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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

About two weeks ago, I found myself scrambling to find my headphones two minutes before the bus arrived, a situation I find myself in far too often. After returning from class, I continued the search for my beloved headphones but had no luck. I Lost My Headphones, Again: A Novel by Me. In this predicament I would usually go buy another pair, but as the year comes to a close, I have found myself in a lazy and, well, broke state, so I decided to tough it out for a bit. Here I am, two weeks later, to tell the story of my hiatus from headphone heaven.

So, maybe that’s a bit dramatic but come on, listening to music is a big part of our lives and there’s not much that compares to listening to a motivational song as you step into the lecture hall to take the dreaded finance exam. I am the kind of person who listens to music as much as possible and splits her computer screen 3 different ways to take notes while watching an episode of 90210. So yes, these two weeks were different, but honestly not as bad as I imagined they would be. Shortly after, I began noticing some differences in the way I was going about my day…

1. I barely used my phone while walking across campus

Normally, I would walk with my phone in my hand and have a song playing in my ears: and since I’m already holding my phone, I would generally text people back in that time, too. Without headphones, I found myself forgetting about my phone and leaving it in my backpack or jacket pocket. Since I wasn’t using it to listen to music, I didn’t need it in my hand and so, in turn, I wouldn’t be texting and walking or scrolling and walking. I simply walk across campus now. Revolutionary, I know. I watched as people’s heads were down and even saw more friends because I was actually paying attention.

2. I got work done faster

Believe me, I am a strong believer in music aiding in productivity (I am a Millennial after all), but without headphones I generally got my work done faster. Sitting in a public place, I was not able to listen to music or watch a funny video on Facebook so I just got my work done.

3. I became more approachable

Something about standing in public places or sitting on public transportation without looking at your phone or blocking everyone out with music makes people want to talk to you. Since losing my headphones, people sitting next to me on the bus have started conversations with me. It even comes down to people smiling at you more often because you simply look more approachable and open.

4. I appreciated my surroundings more

Being a second semester senior, it was nice to walk around and actually take in the beauty of my campus and the liveliness at all hours of the day. With music playing in your ears, it is easy to get lost and not appreciate what is going on around you. Whether you’re a senior or not, it is so important to take in where you are because college flies by and before you know it you’re no longer looking at a college campus, you are looking at a cubicle. Life, man. 

6. I learned to be okay with silence

I now know I don’t always need music blasting into my ears. I can sit somewhere and not find the silence deafening whether that’s walking to class or driving to the store. Silence can be nice. 

Losing my headphones wasn’t all fun and games though…on the downside, I didn’t go to the gym. I don’t think I will ever be the type of person to work out without headphones because regardless of the music playing over the speakers, I want my own music, the ability to change songs and the feeling of having music blaring in my ears. So, because I didn’t have my headphones, I simply took that as the excuse to not go to the gym.

While losing your headphones may seem like the end of the world, I am living proof that it is not, Collegiettes. Don’t get me wrong, music is absolutely wonderful, but it won’t hurt to take your headphones off for a bit and listen to life around you and appreciate it.

Photos: Cover1, 2, 3, 4

Currently a hard-working, self-motivated, dominos-loving business student at UMass Amherst. Not only am I an avid reader of HerCampus.com but I am also a proud member of both Her Campus UMass Amherst and Her Campus Blogger Network. I am working towards my goal of moving out west and getting into marketing for the beauty and fashion industry.
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst