Stop relying on others for plans

Sam Jefferson, staff writer

I can’t remember the last time I was asked “do you have any plans this weekend?” and actually had a response. 

I never viewed it as a negative thing, I was just someone who didn’t have a schedule for my weekends.

But I don’t think I want to live like that anymore. A friend recently told me, “it’s fun not to have plans but it’s also good to make sure you’re not relying on others to plan for you.”

Such wisdom. “Thank you friend,” I said, and began to wonder if I’d been living this way.

All it took was me looking at what I had planned for the weekend to realize my “no plans” actually were a plan. I was waiting to see what my friends would be up to and then I’d follow suit. 

This isn’t a new thing really. Looking back to high school, many of my Friday’s were spent huddled in a parking lot, asking every few minutes, “so do you guys wanna do something?” 

My friends and I attempted to kill this repetitive cycle with a google docs list titled “things to do” that spanned 40 to 50 lines long, highlighted by “play some limbo,” “hang out with Dylan’s dog,” and “Yahtzee”

We never did end up playing Yahtzee, or most of the things we’d written down. It would’ve been better for us to focus on getting together around an activity instead of waiting until we felt bored enough to check our list.

This change doesn’t have to be hard, you can start by planning little things throughout your week. 

It can be as simple as asking your friend if they’d like to play some Super Smash Bros later, or asking someone to go on a hike.

When you do this you have something to look forward to, planning can actually be super fun. It makes you realize how many different ways you can spend your free time. 

I used to have this strange sense of pride about being a “no plans” guy. 

I liked to tell myself, “well, y’know the fun will just find me.”

That’s not a bad way to live at all, especially if you’re good at it. But, the downside here is that when stuff doesn’t go your way you can leave weekends feeling unfulfilled or lazy.

I don’t think this is something we should feel, it’s more than okay to be lazy, but I’m not so great at allowing myself to do nothing. I plan on getting better at that.

I think a lot of the best plans are outdoor ones, whether it’s a simple walk, or a hike up one of Vermont’s mountains, people are often eager to enjoy company while getting a breath of fresh air.

Planning can also be a great outlet for when you’re feeling down. If I’m feeling the blues I always feel better after putting together a fun plan with my friends. 

There’s something about having something to look forward to in the near future that makes any bad days that come before then easier to deal with.

And because you are the one putting everything together you get to prioritize the things you’ll enjoy with others. Something you may miss out on if you’re usually joining other’s activities.

The message here is to not become complacent with doing nothing on the weekends if it makes you feel unhappy. It’s much easier said than done, but we can all benefit from a little more planned fun.

I know I can, this whole article is a great example of practice what you preach, and now it’s time to practice.