Free time and boredom lead to destructive patterns

We are concluding the eighth week of classes for the Fall semester.

Fall break blessed us with a short three-day week, the football team has yet to do anything less than impress and the first round of tests are only memories. Whether it affects those with graduate school only a year away, those only months out of high school or anyone in between, the same schedule and inexorable pile of homework can leave many in a state of ennui.

Defined as a sensation of complete exhaustion and dissatisfaction resulting from satiety or apathy, the same old routine quickly becomes the only way to live. Boredom mars the reality of goals and aspirations to the point that they are almost intangible.

How about shaking things up? Sure, you could try a Red Bull to get energized or Google “things to do when you’re bored,” but to break out of the monotonous, consistent everyday patterns, we must change to mend long-term ennui.

For example, watching late night comics can provide therapeutic remedies for the mundane. As is the case with talk show host Conan O’Brien and Mayor Cory Booker from Newark, N.J. A debate ensued when O’Brien called out the mayor’s stomping grounds by saying the new healthcare program would consist of “a bus ticket out of Newark.”

After two weeks of playful repartee, Booker has been booked to appear on “The Tonight Show” and finally lay to rest their enduring, heated argument. This is an example of a mayor with a little too much time on his hands that transformed into a great publicity boost for his city.

Alternately, too much time on hand and the monotony of everyday life molds destructive behavior. Take for example the group of teenagers from Florida who could not comprehend the magnitude of their actions after setting fire to their own classmate a few days ago. The boy affected will spend the next five months in the hospital recovering from second-degree burns covering 80 percent of his body solely because of actions that might have been prevented had there not been a large margin of free time for those students.

Adolescent atrocities might occur out of the tendency to fall into destructive patterns when life becomes tedious, and some choices are utterly unacceptable. Positive or negative ends can stem out of repetitive means.

However, a clear and fresh perspective on school, relationships, and life in general is a road not too far traveled off the beaten path. Through motivation and persistence we can achieve a long-standing objective, but the spices of life emerge through everyday detail. The key purpose to this idea is focus and incentive in pursuit of achievement.

To always have a smile, approach that impending paper from a new angle, or realistically assess a troubled relationship are keys to this pursuit. It may be halfway through the semester, and many of us are on “cruise control” until the winter holidays, but I recommend a healthy dose of living vicariously through organized plans and spontaneous details.

But of course, if you’re really bored, you can always try sending a copy of your latest anthropology paper to Conan O’Brien for review and public comment.

Judith Schomp is a freshman political science major from Lindale.