Netflix binges: a college student's guiltiest pleasure

Kristina Wyman's picture
Caitlin Pierson

As college students, we are constantly thinking about what we have to do, places we need to be and people we must see. From remembering when the next club meeting is, partaking in social events on campus, making it to class on time and making time for homework, college students are busy.

Personally, I would not be able to keep track of all my classes, meetings and extra-curricular activities without my color-coded day planner. My brain is constantly thinking about the next task, and it’s honestly draining. From time to time, and more often than not, I find that I need to take at least an hour to sit back, relax and watch Netflix.

For anyone without access to cable or a television, Netflix is a convenient website that streams movies and TV shows for a monthly fee. Luckily, my parents haven’t changed our password, so I still have access to an extensive library of Disney movies and crime shows.

When I feel overwhelmed with my workload, I plug in and watch an episode or two. With this easy access to thousands of episodes of shows ranging from comedies like How I Met Your Mother to crime shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (two personal favorites), it is easy to sit and watch episode after episode, binge watching an entire season in one afternoon. Netflix makes it even easier by automatically playing the next episode in 15 seconds, without you having to touch a button. The guilt that overcomes me as I wait motionless for those 15 seconds can only be compared to when I eat the last Oreo or finish the chocolate milk: it’s there, and I can feel it, but I do everything I can to ignore it.

Somewhere in the back of my brain, there is a little voice that tells me to stop watching Netflix and to do something productive, but why is taking a break from the overwhelming life of a college student not productive? If I don’t take time to catch up on shows and get lost in the fictional world of a sitcom, I would drown in the monotony that is homework and studying. Personally, I cannot solve calculus problems, read Plato and understand Classic literature without a bit of a break in between.

Occasionally, these breaks become hours of binge watching shows, but why not? If I can still be successful in school, meaning completing all my work, saving ample time for studying, passing all my classes and making time for more social activities, why can’t I spend a few hours each week relaxing on my own, “wasting time,” watching a show or movie that I find enjoyable? Netflix binges keep me sane by taking me out of the crazy college life for a few hours. I can unwind after a stressful week and refocus when I’ve had enough, or when I’ve finally finished a season, whichever happens to come first.

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