The Pieces of Me

Time for a Change

 haircut

Haircuts are an interesting topic. For some, it might be a common, routine part of life. For others, it could have meaning, such as an important change. For some it might even have a deeper meaning like that of a donation for a great cause. Depending on one’s views of a haircut, it can affect one person completely differently than the next.

Miley Cyrus is a great example of a haircut having meaning. This CNN article quotes Miley saying that she would not be acting as Hannah Montana in her SNL skit because she “murdered her.” Tired of being compared to her former character, Miley made the decision to cut off the majority of her hair and color it so she would look completely different. For regular people (like myself) a haircut does not typically have that much meaning, but it does have some.

My whole life, I have planned on growing my hair out as long as it would go. When I got to college last year, I met a girl on my floor (who is now my roommate) who has hair that reaches the small of her back. I was in love with the length of her hair and even put on my bucket list: Grow hair to the length of Rachel’s. I started taking vitamins called Biotin that help support healthy hair, nails, and skin so that my hair would grow faster. I rarely got my haircut, though, and that was probably an issue as to why my hair never seemed to grow very quickly.

Now, my hair has not grown to the length of Rachel’s, but recently, it has gotten long; it has reached the middle of my back when it is straight. Though I thought I wanted my hair to be even longer, I have become rather annoyed with the fact that it takes 20 minutes to blow dry and another 20 to style. As a college student, taking that much time to do my hair every day is not efficient. I got bored with the maintenance that my hair required, so I decided that it was time for a change.

This weekend, I went against my hopes and dreams of growing my hair to be the length of Rachel’s, and I allowed my hairdresser to cut eight inches off the length of my hair. I have gotten so bored with having the same hairstyle and the same long routine of getting ready that I realized that it was time for a change. Sometimes the best thing to do when you are bored of something like a hairstyle or color is to change it. Even the smallest change on something you find boring can make it seem better.

This type of change should not apply to huge decisions, however, such as a divorce or moving or job choice. One should not decide to get a divorce because he thinks he is bored by the person he is with. Ultimately, important life choices involve commitment that should not be affected by boredom unless it is to the extreme.

 
Think it Over

work stress

Work can be one of the most stressful parts of every person’s life. Stress can arise from school work, job-related work, and even house work. While some people do not like any part of stress, others are able to work better when under pressure such as a short time limit or high expectations. I, for example, work better when I have limited time. When studying for tests, I procrastinate because the pressure of knowing that I have a short amount of time to learn something makes me focus a lot more than if I had a week to know it.

Contrary to myself, some could become easily frustrated with the amount of pressure that unfolds with different types of work. In an article by Cynthia D. Fisher titled “Boredom at Work: A Neglected Concept”, she points out the idea that people might experience qualitative overload. This concept arises when something is too difficult to concentrate on and the lack of willingness to concentrate results in the person becoming bored by the activity.

I can relate to this. Though stress usually forces me to be more focused, sometimes it can push me in the opposite direction. If I am too frustrated with the difficulty level of something, my mind will get tired of trying and I will get bored of the lack of results. Sometimes in situations like this, it is best to just take a break. Focus on another task for a while until your mind has time to relax from the stress.

In the bigger picture, it is not viable to make a snap decision and change something huge in your life such as your job. If you get bored at work, it is important to step back and analyze the situation to its entirety. Do not quit a job because of one stressful day. Likewise, one should not decide to get a divorce without clearly thought out decisions. If you are bored with your relationship, you should take the time to figure out what is wrong and try to fix it.

While making changes to boring things can be effective, sometimes it is best to face boredom head-on. Work and relationships are commitments that deserve more thought than a drastic change. When boredom comes from stress, it is important to act rationally through all decisions made.

I’m Not Even Hungry

eating food
The first year of college is an extremely stressful change for most students. Often times, people go to food for comfort. This is why the first year of college is associated with the term “Freshman 15” due to the amount of unnecessary calorie intake by freshman students. With dining halls full of unlimited food, it can be extremely difficult to not eat that extra handful of fries or that tempting piece of peach pie with a dollop of soft serve on the side. A lot of times, kids are not even hungry at this point and just eating because of accessibility.

Not only is accessibility a problem in itself, but combining that with empty time can create an even bigger issue. When students have nothing to do, it is common that they find comfort in eating, even though they are not even hungry. Eating food is an enjoyable action that makes you feel like you are at least doing something instead of just sitting around and being bored.

A student, Megan, said that sometimes when she is bored, she likes to eat crackers. She keeps a box of crackers in her kitchen at all times so that she always has something small to snack on when she has nothing else to do. It has gotten to the point where she grabs crackers just out of habit now. Her boredom has created a habit that she barely even notices anymore.

Personally, I also struggled with snacking for no reason as a freshman last year. I would see my roommate make food and want something just because ‘why not?’ There really is something comforting about having food in your hands when you are bored. I almost believe that this phenomenon could be related to a smoker needing a cigarette. Before the craving of smoking, people who smoke can even have a physical addiction where they find comfort in just having a cigarette in their hands. Sometimes it feels wrong if I am not close to a food to snack on as I work on homework or write a paper.

As a sophomore now, I have learned that eating while bored can affect a person more than I ever thought it could. I may not have gained fifteen pounds last year, but I definitely did not lose any weight, even while going to the gym 3+ times a week. There are still times now in which I am sitting on the couch thinking to myself that food could ease me out of my boredom, but I am rarely even hungry when I try to ration the idea.

Simply eating because you are bored and have easy access is not a good combination. Boredom is kind of a feeling that is a gateway to other feelings. For example, discontent can come from not being satisfied with food in your hand if that is what you really want when you are bored. The crucial takeaway here is that you fight this kind of boredom. It is not right to let yourself be controlled by a feeling like that of being bored. Combatting the type of boredom that leads to negative emotions is an important step to conquering other types of boredom as well.

 
It’s All in the Music

one song

Everyone has certain songs that can be listened to for years on end without getting tired of them. Everyone also has those songs in their iPods that are skipped every time shuffle decides to play them because they are sick of hearing them. It is interesting the way that different people react to songs. One song may never get old for one person while another person might have gotten tired of that same song after a week of hearing it.

Many people also seem to obsess over a song for a period of time until they cannot stand it anymore. I do this quite often, as I love to learn all the lyrics to a new song I like. I will play it over and over again until I know all the words. Eventually, I become exhausted by the song and have no interest in it while other people still love it. Currently, my two new favorite songs to play on repeat are “Dayum, Baby” by Florida Georgia Line and “Rewind” by Rascal Flatts. With summertime approaching, I have been listening to a lot of country music, and I am nowhere near being bored by it yet.

My music tastes seems to vary by season. Over the winter, I listened to a lot of punk rock, acoustic, and alternative music. One of my favorite bands, Mayday Parade, came out with a new album, and I played it over and over again so that I could learn all the songs. Now that the weather is changing, I have gotten tired of listening to semi-depressing music because the weather is no longer as depressing. Country music has a lighter, summery feeling, so dark music like that of bands like Mayday Parade and Emarosa are no longer appealing to me at the moment. Songs that I listened to nonstop two months ago do not bring the enjoyment that these country songs bring now.

Sometimes I get into a rut where I want to skip all my songs because I overplay so many of them. When you really love a song, it is difficult to not play it multiple times a day, but when you do play it that often, it will most likely get boring quickly. My roommate, Rachel loves the theme song of the show ‘Friends’. It is not a terrible song, but she would play it out loud 18 times a day, and I do not know how she did not get bored with it. I was tired of the song after the fifth play. On the contrary, she complains about me playing the same songs everyday too, so it all depends on personal taste.

Boredom is completely reliant on preference. This applies to more than just getting annoyed by certain songs that others do not. For example, many people think that accounting is the most boring class that business students have to take, but it is my favorite class and I cannot wait to pursue a job in the accounting field in the future. If it were boring to me, my perspective would obviously change. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate the views of others when they are not in alignment with your own.

Essentially, the different aspects of life that bore some people but excite others are what makes us our own persons.  Without boredom, people would not have the depth they do, and everyone would be very similar and bland.  Boredom is necessary for appreciating each and everyone’s differences that make them who they are.

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2 thoughts on “The Pieces of Me”

  1. I thought all of your examples of change were relevant, clear, and relatable. I also found the idea that boredom is unique to everyone, and necessary in developing character depth extremely interesting. While its well known that some things bore certain people and not others, I’ve never thought of it as something that makes us our own person. Through your descriptions, it seems that boredom is as important, and independent of interest.
    One thing that I had trouble with though is that the pieces don’t come together in one general conclusion. This piece seems to be a set of instructions on how to handle/conquer boredom in a reasonable manner, but each fragment says some thing different about the feeling. I think many of the main ideas set down in each segment could be expanded on.

  2. Qualitative overload is an interesting concept. I could relate to it, and it made me want to read on because it grabbed my attention– maybe you should expand upon the concept. I like how you conclude each point with how it relates to boredom, but I think your post would improve if you incorporate the theme throughout each segment instead of plopping in onto the end.

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