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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As someone who did a lot in high school (and when I say a lot, I mean everything), I have some strong opinions about the importance of easing into clubs in college and prioritizing what you truly want to be a part of. Extracurricular activities are incredibly important. They are rewarding, fun, can make your college experience more worthwhile and well-rounded, but they can also be a lot of work. Burn out is very real and very difficult to break out of once it hits, so I’ve put together some tips on how to select extracurriculars that will bring you joy without eating up all of your battery. 

  1. Evaluate your options. 

When transitioning into college, especially at a big university like CU, doors and opportunities are opening every turn you take. This can be incredibly exciting, but it can also become stressful and overwhelming. It is important that you look at all your options before making a big commitment. When I went to the Be Involved Fair at the beginning of fall semester, I was amazed at all of the tables and excited recruiters. I put my name on so many email lists, knowing I wasn’t going to be able to commit to everything. I was interested in so many things, but once I left the fair, I knew I really needed to think about what was calling my name and what I could see myself being able to balance with everything else going on in my life. When thinking about extracurriculars, it’s all about quality over quantity. 

  1. Give yourself at least 24 hours of thought process before committing to a new club.

Over the summer, I talked a lot with my therapist about the burnout I was experiencing from high school and my concerns about overcoming myself again, or on the flip side, not doing enough. She suggested that I give myself ample time to think about and process the possibility of a new commitment before actually committing to it. We often hear the advice of “say yes to everything!”, “do as much as you possibly can!”, but this can become dangerous quickly. If you have more on your plate than you can handle, you won’t be able to put your full effort into anything, which is a disservice to those counting on you, and yourself. 

  1. Prioritize you. 

It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing a club or extracurricular activity because you or someone else thinks it would look good on your resume, or you want to do something with your friends even if you aren’t super passionate about the activity, or you just want to do as much as you can. These feelings are valid and sometimes they can lead to a great opportunity, but it’s most important to prioritize your interests, goals, and what you can handle. You have your whole life to try new things and explore opportunities. It is impossible to do everything right now, so you shouldn’t try to. Pick one to three activities that really excite you. You can always add more later, but start off small. 

  1. Be honest with yourself, but don’t back out prematurely. 

The start of a new semester can be overwhelming. You may make a commitment that feels too big as you begin your adjustment period, but it doesn’t always feel this way. Try to give yourself a few weeks to settle into your new routine before making a rash decision about quitting something you may really love. If the commitment still feels too overwhelming after you feel adjusted, then find a way to take a step back from it. 

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

At the beginning of the fall semester, I fell into the trap of comparison a lot. It really is true that comparison is the thief of joy. There are always going to be people who are doing more than you. There are always going to be people who look like they have it all together and can handle everything. You need to do what makes you happy and try to ignore how many activities your friend may be a part of. The only way to get the most out of extracurriculars is to fully commit to them and enjoy them. If you join clubs you aren’t passionate about or don’t have the time for because you are worried about what everyone else is doing, you are only hurting yourself. 

I hope these tips resonate with you and can help you make the right decisions for yourself about what you want to commit to this semester.

Jadeyn Dugger

CU Boulder '25

Jadeyn is currently a freshman studying journalism and Spanish. She loves to read, write, sing, act, and spend time outdoors. You can find her writing about social issues, her own personal experiences and stories, and whatever else sparks inspiration.
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