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Busy culture worrisome

Taylor Soule-w200-h200Column by Taylor Soule

Taylor-trademark expressions like, “What in the name of corn on the cob?” and, “Good gravy!” pepper any chat with me. Lately, though, one Taylor-trademark idiom has bothered me: “(Insert relaxing activity) is for the weak.” A real-life example: “napping.”

When I proclaim, “Napping is for the weak,” the friend I’m chatting with typically laughs in that, “You’re kidding,” way. Nope.

Though I utter it in a playful manner, that expression has a frightening hold on my life, and I’ve long been loath to admit it: I’m addicted to stress.

I complain about homework, my late nights in Meredith Hall and the inevitable death of a normal eating schedule. But, at the same time, I feel a thrill in the act of adding another activity to my calendar (color-coded, naturally).

And I feel borderline euphoric when I out-busy a fellow Bulldog.

You know, that moment when, “How are you?” morphs into a five-minute monologue of everything I have to complete that week.

It’s a destructive compulsion I’ve noticed at Drake University, in particular. Among the hyper-involved, career-minded Bulldog community, the need to “out-busy” fellow students runs rampant.

Essentially, we Bulldogs get a rush from the confirmation that we’re putting our bodies and minds through more strain than someone else. That worries me.

After nearly three years in the collegiate realm of, “How are you?” “I’m busy,” I have a couple resolutions. (And why break my streak of list-style columns?)

Bring ice cream. Let’s pledge to end the “out-busy” and instead ask how we might help. Whether it’s showing up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Chocolate Therapy, duh) at random or simply being as friendly as Brian in the “Free Hugs – Drake University” video, let’s turn ‘busy’ culture into something positive.

Be proud of your work. Let’s take pride in that paper, project or presentation — not the number of hours it expended. Not the number of colors on a calendar. Not the number of espresso shots consumed.

Well, I’m off to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream. Feel free to tag along.

Soule is a junior news-Internet and writing double major and can be reached at tdeditorinchief@gmail.com

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