Marie Kondo your schedule and Thanksgiving options

If you compare the average level of Gen X or Baby Boomers’ activities while they were in college to the Millennial/Gen Y generations, I bet you will find that your children juggle way more extracurriculars and other commitments than you did in high school or college. Those activities can be a real drag on students’ time.

I am all for students getting involved on campus and devoting their free time to clubs or organizations that make them happy. Sometimes, though, I wonder whether being so busy with tons of activities really make them happy.

You might be familiar with the Marie Kondo philosophy of getting rid of household objects or clothes. You are supposed to get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. It’s no good to have a bunch of things cluttering up your house if they don’t bring you joy. So keep what matters and toss/donate things that don’t.

I wonder if students ought to Marie Kondo their activities. How many things might they be doing that don’t actually bring them joy, but they are doing for some other reason (resume builder? their friends are doing it? it seemed like a good idea when I signed up, but now notsomuch…, etc.)

So if your students tell you about being too busy with all their activities, you could encourage them to do some self-reflection about what bring them joy – and jettison activities that add busy-ness without enhancing their lives.

For Deacs who are staying on campus for Thanksgiving, the Dean of Students office has created a comprehensive list of Where to Eat and What to Do On Campus. Make sure to remind your Deacs staying here to plan well in advance their meal hours and options for Thanksgiving day.

 

Does it bring you joy?

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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