Niksen: The Art of Doing Nothing

Srinidhi Valathappan | The Chronicle

As second-semester seniors, we find ourselves at a crossroads where the infamous “senioritis” tends to creep in, stealing away our motivation and leaving us with a sense of restlessness. It’s a curious sensation, this tug-of-war between the allure of newfound freedom and the lingering responsibilities that tether us to the world we’ve known. However, amidst the chaos of impending adulthood and the allure of endless Netflix binges, there lies a hidden opportunity for profound self-exploration.

Recently, I stumbled upon the concept of niksen. It’s a Dutch term that encapsulates the art of doing nothing—a notion that initially seemed foreign and even indulgent in a world that values productivity above all else. Yet, as I allowed myself to sink into moments of idleness, I discovered a treasure trove of insights waiting to be unearthed.

Growing up in a society that glorifies busyness, it’s easy to fall into the trap of equating our worth with our level of productivity. We’re conditioned to believe that success is synonymous with constant activity—juggling academics, extracurriculars and social obligations with relentless fervor. But in the constant pursuit of achievement, we often lose sight of the most important aspect of our lives: ourselves.

Senior year, with its blend of nostalgia and anticipation, offers a precious gift—the gift of time. It’s a chance to prioritize self-care, to nurture relationships and to indulge in the simple pleasures that bring us joy. It’s a time to shed the layers of expectation and rediscover the essence of who I truly am. Niksen has become my compass, guiding me back to the simple pleasures that bring me joy—the late-night conversations with friends, the solitary walks at sunset, the moments of quiet reflection amidst the chaos of everyday life.

In embracing the art of niksen, I’ve come to realize that boredom is not the enemy—it’s a doorway to creativity, a blank canvas upon which the colors of imagination can flourish. It’s in these moments of stillness that I find myself most attuned to the whispers of my own heart—to the dreams that lie within, waiting to be awakened.

And so, as I embark on the final chapters of my high school journey, I choose to embrace senioritis not as a hindrance, but as an invitation—an invitation to slow down, to savor the fleeting moments and to cultivate a deeper connection with myself and the world around me.

To my fellow seniors (and underclassmen!) standing at the precipice of possibility, I urge you to embrace the art of niksen—to revel in the beauty of simply being. Let’s slow down, savor the small moments, and remember that sometimes, doing nothing is the best something we can do.