Our entire lives are based around TIME. At some point, everyone has wanted the clock to move just a little bit faster. Sometimes it's easy. A class, for example, is only 40 minutes and you know that it'll be over soon. And then, sometimes it's not that easy at all. Foster Care can last for as little as months to as long as years. Whether it's 40 minutes or 40 months, waiting for something to end is agonizing. It can even feel like time isn't moving at all.

As someone who's spent a lot of time waiting for things to get better, I've learned a lot of ways to pass time that benefited me.

The simple answer is: distraction.

Short-term waiting

This is waiting in the doctor's office for the appointment that will last about five minutes, or sitting through that class you just can't stand but have to take because it's required for graduation. It's never more than 24 hours.

Now, distracting your mind from the clock for short term is harder than long term because it's dependent on what's around you.

For a classroom, my advice is simple: pay attention. If it's so boring that watching paint dry is preferable to paying attention, then start taking notes. Take funny notes! The topic being discussed might be boring, but taking funny notes can help lighten the mood. Something else I've learned to do is that I only check the time after my professor switches powerpoint slides or topics.

This forces me to pay a little more attention. Actually paying attention and engaging in class will make the clock tick faster, and your grades will thank you.

In terms of a waiting area, like a line or a doctors office, I would have something portable that you like to do. You're a gamer? Grab your Gameboy Advance and "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon" and go to town while waiting in the long line for Starbucks.

Do you like to read, but haven't read in years because you can't seem to find time for it? This is the perfect time to read a book. Most people tend to stick to their phones when waiting for something, which is another perfect solution for short-term waiting. All you're doing is killing time until it's your turn for the dentist.

The benefit here is your own entertainment.

Long-term waiting

I like to define long-term waiting as anything that's longer than a day. Perhaps you're anxiously waiting for an acceptance letter, or a package to arrive. It could even be longer than that For example, waiting to get out of Foster Care or the next presidential election. Distracting yourself long term is easier because you have the entire world to explore! Personally, the longest time I had to wait was four months, and this is how I did it.


Sounds weird, right? The best part about learning is that learning takes time, and if you have stretches of hours that need to be filled with something, why not learn? If you're waiting for years, then learn a language.

Take that extra time that you're not doing anything, and turn it into a skill. Challenge yourself and see how many books you can read in a month. Libraries are free, after all. Learn to write! Writing fiction isn't as easy as people might think.

For me, I learned how to knit.

Time moves at the same speed. It never slows down, and it never speeds up. However, if we learn how to distract ourselves beneficially, then we can create the illusion that time is moving faster, and reap rewards from this kind of distraction.