Leave the TV Behind: 3 Reasons to Drop the Box

What I’m about to say might be considered heresy in the US, but leaving your TV behind could be the best decision you ever make in college. In many freshman dorms you might find a large flat screen or an old relic from the 90s, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When I started college, I thought I needed a TV if I was going to survive, but I can tell you that not only is it unnecessary, it could be a detriment to your college experience.


I’ll start with the most obvious, but most important point first. The TV is an endless source of distraction, only rivaled by the internet in it’s ability to waste your time. I don’t know how many days I’ve spent planning on being productive, getting my homework done early, and generally accomplishing something besides getting up, only to end up watching a Chopped marathon on the Food Network for eight hours straight. You might not believe yourself to be as weak as me, but just having the TV in the room creates the temptation to turn it on and waste time. Now you might be asking yourself, what am I supposed to do if I’m bored? I’d say that’s a perfect transition to my next point!

Boredom Can be an Opportunity

Now I know the idea of being bored doesn’t sound very appealing, but there’s a lot you can accomplish with a little free time. When you’ve got nothing to do, you’d be surprised how creative you can become. Entertaining yourself is far more rewarding and beneficial than turning on the TV. Left with no other options, you’ll realize you have time to work on that piece of Harry Potter fanfiction you wanted to start, or maybe you’ll realize your dorm room could use a little cleaning. The point here is that it’s not good to be stimulated by TV all the time, sometimes you need to be bored in order to do something interesting with your time.

You’ll Have a Reason to Go Out

Just because you don’t have a TV doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite shows and popular sporting events. Instead, you can use these programs as a means of making some new friends who also share these interests. Make plans leave your dorm room and watch the latest episode of Project Runway or the Superbowl at another student’s dorm. You won’t miss out on the shows you really care about, but this approach will prevent you from mindlessly vegging out on TV. Most importantly you have a great excuse to go out and make friends. TV watching can become an exciting event, instead of being a ritual.

As a former TV addict, I can say, cutting the cord, so to speak, was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. It’s a lot harder to waste time without a TV. You may surprise yourself by finding a new hobby or finally working on your homework before the morning its due. Disagree? Leave a comment below or share your own strategies for limiting your TV use.

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.