I LOVE this article!
I’ve been saying the same thing for years! I mean really, how many activities can you be truly committed to/involved in?
During my workshops and in my coaching, I always talk with students about their activities and involvement beyond the classroom… and a surprising number of students say that they participate in 6 or even 8 extracurricular activities. I’m straightforward, so I ask them:
- How much time and energy do you devote to each extracurricular activity?
- How long have you been a member of each of these groups?
- What roles do you play in each sport, club, and/or society? Have you taken on increasing responsibility in each activity?
- What are your personally contributing to each of these activities/organizations, and what are you gaining from your involvement in each?
I ask these question for a few reasons. I want students to become aware of how interviewers often perceive such activity. I am an alumni interviewer and I am not impressed by students that are over-committed, as it feels like the students are trying to hard to impress others (as some call it, “resume-building”). I have to say that I am a very high energy person, I own two different businesses and have volunteer commitments with five organizations-though only two of those organizations require significant time expenditures each and every month throughout the year. I think carefully before extending myself and I know that, in this instance, “More is not better.”
If you’re feeling over-extended, take the time to assess those activities that energize you-and deepen your commitment. I realize that walking away from/giving up personal commitments isn’t easy… yet you will be happier for it.
Embrace what makes your heart sing and let go of all the rest.