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Life > Experiences

Is There Such a Thing as “Free Time” in College?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

The bags under my eyes are so dark that people ask me when the last time I slept was. “Last night of course,” I reply, even though I average around 5-6 hours of sleep. Maybe I am just getting older, or maybe my body is incapable of running efficiently with that many hours, but after speaking with a couple friends and colleagues, it seems as though everyone is too busy to even get sufficient sleep. I believe that the overwhelming course loads and obligations in college do not allow for any real form of free time.  

Is there even such a thing as “free time” in college? “Of course there is!” you cry, pointing out the two hours you spend at the downtown bars on a Saturday, or the hour or two you spend on Friday night with your friends. I argue that this is just mere distraction, and not actually free time. 

Free time, or “leisure” is defined as spending time away from work, business, domestic chores, education, and obligations. I personally like to say that my favorite form of leisure or free time is when I spend time with a good book, watching a movie, or playing Super Smash Bros. Others may consider their free time as going to a local event, drinking on Thirsty Thursday, or even going to visit family for the weekend. This may seem like leisure, but it is not, and here is why. 

I am an overachiever. I hold several positions in clubs and organizations on campus, I have two jobs on campus and two at home, I have double majors, double minors, and a pre-law track. I work hard to make sure my homework is done before the weekend, because I like to “relax” on that Saturday and Sunday. I even skip the gym on those two days just to fully indulge in being away from everything. But I am never truly away, I am just distracting myself from the constantly looming obligations, deadlines, and stress that I moved to the following week, or the week after that. There truly is no ending when it comes to being a college student. 

And even as I sit back, kick my feet up on my couch, and scroll through Tik Tok, the back of my mind is clouded with everything that I should be doing, and everything I haven’t done. A constant state of acne-inducing, sleep-depriving anxiety is something that I believe every college student can relate to. It makes me wonder why I put myself through such troubles and stressors, and it makes me debate whether or not I should quit some of those obligations just to have more “free time.” But it wouldn’t be free time, because again, there is always something waiting to be completed. Isn’t that what being in college is all about? 

Bryn Hansmeier

Augustana '25

I am a junior at Augustana College! I am a double major in management and marketing, as well as a double minor in communication studies and philosophy. I am on the pre-law track. I am a co-correspondent in HerCampus!