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Existential Binge-Watching: Binge-watch your crises away

Back in September of 2018, I officially kicked off Existential Binge-Watching. In that first column, I talked about how I was binge-watching my comfort show, The Office, in order to not only take a break from the existential crises of being a freshman in college but also to use that time to gain the courage and strength to get through such a huge transition.

Now, as a senior? I’ve pretty much been doing the same exact thing the past few months: binge-watching The Office once again in the hopes that it heals my mind enough to deal with the fact that I’m now graduating in a week and heading off into the unknown void that is adult life and a professional career.

And if I may quote the first sentence ever written for this column, “I’m going to be as upfront, honest and straightforward as possible.” I’m terrified.

Whether you’re in your 40s and moving for a new job, or you’re a kid making the leap to a new school, life is absolutely terrifying. It’s hectic, often overwhelming and really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. However, I believed as a freshman — and still believe as a senior — that something as simple as binge-watching your favorite shows or movies helps a whole lot more than you’d think.

I’ve never been one to say it’s the answer to everything, it’s not. In fact, excessive binge-watching is a quick and easy way to get yourself behind in every facet of your responsibilities. But everyone needs time to keep their mental health in check. And whether that’s sitting down for a quick film at the theater or letting yourself take the night to stream every episode of a show on Netflix, turning off your brain every once in a while and just relaxing is so vital to getting through the chaos of living.

Not to mention, the more you binge-watch something, the more familiarity you get with a series or film franchise and grow your appreciation even more for things that might have been nitpicked on first viewing. For instance, yeah, The Office isn’t quite the same when Steve Carell leaves. Honestly, though, seasons eight and nine get way too much flack. Robert California might be the most underrated character in the entire series, and other than becoming an awful human being at the very end, Andy Bernard was actually a pretty decent replacement for Michael Scott. And I’m sticking by that.

Ranting about The Office aside, though, binge-watching is a lot like life. It goes by quickly, it’s unrelenting at times and it’s hard to tear yourself away from it, but taking the time to sit down, look back, and “rewatch” always brings to light the beauty of ordinary and overlooked moments. Chasing your dreams is important, but letting yourself rest and get lost in a piece of entertainment that means the world to you or simply puts a smile on your face is just as important in order to keep your mind healthy and achieve your goals.

So, while I restart The Office for the thousandth time in order to not have to constantly think about the stressful impending approach that is full adulthood, I’ll sign off with this: don’t ever, for any reason, do anything, to anyone, for any reason, ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you’ve been, ever, for any reason, whatsoever . . .

Sorry, I have a bit too much Michael Scott improvisation in my brain. What I meant to say is: be good people, take good care of yourselves and never, ever, stop binge-watching.

Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.

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