Marriott Battle

An Off Day

I have never experienced FOMO like I've experienced it in college.

For anyone over the age of twenty three, FOMO is 'fear of missing out'. When you and all your closest friends live within a mile of each other, and sometimes five steps away- FOMO becomes more real than ever because distance is no longer an obstacle or excuse.

The first week of college I can remember running to event after event and meeting more people than I ever had. I wanted so badly to not miss anything or be left out, and in doing so- I left time for myself out of the equation.

After over two months of living on campus, I've learned the hard way that I'm not going to be invited to everything. I've also learned that I don't want to go to most things. I have times for myself that I set aside each week, and I value my 'me time' more than almost anything.

This Saturday, I left my room five times. Three for laundry, once for doughnuts downstairs, and the last for dinner. I cleaned, watched Stranger Things, and did more homework than I ought to have, and I spent time in the Lord's presence.

I had nothing I was obligated to do. No home games to attend and no parties to dress up for. I was just me in the place I'm lucky enough to refer to as 'home'.  

So many people judge a day's worth by how many people they talked to or how far away they went- but I judge it by the feeling at the end of the day. If my soul doesn't feel well rested in what I accomplished that day, I don't deem it successful. But that night, sitting down with my hot chocolate and popcorn and finishing my nine hour binge of Stranger Things, I felt more at peace with my soul than I had in a while. 

I gave myself a break. 

In college, especially the first year, so many new opportunities are opened up to you. Your school is like a melting pot of attractive and interesting people, free food, and endless events. But you lose yourself when you're chasing after the crowd. 

Now, should all your weekends be spent in your room without any interaction with someone else? No! College should be for making friends as well as learning as much as you can. If you just stay in your room, you're really just missing out on what God has made possible for you. But I do believe that some days you don't have to leave your room to feel accomplished.

Ecclesiastes says, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under Heaven" (3:1). I take that verse and apply it to my everyday life when I get stressed out because God has already seen all my days and my needs and knows that I cannot function without being alone for a bit, so He helps me make a way.

I've learned how much I value being alone. I can sing praise songs at the top of my lungs, I can take up the entire room working on my homework, I can nap all day, and I can eat with only Jesus knowing about it. 

I value the days like Saturday when I can step out of the group mentality and the small fish in a big pond point of view and really just have a day that focuses on my needs and my goals. 

I view those days as 'self care days' because I can be selfish and not harm anyone in doing so. I can just cater to my needs and my time and make as much noise as I want or sleep the whole time. I can be the me that doesn't come out in a crowd for fear of judgement. 

So take some time for yourself. Let your mind breathe and listen to what makes you feel at peace with yourself the most, honestly- it's the best feeling.

Marriott Battle