I’ve always had grand ambitions for myself; I’m always looking ahead, wondering what the next phase of my life will look like. College was no exception. Starting in the early days of high school, I formed an image of what my life might be like in college and dreamed about green quads and the friendships formed in residential halls. Coming up with a mental image of what that future may be helps me work towards it. The result was that the minute I stepped foot on campus, the image I had created began to be challenged.
After my first few weeks on campus, I found myself signed up for 10 clubs, involved with student government and performing with two different musical groups. I had many more activities planned for the next few years. I was swamped immediately. My first semester was crammed full and anyone who glanced over my shoulder at my calendar was immediately surprised. A cornucopia of colors, all associated with different events, meetings, classes, tasks, etc., was what they saw. To me, it all made sense but most wondered why I was putting myself through such an ordeal.
The truth is I’ve always been interested in many things and college was the opportunity I had been looking for to explore them all. By getting involved in so many things, I was learning where my interests really are. Eventually, though, they all tired me out and I slowly began to prioritize. It's amazing how exhaustion can make you focus on what really matters.
Advisers, professors and parents may all warn you about taking too much on but I entirely disagree. By taking too much on, you learn what really works for you. I would not be where am I today, picturing a life after college, if I had not piled so much on in the first place.
Today I’m the producer of TEDxConnecticutCollege, a tour guide, a volunteer at the Mystic Seaport, a floor governor and a writer for this blog. While I haven’t reached the perfect balance yet, I know I’m close. Next semester will be the most interesting one yet.