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How to Manage Being Chronically Over-Involved

Your class schedule is overloaded, you are the president of at least one on campus club, and a member of several more, you work an on-campus job, and you sleep in your small amount of free time; you know what you are – chronically over-involved, a condition that runs rampant across college campuses everywhere. Symptoms include constant sleep deprivation, high levels of stress, and compulsive volunteerism.

All jokes aside, as a person who would consider themselves “chronically over-involved,” I can attest to the seriousness of it. Ever since I can remember I’ve been this way, signing up for way too many clubs and leadership positions in high school. I’ve always been the person who always has to do it all. Since college I’ve tried to tone it down, but to no avail. I’m still trying to do it all, and still driving myself crazy in the process. This semester seems to be worse than ever, and it’s only the third week! 

I was talking with my friend the other day about why exactly I do this to myself, and what freaked me out was, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Do I really enjoy not having any free time? Am I really as passionate about the things I say I am, or do I do things just because I feel like I have to? I’m not always sure about the answers to any of those questions. Most days I love what I do though. I’m so grateful for all the friends I’ve made because of the clubs I’m involved with and the things I’ve been able to accomplish because of this.

I think I over-involve myself because I love to feel like I’ve made an impact, or to feel like I’m an important member of a team. I’m also a relentless perfectionist, and because of that I always feel like I need to be the best at all I do. I’m not exactly easy on myself, and I think that’s the one aspect of my life that I should be more involved in. So while I don’t see myself relenting in any of my clubs or passions anytime soon, I do think maybe I should carve out a little slot of me time into my schedule each week (like I would for any other club) and dedicate it to self-care, instead of just fitting it in where I can (and brushing it off to the side when I can’t). Sometimes, as a person, I just need to suck up my fear of missing out, and recenter myself. In college especially, students are made to feel like they are not getting the absolute most out of your college experience unless they do EVERYTHING available to them, which isn’t necessarily the case. Especially as an introvert, I know that my me-time is super important to my over-all well being. 

So while adding in some me-time to my schedule won’t necessarily make me sound better on paper, (Alex Curtis: President of the Russian Club, member of College Wind Ensemble, Writer for HerCampus, & self-care enthusiast?) I think it will make me a better person all-around.  

Alex is a first-year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She plans to double major in comparative literature and Russian area studies, hopefully to pursue a career in academia after graduation. On campus she participates in the wind ensemble, the drama club, and a club called One-On-One Friendship where she uses video chat to help teach Indonesian students how to speak English. She has always loved reading and writing, and thinks HerCampus is great outlet for her to share those passions with the internet!
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