May 4, 2023

SENZON | When in Doubt, Listen to a Podcast

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As of late, my life has been unbelievably hectic. I can’t help but feel like I have to stay on autopilot of my work and responsibilities, or they will implode on themselves — this isn’t all wrong as your work won’t complete itself.

It only took Ithaca one week before reverting to its chillier and overcast default. I said my goodbyes to the wonderful week of 80 degree weather I happily enjoyed and went back to planning for finals. As I spent hours making eight different combinations of my Fall 2023 classes and made a study plan for finals as the last week of classes approached, the one thing that got me through it all was podcasts. 

With the end of the year approaching, I feel a combination of emotions as I say farewell to my first year and welcome to my sophomore year. Once again, this is the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. Just as the seasons change and Cornell goes from unbearably frigid to moderately warm, it slowly becomes the time of year when things slow down. For the longest time, I had convinced myself that my classes wouldn’t get better. Perhaps I was so overwhelmed and burnt out that the possibility of my workload improving didn’t seem fathomable. 

Nonetheless, life is ever-changing and things are rarely ever stagnant. Easily convinced that I would single-handedly be stuck in this place where I was dissatisfied with my performance and outlook on life, I was eager to experience a change of pace. 

I blinked. Suddenly, a floral aroma met my nostrils. Bright pink, to both my left and right. Flowers! Not just any flowers — flowers on trees. My battle was over. Spring was here and no one could stop me. I could bathe in the sun on Libe Slope for days, with caution, of course. I had tanned in one day, I was glowing — both on the inside and outside. At this moment I felt untouchable, I was out of reach and nothing could stop me from keeping it that way. Not true, by the way. 

The bitter taste of reality isn’t always preferred but, podcasts have been such a force in my life recently, the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and insights all while working on another task is something not to be taken for granted. I’ll be the first to admit that oftentimes the work we do as college students can get so repetitive. I can’t help but feel that I would rather be doing anything than reading a 40 page long document about structural holes, or weak and strong ties. Luckily, getting through these readings can take place with ease as putting on a podcast episode — even just as background noise — can entirely distract from the redundant course content. 

A few of my favorites, some previously mentioned in my earlier articles, at the moment, include Hot Girl Talks, Gals on the Go, Pretty Basic, A Better You, On My Mind, Anything Goes, and Aware & Aggravated. I consider myself to be an avid podcast listener so I’d very much appreciate it if you gave any of these a listen. Each one of these podcasts ranges from comedy to life advice — you won’t regret listening to any one of them as you finish your final problem sets. It’s hard for me to describe why the act of listening to podcasts feels so therapeutic, but there’s just no better experience than hearing someone’s thoughts as if you’re having a conversation with them as you walk to your next class. It feels like you’re having a conversation without actually having to contribute to it. When I’m feeling lonely but don’t have the bandwidth to engage in a human conversation given a lack of energy, listening to a podcast is the perfect way to recharge my social battery. Another reason why podcasts are my go-to form of entertainment when I don’t have time on my hands is because it doesn’t require me to physically watch a recorded clip.

If you’re like me and staring at your laptop screen all day and your eyes are begging for a break, sometimes the best option is to close your laptop and go on a walk. Listening to podcasts doesn’t require the same attention span that watching a video does — the act of listening can be done while doing virtually anything. I’ve always been told that the best way to mitigate stress is to find nature and immerse yourself in it. What better way to do that than to simultaneously be listening to a podcast?

By now, I trust that you understand why I find podcasts so enjoyable. If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in your life and can’t find the energy to prepare for finals, I urge you to listen to the podcast of your liking — you won’t regret it.

Adam Senzon (he/him) is a freshman in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He can be reached at [email protected]. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. My Two Sen-ts runs every other Thursday this semester.