The alarm rings at 7 a.m. And then again at 7:03, 7:05 and 7:10. Muttering your usual threats to drop out, you finally get up, miserable and unhappy, with nothing to look forward to but a day of classes that you’ll sleep through anyway. You cross your fingers that you’ll retain enough information to at least remember how to review before the next exam, but it’s not looking hopeful. And then you go to bed and get up the next day, only to do it over and over again, every day, for the next three months. And then the next semester. And the next. Something has to change. You can’t live the rest of your life in this repetitive hell.
If you’re anything like me, you hate repetition and routine. The idea of waking up every day to do the same thing over and over again makes you crazy. I’d rather run into a brick wall or slowly and painfully drill holes into all my teeth than work a 9-5. And I’m nearing that point now, despite being only four weeks into the semester (and not working a 9-5).
This doesn’t sound healthy. It certainly isn’t a good way to live a flourishing life. If my own experience is any indication, humans weren’t meant to exist by doing the same thing again and again—slogging through dullness and drudgery, never trying anything new. I, for one, don’t retain anything from my classes when I arrive each day in the same exhausted stupor, weary of never accomplishing anything but the same old, same old. I sleepwalk in and out of class.
What better way to fix this monotony than a day where you forget classes, do something just for fun and enjoy a rush of adrenaline and excitement? A day that allows you to sleep well at night for reasons other than mental fatigue and brain fog? It reminds you how to actually live. And you go to classes the next day rejuvenated. Even happy. The break allows you to focus the next day, and the knowledge you gain from actually being alive during class more than makes up for the knowledge you missed out on from the one day you skipped.
And this next reason might not seem as important (because it isn’t), but sitting in a classroom all day every day isn’t exactly the most enriching way to live your life. Your professor can give some great lectures, your class can have an excellent discussion and your reading can be eye-opening or even beautiful. It doesn’t matter. Or rather, it does matter, but there are other things that matter just as much. Even aside from the drudgery of going through the motions of the same routine every single day, you can’t live a fulfilling life trapped inside the four walls of a classroom. Reading or talking or learning about good things isn’t the same as seeing them or doing them yourself.
So next time you want to skip class to go to the Grand Canyon (there’s one in Pennsylvania), or take a midnight drive to the nearest dark sky park (only 4.5 hours away) or tramp up to the Catskills to watch the forest transform, leaf by leaf, into an explosion of fiery color, you should. It’ll be worth it. Both your education and your spirit will thank you.