Drexel University is so much like the city around it. It’s hectic, rushed and full of endless opportunities to get involved. Coming to college, you will be encouraged by so many people to join a variety of different clubs to become a part of something bigger. You absolutely should.
And you shouldn’t.
I always tell people that college means freedom for essentially the first time in your life. Even if your parents were the most hands-off parents of all time, there are still so many small openings to take advantage of. You should take this opportunity to learn about yourself as a person.
This doesn’t mean you should overcommit though. Just because you have the opportunity to try something does not mean you have the obligation. It is too easy for the multitude of student organizations to take over your life.
So many times I have witnessed my friends pull an all-nighter because a club they are in took up their entire day. This is acceptable maybe once a month, but if it’s happening twice a week that means you need to reevaluate some things.
I have friends who constantly book themselves solid to the point where it begins to affect their academic performance. I can’t seem to connect with them or even find the time to grab coffee because their world of extracurricular activities has swallowed them whole. Everytime I see them, they have dark circles under their eyes and “can’t talk” because they have a meeting.
This mindset ties back into how students are taught that they should live to work. It is almost a given that every single hour of every single day can be filled with things to do. Having free time is looked down upon as many make it a competition to see how much less they sleep than their peers. Most people look at this lack of sleep as validation that they are working hard. More and more I am realizing that it is them improperly budgeting time.
When your work begins to become your life and take over your identity, it is time to take a step back. Don’t let the clubs you’re in completely define how you manage your time here at college. They are only fun when they remain a healthy diversion. They shouldn’t mean weeks of detrimental effects.
Dividing all of your time between a ton of different places is not even helpful in the long run. Your attention is so split between all of the different activities that most of the time all you can give is lip service. Making promises you can’t keep is not a good habit to get into.
Instead of joining every club or trying to be a part of every activity, focus on a few important ones. The one’s you care about the most, not those that just build your resume. As long as they don’t take up every waking hour of your time, these few will help you discover more about who you are and what you want to do.
It is important to find yourself — but you shouldn’t have to lose yourself in extracurriculars along the way.