By Brittany Greve
Dear Over-Achieving Student,
When I was growing up, I always had a knack for trying new things (except for food, but that’s another story). I was always ecstatic when a new opportunity came around that allowed me to discover a new hobby or explore a new place. This is why my parents spent hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours on everything, from Karate to Irish step dance. To me, if I did not try everything, I was missing out on something that, in my mind, everyone else had already tried.
This desire did not disappear when I entered my elementary school years. If anything it was only amplified. I was suddenly immersed in this community of 7 and 8-year-olds who all wanted to join clubs and create groups. I am certain that we have all been there, surrounded by hundreds of people, 7-year-olds or maybe 27-year-olds, who all seem to be ambitious about something. That electricity that comes from being surrounded by such motivated people who all want something. But, it is also a way to create a path to madness.
During my elementary school years, I began getting involved in any and all clubs that I could including Robotics Club, English Club, Soccer, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, etc. By joining these clubs, I was not only making a difference, but I was creating a community for myself. Now you may be asking, what’s so bad about that? Well, let me tell you.
Creating a community is the perfect way to become comfortable at a new place or find a better balance in your life. However, it can also be extremely overwhelming. There’s suddenly a whole new group of people that you want to get to know, talk to about yourself and find time to hang out with. It also means that whatever way you’ve created this community, you have new responsibilities to take on.
Though a small position in one club and another and another may not seem overwhelming, in two months they will all start to make decisions and need more commitment from their members. In two months, you most likely will be too busy with school or work and/or both to give your all to an extra-curricular.
A number of extracurriculars I became involved in over the course of elementary school, to middle school, to high school only increased and pushed me to become a hard-working, determined, motivated woman. However, I was almost always stressed and struggling to manage it all. It was a learning process, and I thank few very important people for helping me through during the more difficult days. I am proud of myself for trying out everything, but after a while, it is not physically and/or mentally possible.
Now in college, I’m enjoying every moment of every semester. But, I am still trying to get a handle on how many responsibilities I have. Even though I want to create a new community and become a true Drewid, it is not worth metaphorically killing myself over.
To this day, I am still scared of missing out; missing out on an opportunity to meet new friends, create new projects, change the world or even just make someone smile.
So to the students who want to do everything: you can’t. However, you can still be a kick-ass student that makes a difference. So take a deep breath, cross a few things off your list and enjoy your time in school!
The student that has tried to do it all.
Brittany is a sophomore Philosophy major and Italian minor.
Graphic by David Giacomini