On Jan. 1, 2017, I got home from a friend’s party after watching the ball drop. I went to my room and reflected on the year I had left behind. Grabbing the bright pink sticky notes next to my bed, I scrawled down my resolution for the year in green Sharpie and stuck it in my wallet. Every day, that fuchsia paper sticking out from behind my license urged me to spend less time on my phone, since I had felt myself staring aimlessly at my screen any time I was walking down a street or waiting in line rather than taking in my surroundings. Though this was not the most profound goal, the reminder helped me to turn off my device for large chunks of the summer and focus on being more observant.
This school year, I have developed an awful new habit. Each day, when my homework gets increasingly boring and my eyes start to glaze over, I look up from my work at the white wall opposite my bed, the only part of my entire room not covered to the square inch with memorabilia or knick knacks. The slanted vortex of white sucks me in and I just sit there, sometimes for 10 minutes, often 20, doing absolutely nothing. The daunting school work and college applications melt away and I just stare. When I snap out of my daze, I lament the time I have wasted and take to the Internet, searching for methods for productivity techniques and spiraling into an entirely different form of procrastination.