Signs You Are an Overinvolved Student and What You Should Do About It
By Alicia Harris
This article originally appeared on ESSENCE.com for a back-to-college content partnership with TLC.
SGA president? Check! School tour guide? Check! Grades and personal life? Well, we’re getting there. It’s important to feel involved on campus, however extracurricular activities can be a blessing and a curse. They allow you to make new friends, improve your resume, and immerse yourself into the spirit and culture of your university. However, it’s important to know when you are balancing too much. You may want to be president of every club on campus but you don’t want to lose focus on what’s most important: your education. Keep reading to determine if you’re too involved on campus and if so, what you should do about it.
Your Resume Has No Story
Many students make the mistake of joining clubs and organizations on campus in the hopes of adding a bullet point to their resume. Although it is important to show campus involvement when looking for internships and job offers, each organization that you are a member of should line up with your passions and interests. Think about the clubs that you are currently apart of. Do you feel excited to go to the meetings? Are you an active participant or just a general body member? Do you have a solid reason for why you’re in the club or is it just because all of your friends are members? Your resume should tell a story that is unique to what your end goal is. During interviews, it is important to be able to explain how you have contributed to your organizations, and the experience that you have gained that will help you with the job or internship that you are applying for. Don’t join a club because you think it will look good on paper. Join because you are passionate about the experiences and knowledge that you will gain from it.
Your Grades Have Taken The Backseat
This is one of the most obvious signs. If you’re used to getting A’s and B’s but now all of your tests and quizzes are in the C range, you need to take a look at how you are using your time. Write down your daily schedule and an estimate of how long you spend doing each activity. This includes how long each meeting lasts, the amount of time you spend after meetings attending to the club’s needs and how much time you spend studying. If you find that most of your studying happens during the thirty minutes of cramming before the test, it’s time to cut back. Eliminate the factors that are preventing you from excelling in your classes. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely remove yourself from every club. Sometimes you can cut back on the amount of events and meetings that you attend and refocus that time and energy on your studies. Be honest with yourself and re-evaluate your priorities. At the end of senior year, companies will be looking for your degree, not an extra bullet point on your resume.
“There’s Just Not Enough Time”
This is every overinvolved student’s favorite line. When your days are spent running back and forth to meetings between classes while trying to fit in the gym, lunch and sleep, it can feel like your entire life is mission impossible. Truth is, if you manage your time wisely you have more than enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Sticking to daily schedules can seem mundane and robotic however, they are single-handedly one of the most important factors within your college career. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” has never been more true. It’s easy to spend an extra hour chatting after the interest meeting and completely forget about that test you have next period. Write down your schedule a day in advance and give yourself realistic time limits that you will spend during class, lunch, meetings and even the gym. This will help you to stay on track and to not waste precious time.
You’re Stressed Out
Every college student deals with their fair share of stress. For some, it’s balancing the life of being a student athlete. For others, it can be trying to figure out how you can stay involved on campus while keeping a stellar GPA. Whether your parents are helping you out, or tuition is coming straight out of your own pockets, the pressure to perform and to take advantage of your time on campus can be overwhelming. During times like these, you must remember that college won’t last forever. One day you will cross the stage and be forced to say goodbye to your friends, the free gym membership and the organizations and clubs that you have fallen in love with. Don’t make the mistake of being stressed out throughout this insane but exhilarating time of your life! Know when you have too much on your plate and learn to cut back on your involvement in order to keep your priorities straight and have a fun and successful collegiate career.