In high school, I was in a lot of clubs. When I say that, I mean so many that I sometimes lost count. Although I only joined things I was truly interested in, I had a tendency to over-join, and stretch myself a little too thin. Even the clubs I loved most were too much at times. When this was the case, I would have so many things on my plate that it became extremely overwhelming, and I only ended up being able to do things to a fraction of my true abilities.

Running between three clubs meetings on one day never resulted in me being able to fully participate, but instead only participating for a sliver of time until I had to run to my next meeting. More time was spent traveling between clubs than actually in the meetings. Clubs in which I held leadership positions always took precedence, and I was careful never to shirk those responsibilities. However, these commitments took up much of my time, leading to lots of late nights working on various projects.

When I came to college, I decided I would quit my old "joiner" ways, and instead focus on a few clubs and organizations. Sure, when I went to the activities fair I definitely put my email on far too many lists, yet this is merely a habit. I have a lot of diverse interests, which often leads me to want to pursue all of them. Instead, I have found it to be much more effective if I simply focus on the things I deem most valuable.

So, I now believe I am a recovering "joiner." Obviously, I haven't cut off my involvement altogether, and would probably never be able to do so. Instead, I've committed myself to asking, "Do I really want to do that?" Now, I'm making sure I select only a few things I'm truly passionate about and committed to, and it's made all the difference.

Clubs and activities are meant to be fun, not overwhelming. Although I always have found joy in my involvements, I've found this to be much easier when something is purely pleasure, rather than excessive. By managing my commitments, I've been able to find joy in them again rather than a sense of obligation.

I'll always be a "joiner," but I've now found the true value of joining only the things I love most.