Is ‘Free Time’ Really Free?

By Nicole Cobar

Spring break. MTV might have you thinking that it is a week of wild partying on an exotic beach. However, as a sixteen-year-old homebody, my spring break is very different than how most media portrays showcase it. My spring break consists of organizing my closet, all night movie bingeathons, and indulging in creative projects (to name a few activities). Spring break is when I try to accomplish all the things I claim I don’t have time for during school. Spring break, for me, is one entire week of free time. Knowing this, when I got home on the Friday before my break, I made a giant to-do list of all the things I planned on doing during my week off. I was optimistic about crossing everything off my list since I had absolutely no obligations. There was no reason why I couldn’t get everything done in 10080 minutes (seven days). Now, at the end of my break, I can unhappily report that I have accomplished 1 (one) thing on my to-do list. I did it! I successfully wasted one week of my life (never going to get that time back).

Some items on the list were critical. For example, I had to prep for an interview with someone from the USC Shoah Foundation. I did not. Other, more unimportant, things, such as recreating a Hannah Montana Music Video (actually on my list), I understand not completing. However, not prepping for an interview with a predominant person so I can make an exciting and unique segment for my school news, and positively represent my school as a prepared and professional journalist? I cannot believe I let myself do this!

Why? I do not know. However, this predicament I have gotten myself into has made me think about free time. More importantly, the value of free time. With time, you are able to do anything. You can learn, write, create; the possibilities are endless. Imagine, I live in a world where I can do almost anything I desire, yet I chose to spend my time on Twitter and watching movies. So, I started to think about how I was utilizing my time. How big of a waste is my time management producing?

In a world that is increasingly fast-paced where you must fight competition on a global scale, time is money. So being a couch potato for 10080 minutes is a pretty huge loss.

What I, and most people, fail to realize is that time is the most valuable resource we have. To compare it to money does not truly reflect how expensive time is. Money, you earn. There is no way to receive time. In a bank account, there are red and green zones, where you can see periods of losing money and periods of gaining money. In the bank account of life, there are no green zones for time. Time is only lost. The amount of time you have is unknown, and you can only lose it.

Time is a non-renewable resource. A fact I am sure many of us know but fail to realize what it truly means. It means we must use our time wisely.

In the end, I am sure we all will be wishing that we did.