Last week I was challenged by one of my professors to attempt the solitude challenge, 30 minutes disconnected from everything and everyone. At first I thought it would be easy, no cell phone, computer, or TV, not a problem I figured I would just hit the gym, go for a run, listen to some music, and doodle, but boy was I wrong. Every single one of those activities was on the list of activities I could not do.
So, I closed my laptop, checked my emails, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram one last time, and set my timer for 30 minutes.
1 minute and 30 seconds go by and I am faced with my first distraction. My roommate. She had just gotten home and of course wanted to talk.
5 minutes later she was gone. I reset my timer and started the challenge again.
I spent the first 2 minutes looking at the walls in my room, looking at the pictures I’ve hung up. That did not keep me amused for very long. Then I found myself singing my in my head… which was pretty random. I just kept repeating one line over and over because it was the only line from the song I knew!
I heard people walking up and down the hall, going in and out of apartments. Then the thinking started.
I started making a list in my head (since I could not have pen/paper during the challenge) of everything I had to get done by Monday (mostly homework). Then I started thinking about applying for jobs (a bittersweet task of being a senior), which led me to think about what happens next.
Where will I work?
Where will I live?
Am I going to move home?
What if I don’t have a job?
Why is graduation approaching so darn fast!?
I was then at the 17 minute mark and my phone starts vibrating. It was upside down next to me in bed so that I would not be able to see the screen. I just wanted to pick it up and see who had texted me. What if it was important? However, I resisted the temptation. I was more than halfway through, there was no failing now!
I spent the last 13 minutes thinking of everything I had to get done, setting goals, and waiting for my timer to go off!
It finally did and I was so relieved.
I must say it was a very interesting 3o minutes. It has become so normal to be connected all the time that we sometimes forget what it’s like to be disconnected.
I suggest you try the 30 minute solitude challenge! Tell me about your experience completing the solitude challenge in the comment box below!