Fun-starved students get an extra hour — sort of

    There is something terribly depressing about coming out of a midterm at 5 p.m. and stepping out into an already-dark afternoon. You just don’t expect night to quite literally fall faster than gravity in the 50 minutes you’re in Warren Lecture Hall. It feels oddly like a prank, as if someone turned off all the lights in the house while I was in the bathroom. You can see on campus that it makes all the students who are just barely dragging through the day lose that last flickering glimmer of motivation.

    Unfortunately, that extra hour we gained over the weekend was the last stand in staving-off Seasonal Affective Disorder. That’s about all that hour is good for — symbolic cheer. Gaining an extra hour is a wonderful, if preposterous, illusion. It is akin to gaining an extra pound: measurable, but you can’t really tell where it went, and it’s not really that useful.

    We all say we wish we had more time. But that little blip of nothing we borrow during fall only to return during spring is, in fact, extra time. Twenty-five hour days, although more in line with our circadian rhythms according to psychologists, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. What did you do with that extra hour?

    At the risk of playing Captain Obvious, what we really wish for is more enjoyable time. You can: (1) save time and (2) enjoy the time you have. Go ahead and block off that afternoon for personal time. Do all the things you wish you did. Quit schlumping through campus and enjoy La Jolla. For example:

    · Have a sunset picnic atop Mount Soledad.

    · Learn to play an entire song on a new instrument.

    · Enjoy coffee in a sleepy ocean vista from the cove’s Goldfish Point Cafe.

    · Regress back to a time before you were born and have ice cream at Ferrell’s.

    · Bowl an entire game left-handed.

    · Go camping at Joshua Tree after it rains.

    · Fight off depressing afternoons by going to the gym (only losers wait til after New Year’s).

    · See first hand if Julian’s pies are really that good.

    · Break out of that Cotixan rut and check out Lolita’s.

    · Take a picture with the Estancia La Jolla tree when it is decked out with Christmas lights.

    · Find the secret wine-tasting place at Eastgate Mall.

    · Enjoy cider at Pizza Port.

    · Volunteer somewhere worthwhile like Mama’s Kitchen.

    · Watch a Chargers game.

    · Get assaulted by waitresses at Corvette Diner.

    · Indulge in a birdbath margarita at Old Town Mexican Cafe.

    · Try delicious coffee while laughing at bourgeoisie high schoolers at Del Mar’s Pannikin Cafe.

    · Become intimately acquainted with the myriad pan-Asian restaurants lining Convoy.

    · Swallow any pride you have and take a finals break on the bumper boats at Boomers.

    · Drive by and snicker at the San Onofre power station. You know you want to.

    · Take a road trip 50 miles north to the Rainbow sandal outlet for $30 flip-flops.

    · Frolic in the middle of Balboa Park and check out at least two museums.

    · Know the meaning of fearless by scaling pseudo-mountains at the RockSolid gym.

    · Get funky thrift shopping in PB or at AmVets by the airport.

    · Purchase at least three things in the Albertson’s ethnic food aisle.

    · Make yourself sick with the 12-egg omelet at the Broken Yolk Cafe.

    · Amuse yourself by riding the trolley around downtown.

    · Eat at La Jolla’s IHOP and make at least two new friends over the age of 55.

    · Cruise down Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla blasting gangsta rap of your choice.

    · Throw a small and culturally-themed dinner party.

    · Finally have that traditional UCSD date at Forever Fondue.

    · Meet people at an I-House language table and practice a foreign language.

    · Switch iPods with a friend, and make yourself listen to 20 of their favorite songs.

    Just remember: It’s not the time you have, it’s what you make of it. C. Northcote Parkinson noted that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Your day would be filled no matter how many hours were in it. You would likely feel rushed to enjoy the waning daylight hours no matter how many of them you had. If you’re still not convinced, maybe it’s time to reprioritize a few tasks by putting them through the shredder. ‘Til next time, this is Captain Obvious, signing off.

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