There is more to life than just work and school

It is understood we, as people, live very busy lives in the U.S.

We go to work, attend school, spend time at home, or whatever it is you do to make life worth living. But is it?

I have learned through personal experience, watching the way my family grew and survived until today. My mother worked tirelessly each week to earn her associate’s degree online and provide for her children.

She worked two jobs at the time. I remember not seeing her as much while I was going through my middle school stage.

I question this: at what cost do you spend the time at work over at home? Eventually, my mother was successful.

She earned her degree and became a medical assistant. My mother added experiences in her field and is now working one job that fits her title.

She can come home and have sometime to spend with her children and rest.

This is an important part of life. We need to interact and build relationships, healthy relationships, create memories, and support one another.

As college students, we work and study to get the most out of our education at the level in which we can. Some of us load our semesters with so many credit hours and classes, we limit our free time to relax and hang out with people.

Think about this: is taking time from studies going to affect my overall outcome in my courses? Can I go out with friends? Will I suffer negative consequences?

Some of us roll with a sense of guilt of taking any time for ourselves. It is important to rest and have some free time to do what you want.

If you don’t, you won’t be successful at life.

I share these examples to bring this idea of overworking ourselves into a pit of stress, pain and loss of life. It is imperative we have our daily interactions with those we care about.

We need to have memories and experiences that make life worth living.

I had the privilege to travel to Europe in the summer of 2018, touring in a choir. I found the people, especially in places like Belgium or Germany, have the extra time.

I experienced school in Germany, and learned students are done with school by lunch time and would eat at home.

They only spend the earlier part of the day learning, and then return home for most of the afternoon to do homework, go hang out with friends or spend time with family.

For me, going to school required waking upat6a.m.justtogetonaoneortwohour bus ride to school that started around 8-8:30 a.m., depending on if you were an elementary or secondary student.

School would end around 3 p.m., leading to another long bus ride home just to do homework, have dinner, maybe watch something on the TV and head to bed just to repeat the next long day ahead.

I remember being so tired even though I was one of those students who loved school. In Germany, parents came home before

dinner, being able to actually prepare a meal and set their table. They could even go shopping, run any errands or spend time with their family.

Life in Europe felt so care-free and relaxed. They could do what they needed to do and enjoy life after work or school.

Will we ever change the way we live?

Can we become a culture that is more dedicated to enjoying life than to dragging ourselves around to survive at minimum?

Maybe one day we can improve the experience of living life.

Audrey Bergey

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