Being a freshman in college proves to provide some of the most exciting times of a person’s life. This includes so many opportunities to get out there and gain experience in your field of study. Your professors become agents for your resumes and it seems like job fairs and opportunities are popping up every second. It’s absolutely wonderful and insane and.. Overwhelming.
Being a theatre major, it was so easy to get opportunities to work in my field so early in school. I got to tech shows, work lights, help paint sets, the whole nine yards! Once my first semester of college ends, I’ll have worked on five shows! It’s insane! But although my resume is chock-full of experience, my body and friendships have definitely been strained.
My schedule was so jam-packed that I stopped going to the gym and I would have no choice but to stay up until 1am to get homework done. My grades started suffering a bit and all I did was wake up, go to class, and go to rehearsal. There were days where I forgot to eat or only had soup in my dorm at 11pm. A lot of the time I was working on more than one show at once time and it took a HUGE toll on my friendships. I was giving up time to hang out and be with people for shows and that’s definitely not OK when you’re just a freshman.
It got to be a lot and finally, I had to say no and start letting other people do the work. It’s taking some time, but I’m catching up in my classes again and I feel happier knowing that I have free time and that I can better manage my day and actually get more than a few hours of sleep.
I finally realized that saying “no” didn’t make me selfish. Saying “no” did not mean that I was unmotivated or self-centered. Saying “no” allowed me to focus on myself for once while still doing what I love. I know that if i went on much longer drowning myself in work for shows, I’d begin to hate doing the things I love. That is a truly dangerous line to tread near.
So, I decided that I can no when I have to. I have every right to be overwhelmed. I also found out the importance of prioritizing. When I wasn’t happy or healthy, I began doing subpar work on several tasks instead of stellar work on one or two projects. By keeping myself in check, everything kind of fell nicely in place, and I'm happier and better off because of it.