For those who know me, this headline might be ridiculous. As a personal, quirky habit, I tend to take on more than I can chew – stretching my mouth and my time like a game of "Chubby Bunny" that no one wants to watch. Yeah, I didn't love that metaphor either.
The point is that I'm not certain I should be one to speak on this topic, given that my planner is too full of scribbled appointments, shifts, and meetings. Additionally, I can't say no to any opportunity that comes my way.
But all the best advice is hypocritical, so here goes nothing.
I like trying new things – lots of new things. I like meeting new people – lots of new people. These interests of mine have led me to inadvertently overcommit myself to one or two entities over the years. For instance, I accidentally joined five bible studies when I started college.
Now, I realize that this overzealousness was a poor decision that Baby Freshman Riley ™ made; and since, dare I say, Riley has learned a couple of lessons. By watching how college students have interacted in these past two years, I wanted to focus on one experience in particular for this article. Everyone in a university is measuring himself/herself up with others' lifestyles because he/she lowkey wants to be the busiest.
So far, I have seen this very real social pressure of everyone desiring to be the most over-scheduled, the most stressed out, or the most sleep-deprived.
This pressure is typically manifested through the following statements.
"I legitimately need espresso through an IV to make it through my day."
"Sleep is for the weak…until I crash for an entire week."
"I literally don't have any time to exercise."
"I went to bed at 4 AM before this 8 AM."
"Social life? What social life?"
And I get this desire! I firmly believe in taking life by the utters and milking your existence with gusto! But carpe diem is not equivalent to not giving yourself seasons to breathe.
Since when has busyness become synonymous with success?
As young people, we face a tremendous burden to live our best lives during our "prime".
As Americans, the value of hard work is instilled in our bones and slapped on our butts by nurses after we pop out of the womb, straight into the marketplace.
As educated people, we ought to take advantage of the incredible opportunities surrounding us.
The combination of those three identities can result in a noxious burnout of a generation if we aren't careful.
Life is unpredictable. Sometimes seasons of non-stop action occur and sometimes life slows down enough for you to sniff those bluebonnets (yeehaw). If you, in your core, genuinely thrive with very little free time, then (by all means) go out for all the organizations, hours, and internships! However, I encourage you to reflect. Do you enjoy busyness? Is never slowing down a coping mechanism for you to never have to think about your situation? Are you sacrificing your psychological, physical, or spiritual health to be more involved? How much better would your life be if you joined another thing? Have you ever experienced true burnout?
Go through each of your commitments. Ask yourself: how important is this to me? How is this advancing my future?
We have all heard that comparison is the thief of happiness. Your overall health shouldn't go down faster than Kesha yells "timber" for the sake of trivial matters. Here is the bottom line: if you give up stillness for busyness, make sure this choice is for you, not for a pointless pissing contest.