Top Ten Things to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

1. Write haikus about your day.

I write one haiku on average per day. It is easy, fun, and mysterious. There is no such thing as a bad haiku, and embracing melodrama via eternal three-lined babies is a thrill. I wrote the following in my notes on my phone on March 12th:

“brick walls blossom when

the leather of books falls from

glory into dust”

2. Meditate

If you don’t meditate you’re not on the wave and the wave towards higher consciousness is flowing without you. Get on it. Whether you’re cross-legged on a yoga mat, or sitting with your eyes closed in a chair in Cafeteria, you have the power to chill the hell out. Don’t make excuses like [no I’m too quirky and neurotic tee hee] or [I just don’t have ~time~]. That’s fake. Meditate. It helps neuroses. You spend probably hours scrolling on your phone, just take ten minutes to not be distracted. It makes you a mental giant: calmer, more focused, more grounded, more in-tune with your body, soul and mind. Visualize something you want to happen, focus on your breathing, focus on your body. Download Headspace. You can also do it like two times a day or maybe five if you’re feeling really wild.

3. Read a book

People don’t read books anymore. Not to sound like my literal grandpa but I feel like millennial people will be unable to read anything but Onion headlines and Instagram captions. There’s so much. In this world. And so many people have written things about things in the world. You can read about it. Read fiction to help your own emotional consciousness, read nonfiction to understand the world around you, read poetry to be emo and think about love, read The New York Times to understand political discourse and world news. Reading builds empathy. Every human should read “Hamlet.” I like books that call me out directly. I like books, also, about rich British people at the turn of the century. Find your novel niche; then you can start basing your life decisions through the lens of characters most similar to you.

4. Face your own mortality

Think about how–in comparison to the vastness of the universe–your life is brutally insignificant. And also how you’re going to die someday. Like, supernovae created every element, 90 percent of the universe is dark matter and we literally do not know what that is. No idea. Scientists don’t know. You don’t know. You could. You have something to do now, start working. The new shoes you got at Salvo for super cheap are significant to you. But the stars don’t care about you. But you kinda care about the stars. How odd?

5. Do your homework

No one does their homework (early). Not even me, sometimes. Homework is fun and important. It’s such a privilege to be able to do homework, to be safe, to have food, to have water, to be loved. Write those chem notes over, read those 16 pages of political theory. Procrastinating isn’t cool. Self-betterment is the wave. Personally, before I begin a chunk of academic labor, I’ll perform a little ritual: I clean off my desk, pull out my laptop charger, line up my pens. Then, I take a couple of deep breaths to refresh my brain. Try not to become distracted by your phone; instead, use each urge to check to breathe in and out and refocus! Make a calendar, too. Productivity is required under late capitalism and therefore has the tendency to define people’s worth. Not being productive often yields guilt. Just remember, humans did not evolve to be working constantly and you need to rest that brilliant brain.

6. Do a face mask and watch John Mulaney

This is niche, but when I have a facemask on, my nose associates the smell of my coffee Lush mask with the melodiously nasally sound of John Mulaney’s voice. They are beautifully, inexplicably intertwined. His skinny observations remind me that the human race is unbearably hilarious. While you have the facemask on, don’t make my mistake which is like, getting so involved with whatever text I receive, that I bend my neck and the facemask gets my nice shirt dirty. 

7. Buy a piece of clothing that you have convinced yourself will make you a better person

Materialism is not the wave, but purchasing those staple pieces that you get heart-eyes for every time the image of them on you crosses your consciousness… that’s self love. For example, I bought clogs. I knew that when I put them on my feet, I would be a better human being. I became better because of my clunky monstrosities which I slip on every day before class. Me and my clogs are in love. But, we are in a codependent relationship. I also think about the sneakers that Armie Hammer wore when he was dancing in that one scene in “Call Me By Your Name.”

8. Call someone you love

Texting can be heinously misconstrued, not conducive to explaining real human emotions, and riddled with the pressure to include emojis and mould your texting style based upon the person you’re talking to. Challenge someone. Over text, arguments are bad because it’s like those philosophers who would fight about political philosophical issues over handwritten later. Like John Smith in colonial Pennsylvania had so much time to think about his argument and seal the envelope so he could verbally decimate his friend Thomas’ argument on the nature of being three towns over. That’s not fun. Verbal argument over the phone… that’s fun, spicy, and allows for greater understanding of conversational nuances. You can’t hide your emotion with emojis or “LMFAO,” “lol,” or “ok.” when you’re speaking in the real world.

9. Drink coffee with coconut oil

Hear me out. Coconut oil in coffee makes me SO SMART. Like a mental giant. The most giant mental giant. Get all your work done, think about life in a vague state of euphoria until it wears off, go on a walk through the sunlight. You are so important. Coffee is a divine gift. After I drink coffee, it’s also good to sit in the sunlight like a plant that feeds off of the sun and coffee.

10. Do things for other people.

The secret to happiness, in my humble, very young opinion, is that unhappiness is rampant because people don’t think about anybody but themselves! When you’re only thinking about yourself, your problems are the only thing in your field of vision. People around you! Need help! Hold a door open! Volunteer! Smile at everyone! Tell them you were thinking of them! Write poetry! Life is a gift!

General Tips: do yoga, avocados are God’s gift, be humble! Eat veggies every day, be kind to yourself, listen to podcasts, read history, don’t compare yourself, remember where you leave your bike on campus, sleep a lot, get adequate alone time. Be an icon.