NPR’s Up First soothes pandemic woes

by Hope Guzzle

The last couple of weeks I have been in a pretty severe funk. It was just one of those times when nothing was really satisfying my boredom. I had tried going to (socially distanced and outdoor) restaurants, studying for the LSAT, boredom eating, going to parks, laying out on campus, learning a new language, but absolutely nothing was actually curing my near-endless boredom. I assumed that this was something I was just going to have to deal with and ride out until the end of the pandemic, which is slowly starting to seem like a possibility. However, I found myself still not satisfied with the idea that I would still have to deal with this level of pure and utter boredom for at least a few more months. Then something changed that, I discovered how to make a morning routine that was both pandemic-safe and just as satisfying as the one I had prior to the world shutting down. This morning routine worked because of one thing, the Up First podcast by NPR. Yes, this podcast clearly targeted for bored 40-something, pseudo-intellectuals with zero time got me out of my pandemic funk. 

Throughout this semester I had made it a point to get out of my small apartment and go on walks. I thought that recreating the walks I did on campus last year would make me feel better, but to be honest they made me realize just how much had changed since before these ~unprecedented~ times. However, when I added in Up First, these walks became so much more pleasant. I have absolutely no idea why. There is just something about this lovely fifteen-minute news catch-up that makes me feel very safe and comfy. 

One of the main reasons I think this is the case is because it is so vague and not pretentious. These complex stories that really should take much longer to report on are explained in a matter of seconds with minimal analysis. I know it’s lazy but I really love just how simple it is. I’ve also found that it gives me the information that I do need to have a conversation about what is going on in the world today. 

So yes, I do know that it is lazy and that I am not keeping up with the news in the way that I was, but this podcast is giving me a needed boost in my life. My friends make fun of me for getting the bulk of my daily information from this brief podcast but at least I’m getting the news because I was not for a while. Hopefully, after the pandemic, I can back into the news and politics in the capacity that I was before. But for now, these fifteen minutes give me a great lift every morning and I would not change them for anything.

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