I never think of myself as a student who does too much. But as I’m sitting here at my desk, I have a list of things that I need to do today for like five different people running through my head like Forest Gump running through all the states in the south. That’s how my life constantly is: getting ready for the next thing I have while thinking about the next place I have to go. I leave my apartment at 9 in the morning and I usually don’t go back until 10 at night. Maybe I’ll run back for (at maximum) 45 minutes to eat a quick lunch or dinner before I’m dashing out the door to get to my next class or meeting.
I remember, as I was entering college, my mom told me, “You need to sign up for activities and clubs.” She knew if I had too much free time, I would never get any of my work done. I prefer working under stress; that’s when I do my best work. You know how some people thrive off of things like being around people, adrenaline, or being alone? I thrive off of stress and feeling like I’m getting things done. In high school, I was only involved in a few things, but those things would have me at school from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day (including most weekends). I loved every second of it. And that’s why I think I stay so busy even now.
I never realize how much I honestly do until I sit down and update my resume or when someone tries to make plans with me. It usually goes, “okay well I have this hour and five-minute break between this meeting and my class. Oh no, wait I have to meet with my advisor during that time to discuss my classes. How about Tuesday at 6? I have practice at 7 though so it’ll have to be quick.”
Like I’ve said before, I don’t think I do too much. Honestly, I think I could do so much more. I imagine that if I moved some things around, I could join four more clubs?? Maybe? But realistically there is no way for me to join it all. But I’m under this impression that everyone else is doing so much more than me and I’m just under this impression that I need to catch up to their level. I don’t know if its the competitiveness I got from my family or from my own fear of failing, but if there is a chance for me to join a new organization my first answer is to just say yes.
I recently realized that I actually can’t do it all. That realization took me… four months to make? I’ve been slowly backing away from things that don’t bring me joy anymore and I’ve been doing more things that bring joy back to me. Like painting? Oh my Lord I loved doing that and it was such a stress reliever but I stopped for a long time because I didn’t have time. I just started again and I began to feel like myself again.
So to the students who do too much,
Homie, I know how you feel. You’re doing great things for so many people, but what are you doing for you? Don’t forget that you need time for yourself. You need time to recharge because, if you keep pouring all your water into everyone else’s cup, you won’t have any for yourself. Take a serious look at everything you’re doing and genuinely contemplate if the things you’re doing are making you happy or if you still have a passion for them. If you continue doing these activities without passion, then you’re not helping anyone. Be happy my friend.
A student who does too much too