hustle and bustle of schoolwork. I often try to push it off with the excuse that I don’t have time, but with several nearby gyms (i.e. Commons and Alumni), the rec and space to roll out a mat in my room, my excuses haven’t held up. According to various studies, working out can help your memory and facilitate learning, so it’s a win-win situation. It isn’t a task that takes time away from your studies, but actually works in tandem to promote your academic goals.
I’m glad to say that after almost two months at school, I’ve been pretty successful at maintaining this new mindset that has enabled me to enjoy being an undergrad much more. I still occasionally feel weighed down by all the tasks I have to accomplish in addition to schoolwork, but those moments have become few and far between.
Unfortunately, there are always going to be mundane tasks we have to take care of, that are sometimes time-consuming. Coming to terms with this by employing a more positive, balanced mindset can give all of us the freedom to enjoy them more. So the next time you’re dreading an errand, try changing your attitude. Think of errands as an opportunity to take your mind off of school work and extracurricular responsibilities, and to have some time for yourself. The tasks will feel more worthwhile, and may even be fun.