A couple weeks ago, I was getting coffee at Tunnel with a new friend. I asked her what she was involved in on campus, and she started listing things: a varsity sports team, writing for a campus publication, working at the library… She blushed and said, “Oh god I’m forgetting something, but I’m not sure what. I do more, I swear.” I was shocked. I would have been impressed by just one of those extracurricular commitments, and she was juggling them all! Unfortunately, the pressure to do more at Williams is pervasive. Everyone seems to be competing for the Bushiest Beaver award (*Office reference* – if you haven’t seen “The Dundies”, watch it now).
Let’s take a minute and appreciate that underneath all these extracurricular activities is one very time-consuming commitment: being a full-time student! Keeping up with your classes and staying sane is accomplishment enough without adding more to your plate. I think that when people feel overwhelmed here, they often think “I just have to make it through a couple more years, and then I can start living my life”. We forget that we are living our lives right now.
I don’t think there’s any justification to be sacrificing happiness or health just to be involved in one more thing, no matter how good it might look on your resume. Taking an afternoon to yourself and napping or watching Netflix might sound like a waste or lazy, but it’s actually completely valid and necessary. If it’s making you feel good, if it’s helping you get through the week, do it.
This might be the oldest cliché in the book, but I think it’s worth saying one more time. Nothing (not your resumé, your grades, your future salary- nothing) is worth it if you’re not happy. If your schedule is jam packed, and you honest-to-god love it, then all the power to you! But if you’re not happy, at the end of the day, what’s the point? To quote Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine, “Do what you love, and f*** the rest.”