I come in contact with a large number of college students — be it through my own school, my previous school or extracurricular activities. One thing I notice is how incredibly busy these students are. The thing is, much of the “busy” doesn’t stem from their course load but rather everything else going on in their lives. So, naturally as a mother all I have to do is take a few classes and I am already doing a lot! But what if I added 2 clubs, a sorority, a campus newspaper, a student association leadership position, volunteerism and maybe a sport? Madness. Just writing that gave me a little pang of anxiety deep within my lungs.
Do I think it a bad idea to be involved? Absolutely not. I encourage each and every student — mother, father or not — to become involved. BUT, don’t overdo it. When do these students have time to study? To sleep? To eat? I feel like life is already hectic and we are pushed in to “growing up” as it is, so why the need to be so over-involved?
So maybe you are asking yourself, “how do I know what is too much?”
Here are some questions to consider when evaluating your free time:
- Is what I am thinking of getting involved in going to make a huge difference after my college career?
- If I decide to join, accept or take on this added activity, will I still have adequate time to study? To eat? To sleep? To spend time with my family?
- What are the commitment requirements? Can I work the requirements in to my schedule? Is this group of people going to be understanding and flexible with my schedule and the possibility that an emergency may arise?
- How am I currently feeling? Do I feel overwhelmed without any more activities?
- How are my grades? Can I afford to sacrifice an hour of time, a day, a week, etc.?
- Do I really want to do this or is there some other reason?
I know that last one seems a bit interesting. I added it because I, myself, have found the to desire to do more…not because I don’t do enough but because all of my peers are doing so much. I feel sometimes that the little bit I do isn’t enough…that I am not working hard enough. However, I remind myself (or one of my amazing friends or mentor does it for me) that I am a full-time student, mom and wife. That in itself is a lot to have on one plate.
And please don’t be influenced that way by your peers. There have been countless studies on the impact that over-involving oneself in college has on a person. Students end up overworking their minds, burning out, or simply missing out on the small things in life.
Don’t overdo it, give yourself time to breathe…time for the small things.