Over-involvement: An open letter to the c/o ’21

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FSC-Spring Commencement Saturday May 6, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. Photos by Cindy Skop 2017

By Adrianna Cole

Hi, my name is Adrianna. I’m in my third year at FSC, and I’m the co-editor-in-chief and centerspread editor for the Southern; the PR Chair for Wesley Fellowship; and involved in other campus ministries, several student publications and honor societies. I work at First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, John Bean Technologies and Student Development. Oh, did I mention I’m graduating a year early?

Getting orientation flashbacks already? During those few days, we meet students who are involved in multiple organizations and hold leadership positions as well. We look at them and say to ourselves we’ll do the same thing. Except, not everyone thought about how it would all be balanced.

Realistically, going school, working and being involvement on campus requires serious organization. Scheduling and prioritizing certain events is necessary in order to be successful.

Psychology professor Dr. Leilani Goodmon specializes in positive and cognitive psychology, and she believes involvement. She said it allows students to prioritize what they need to get done. Goodmon said when she was in college, she had the best grades when she was most busy.

“I had to have everything in order,” Goodmon said. “My perspective is that involvement is good. I’ve noticed that most students thrive when they’re busy and falter when they weren’t.”

Goodmon said engagement on campus develops leadership skills that will be needed after students graduate. But the key is balance.

“I’m an advocate for a balanced life,” she said. “Work hard and reward yourself for a job well done. Give yourself time to reflect. I love the idea of people living up to their full potential, but you got to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have to find pleasure in what you do.”

To Goodmon’s point, my ability to schedule myself has improved drastically the busier I became, but let’s go back to the word “balance.”

Even with an organized schedule, it’s still possible to spread ourselves too thin.

Psychology professor Dr. Patrick Smith specializes in Neuroscience, and he said overextending ourselves will do the opposite of helping us grow.

“Once you feel flooded and the stress hits, it can cause you to regress,” he said.

The key will forever be balance. If you don’t want to hear it from experts, take it from someone who is involved in a lot and has found herself up until 4 a.m. working on projects, while on her   third bottle of Dr. Pepper.

I realized I didn’t want to live that way throughout my time in school. I needed to take some time for myself and remind myself what I liked doing and focus on that.

Freshman year, I thought I was going to be in everything and have it all together, but overextending myself wasn’t letting me grow as a person. It wasn’t boosting my mood, and I’m pretty sure I had more Dr. Pepper in my system than anything else.

It’s caused me to step down from some positions and take on fewer hours, but it’s given me time to focus on myself.

I have a clearer path I want to take. I’m able to focus on what I’m really interested in and put most my energy into that. I can hang out with friends without worrying that I’m wasting time.

My schedule is still full, but I enjoy what I’m doing, and it’s helped me find my calling.

With the start of this semester, you’re going to get consumed by campus life quickly. It’s a great experience, but remember to pace yourself, and trust me, it’s okay to say no once in a while.

If, and when, you feel distressed, go to the counselling center. They are a great resource to keep your mental health in check.

You’re only here for a few years. Let FSC become your home and grow from it, but remember to stay balanced.

 

 

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