Recently while having lunch with my friend Clinton, I told him many ideas of change I decided I needed to make in my life to help myself grow as a person. My many decisions included trying to go with the flow more instead of being an obsessive planner, being more social and making it a point to listen to others more during conversation.
Going with the flow and not making plans for every single action made is honestly uncomfortable for me, but I have been enjoying the spontaneity for the most part. I used to be someone who had every single thing I had to do that day written down and stuck to it. Some would call it discipline, but discipline shouldn’t stress you out like that form of planning does. Being more spontaneous has made it more enjoyable to do random things with friends without being worried about having prior obligations. I think in a way this has negatively affected my academics because I do not have a routine or my schedule of when I study or do homework. Balance, as we all know, is something everybody struggles with the most, and that’s my current struggle. I need to find balance with my mix of spontaneity and planning.
I also made a goal to spend more time with others and attempt to break out of my introvert shell. I am someone who thoroughly enjoys structure and being alone. Being comfortable with being alone is healthy up to a point – until you realize you are just isolating yourself. I realized I was borderline isolating myself because I am so comfortable with being alone.
The last personal goal that I recently made was to listen more intently to others instead of being the one that does all the talking. Nothing is more flattering to people than being genuinely listened to, and there is no better way to show you genuinely care for someone than to be a listening ear.
Another aspect that comes along with being a listening ear is asking them how they are and showing interest in what is going on in their life. I remember in a past relationship, my ex never asked what was going on in my life, and if I wanted him to know, I had to tell him.
I think norms for this should change because we as a society are very self-absorbed.
Overall, I think all of these habits will be beneficial to not only me but also to those I’m friends with. A lot of students could benefit from finding a balance similar to the one that I am trying to find in my life. It is easy to be “too much” of one way, such as being an obsessive planner, but it’s also easy to be too spontaneous and end up procrastinating on everything – which is what I am catching myself beginning to do. I hope over time my procrastination will work itself out and I will find more balance between the two extremes.
Elizabeth Stephens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]