To The Over-Committed Student
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Health and Wellness

To The Over-Committed Student

You can't do it all and that's okay.

To The Over-Committed Student
Sistema Trivial

To the over-committed student,

I am like you.

Just like students all around the country (and all around the world), I worry about the future – specifically the likeliness that I will be hired in my desired field after I graduate. This worry and fear that I will not be able to find a job in our fickle economy leaves me scrambling to be the very best student I can possibly be. I strive to set myself apart from my peers – the very people I will be competing with in the job market as soon as we exit school – but it is sometimes difficult to differentiate myself from my peers when we are all told to take advantage of the same opportunities. Therefore, I seek advice from professors and advisors.

Of course, the professors and advisors all suggest the same thing: to get involved however you can. After all, in order to get a job, you need experience and in order to gain experience, you need to get involved. Thus, per the advice of those hired to get me hired, I get involved in as many ways as possible. I join clubs, I take leadership positions, I commit myself to as many activities as I can.

There’s just one problem with this: there are only 24 hours in the day and 7 days in the week. Thus, there is a finite amount of time that can be dedicated and committed before you completely run out of hours in the day. Therefore, time management is necessary to being able to complete all tasks at hand and fulfilling all of your responsibilities and commitments. But what happens when there is simply too much for any person to complete?

What happens when you have too many commitments and not enough hours in the day?

What happens when the tasks start piling up and you start falling behind faster than you can catch up?

What happens when the only reasonable way to finishing everything is to cut into time that should be sent sleeping or simply relaxing?

Here’s what happens: you begin to lose yourself.

When you become so focused on completing tasks assigned to you because you fear that you will otherwise let others down, you begin to place the wants and needs of others in front of your own. When you cannot prioritize yourself, you have no time to do the things that you want to do, instead of just the things you have to do. The less time you have to do what you enjoy, the more stressed and out of touch with yourself you will become. You enter a cycle of having too much on your plate, stressing out, having melt downs, absolving to be better about over-committing yourself, only to make the same mistakes again.

Trust me, I get it.

I understand the wish to add another line of accomplishments to your résumé. I understand the desire to make yourself stand out against the crowd in the job hunt. I understand the need to make yourself seem so perfect to potential employers that there is no way that they could not hire you. Really, I understand.

I also understand the meltdowns when there is simply too much that has to be done and not enough time to possibly finish everything. I understand the desire to have free time to relax and do something just for fun. I understand the fear and guilt that comes along with admitting that you have overcommitted yourself and that you need to lighten your load.

My advice to you would be to swallow your pride and admit that you are human and you cannot do everything. You have your limits, and that is okay. No one expects you to do everything, and if those around you truly care about your health and well-being, they will understand the need to step back for a bit to catch your breath. Besides, if you become so focused with do everything, you won’t be able to do anything with full effort and force. In the long-run, it’s better to do a few things very well, instead of doing lots of things poorly.

Most importantly, you have to be able to make time for yourself and what you want to do. Whether it’s reading a book, watching a movie, taking a walk in the park, or seeing some friends who you haven’t had time to see in weeks, you have to be able to do what makes you happy. Otherwise, you’ll become miserable and lose sight of who you are and what makes you the unique person that you are.

So trust me, I understand the need to be involved. It’s good to be involved – good for both your résumé and your personal development. However, it’s counterproductive to be so involved that you over-commit yourself and overwhelm yourself. Find the balance that works for you, even if it means being slightly less involved than your peers. Besides, worrying about them will never put you ahead.


A student just like you

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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