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The Dartmouth
February 22, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

The Weekend Mirage

As we have reached yet another Friday, I find myself reexamining the merits of the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to a couple days off as much as anyone else, but it just seems that the weekend isn't all that it is made up to be. On the surface, it seems like a time of fantastic productivity, great fun, and lots of sleep. Unfortunately this perception is from a distance (Wednesday). The closer the weekend gets, the more it seems too short to really accomplish anything.

Though all the aforementioned elements come into play, on most weekends each is represented only moderately, and the end result is that these dashed expectations make Monday the cursed day that it is. Each of these aspects of a weekend drains on the others. Too much partying results in too little sleep and no work.

If I get plenty of sleep, the work will surely suffer. Sometimes by the time the shower beckons on Saturday afternoon, and I rise to meet the day (or night), it is practically time to go out. What's the use in working by that time?

Even when I actually get around to working at a decent time, work itself can be counterproductive on the weekends. All the time available just makes it easier to procrastinate. I am constantly impressed at my own ability to take a lot of time accomplishing nothing. It's not that I'm not doing anything, it's just that nothing's getting done.

"I can do it later," sounds very reasonable with eight hours available as opposed to only four. Too much time can be self destructive on the weekends. Often, it is the people who have very little time available that use it most effectively, simply because they have no other choice.

My own ability to delay and dawdle always outshines my powers of concentration. On one particularly fine Saturday afternoon a few weekends ago, I went out to the green to "study." I was able to make it out there by one o'clock, a decent time. Unfortunately, I only made it about ten feet before I saw someone I knew. I talked to him, but didn't sit down. Keeping my resolve to study, I continued walking. Ten feet later I met another group of friends.

At this point, my feeble will gave up and I just sat down. I went about the motions of doing work as we talked, but what I actually accomplished remains to be seen. Friends, passersby and the lure of the warm fall sun all conspired to keep me from my work, and as the conversation turned to new lows of civility, my reading suffered more and more. After about two hours of this, I went up to the Tower room.

Once ensconced in my reading, the challenge changed from staying concentrated to staying awake. I struggled against the lulling quiet and the dull reading for an hour, and then I couldn't take it anymore. So I went back to my room having accomplished next to nothing. A few pages of reading and many wasted hours were all that I got out of my Saturday afternoon.

Sunday went much the same way, and before I knew it, it was Monday. The weekend was gone, and it seemed like it had never arrived. As I prepared for the beginning of the week, I thought of how next weekend would be better, and I would discipline myself to get up at a decent hour, get work done, and partake in the celebrations of Friday and Saturday nights, all with time to spare. I hope I can find that delicate balance between distractions, work, sleep and partying. If anyone knows where it is, blitz me.