Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Friday, April 19, 2024
The Observer

running around

Am I doing too much?

Why I'm running around as much as I can

A friend of mine told me this weekend that it feels like I’m “always running around.” On Tuesday, I worked 11 hours after taking three classes during the day.

Maybe she’s right.

A screenshot of a computer 
Description automatically generated

A look at my calendar screams that she is, but I’m not so sure.

Thankfully not every day is like Tuesday, but I've still been asking myself whether I'm doing too much lately. My friend Emma Duffy actually wrote about this same issue not that long ago. Her take?

“Maybe cut back on some things that are not necessary. If it is bringing you more anguish than joy, it has to go."

I have thought about letting things go. Tuesday was a productive day, but there are always trade-offs to being so busy. Sometimes I don’t sleep enough. I often don’t have enough time to do the hundreds of pages of readings I get assigned. Yes, I made some money at work that night, but how much is that truly worth? How can I strike a balance between productivity and rest?

Personally, it’s a little more complicated than how Emma described. Yes, how much I like doing something is part of it, but I also think there’s good to be found in things you don’t like. I didn’t complete all my University requirements in philosophy, math and theology because of a deep passion for those subjects. I did it because I had to. Even so, I’m glad I did. It sucked at the time. I didn’t like those Aristotle readings. I didn’t like those calculus problem sheets. But it was something worthwhile.

And looking back, I have no doubt about that.

That’s how I look at my Tuesday. Yes, I had been up and running around since 9:00 am, but as I walked home just before three in the morning, I didn’t feel tired and overwhelmed. I felt happy. I went home, took a shower and went to sleep fulfilled. Even Touchdown Jesus had gone to sleep by the time I walked past, but I hammered away at school and work all day and I was rewarded with a day I’ll remember for a long time.

I started a riot in the streets of Paris during the role-playing unit of my history class. We discussed Michael Herr’s fascinating Vietnam War memoir “Dispatches” in my journalism class. I had lunch and caught up with my friend Joan. In French class we talked about the Algerian War of Independence and the book “L’art de perdre.” I shared a fun Au Bon Pain shift with my friend Linda. I watched Markus Burton take Wake Forest apart to give Micah Shrewsberry his best win as Notre Dame’s head coach. And I closed it out at one of my favorite places in the world, that musty, messy and unforgettable office in the basement of South Dining Hall. What would I remember about Tuesday if I had just taken two classes and then went home and made dinner before an early bedtime?

I know it won’t always be this way. My term at The Observer is over next week. I won’t be heading to the office on Sundays or walking home from the office at 3 am. In a few months, I’ll graduate. I’ll be off to a regular, stable 9-5 job. I'll miss all of it. There won't be anymore running around to a million things. It’s just the way things go. Time passes and life settle down. I’m looking forward to it in some ways. I’m sure it will be nice and I’ll find a different kind of joy in the domesticity.

But not yet. I’m having way too much fun making memories and doing absolutely everything I possibly can with the time I have left at Notre Dame. I want to keep running around just a little longer.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.