What Does a University Class about “Doing Nothing” Teach Us?

Today the most popular class at Lawrence University (in Wisconsin, USA) is a class about “doing nothing”. Developed by Professor Constance Kassor, the class is one credit. Students meet (without their phones!) one hour per week with a rotating set of professors and learn such skills as mindful (silent) walking, proper sleep practices, Tai Chi, and meditation. It is a pass/fail course (no grades are given) and students are lining up to join. The popularity of this course compels us to ask “why is this class the most popular at the university?”

The truth is that managing stress and maintaining mental well-being are skills that need to be learned like anything else. Many students do not realize that the habit of sleeping 8 hours a night correlates strongly with a higher grade point average. Further, by making space in your schedule for unstructured activities, you are allowing you mind and body to relax and “re-energize”. This then leads to higher performance and greater creativity when you do need to focus on the task at hand. In fact, doing nothing on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do!

Sounds easy? Have a go…. It may be harder than you think, but well worth the effort….

Copyright Ⓒ Juvenis Maxime 2023

Author: Kenneth Knox