I came to college a slightly messy young woman determined to keep my dorm room neat. Three months in, I have discovered that I can defy teenaged-girl stereotypes—I am not messy. I am neat. I am a college girl who loves to clean and doesn’t care who knows it. Any one of my friends can tell you that nothing brings me more joy than opening the door to a spotless, fresh-smelling dorm room. However, once the Kenyon workload got harder and heavier (almost instantly), I was hit with the sad truth: vacuuming would not always fit into my schedule.
It starts with one casual Cheerio on the floor. Then a few Poptart crumbs. Then fall comes and your carpet is decorated with hundreds of orange leaves that look pretty scattered on the lawn but make you want to cry when they travel in side. And you know what? Sometimes you just can’t do anything about it. You have to avert your eyes and suppress your need to vacuum and get your work done, because that’s why you’re in college. The same goes for that stack of books next to your bed, the mile-long list of movies you need to watch on Netflix, your running shoes stuffed in your closet, the 8 million blog posts you haven’t read yet, and your plan to take up the harp. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to do something, we simply don’t have the time we thought we would. I never thought college would be a breeze, but I did let myself believe that I would have a little more free time than I did in high school because so many time consuming activities like commuting and countless extracurriculars would no longer be an issue. I know, I scream first-year. I was wrong, I accept my defeat.
Although I am certainly not undermining the importance of taking time for oneself or cleaning (I would never undermine the importance of cleaning), I am emphasizing the importance of accepting the fact that sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do every last thing that we want to do, and it can be frustrating, but that’s life. So, the next time you find yourself weeping over crumb on the floor (this might just be me) or yearning for a few more episodes of Orange Is The New Black, remember that there is a time for this and there will be time later, but there just isn’t time right now. Don’t let your desires to clean or chill cloud your priorities.