Freshman year is a fun time for a lot of people. You're out on your own with no rules, no curfews and very few responsibilities. With all of the opportunities to play and very few to actually work, it's easy to find yourself with too much free time on your hands.
My first semester of freshman year was great for me— academically that is. I came out with a higher GPA than I had ever dreamed about in high school. It even got my dad's hopes for my academic future high (maybe too high).
The reason my grades were so high was because I stayed in my room or in the library studying just about all day. I had ample free time, and dedicated all of it to my classes.
Don't get me wrong, this was an amazing feeling. I felt accomplished and able, and very intelligent actually. But something was missing. I had too much time to do nothing.
My grades slowly dropped from all A's to a B or two the second semester of my freshman year on account of me making friends. I had a solid friend group that kept me busy when I wasn't in class. I even joined The Plainsman and had my hands full with that too.
I saw my grades slip just a smidgen but in my eyes it was totally worth it for my mental health. I was incredibly happy making memories with my new friends.
If you fast forward to my life now, I have worked my way up to becoming an editor, I work 20+ hours a week at a leasing office, I'm very involved and hold two chair positions in my sorority and even find the time to hit the gym once a day.
If I have learned anything in this drastic change from having too much free time to too little free time, it's that I definitely prefer the busier route.
Staying busy has taught me so much— I have learned to prioritize, I've learned what matters most to me and how to distinguish what doesn't and I've even learned that my body can physically not operate under 6 hours of sleep (which is good to know, but not fun to discover).
I think it's important for everyone to find things to keep them busy. Free time is amazing, and allows you to recover from stress and other events that might take a toll on your physical and mental health, but too much of it can be just as destructive.
Find something you are passionate about and pour yourself into it. Even if it takes up most of your time, give it your all because staying busy with the right things can benefit you more than you know.