I walked around aimlessly while waiting for my takeout order of kimchi dumplings and cucumber rolls (both of which were incredibly delicious) and found myself in a different light. Or maybe I felt light. The stress of social media, immediate contact with everyone you know at the touch of a button — all gone. Well, it wasn't gone, it was securely tucked in the back pocket of my overalls, but you know what I mean. The urge to connect digitally was no longer my main center of attention. And I think it started that morning.
I woke up and decided not to get on TikTok. For some that's like, “Okay?” but for me, TikTok is that one app I truly can’t live without. But for some reason that morning, the app seemed all too much. And the places around me seemed just enough. I brushed my teeth quickly and threw on some clothes, grabbing my journal, pen and wallet. The dining hall seemed like the most appealing location for an unplugged morning. Filling my plate up with scrambled eggs and biscuits, I hummed softly to myself as "Upper Room" played in my noise-canceling headphones.
I swam in my own thoughts as I dipped my eggs in ketchup, wondering what else I’d get into after breakfast. Being the typical college student I am, I decided I wanted Starbucks. I scrolled through articles and found a cool drink hack: you ask for a doppio with your choice of milk and flavoring for a cheaper latte. Satisfied with that idea, I headed to Starbucks, people watching in line. No thoughts of scrolling or checking DMs crossed my brain, even though I was very bored. Turns out, I truly don't like people watching, but it was worth a try. After ordering my drink I sat out front to soak in some sun. Pulling out my journal, I went to my happy place. No social media. Just soft worship music and the sound of the busy streets of Lexington.
Taking my coffee and journal in hand, I headed to work. After a quick shift, I changed my clothes and headed back out, finding myself where we started, walking around after ordering a well-deserved lunch.
I took my time, looking through each store I landed myself at. Smelling the handmade soaps, and reading album covers closely. In this, I found the beauty of (kind of) unplugging. I still had my headphones on and all my apps at the tips of my fingers, but I used them to enhance my life — not create a virtual one.
Who knows, maybe I'm just being dramatic, but I truly feel like unplugging from your favorite app for a while, turning on a nice playlist and living your life does wonders for a burned-out college student. It reminds you of everything ahead of you, in front of you and around you. It reminds you of all the less stressful things in your life — like Starbucks hacks, cheap incenses and fat dumplings.