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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

I can’t keep ignoring it

Alright, confession time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a friend of to-do lists. There’s something about checking off every task, even down to the smallest and most miniscule ones, that sends a rush of adrenaline through my veins. Where others might face heaploads of stress from looking at a tedious list of their day, I actually prefer it when mine is crammed with various tasks. 

I used to deny it. When my friends and my family recognized it, I told them I had it all under control. I told them I was managing everything just fine. But it’s time for me to face the music: I’m a workaholic. 

I constantly find myself lured into a realm of what ifs. What if I get a second job right now? What if I take a summer class these next two years so I can graduate a year early? What if I sign up for just one more club? 

It’s a bad habit of mine that I never feel truly satisfied with what I’m accomplishing at the moment and that I’m always yearning to take on more responsibilities. But the equally significant issue with that is I also refuse to take anything on if I can’t fully handle it. What that tends to lead me with is a jam-packed day with little to no free time, in order to remain successful towards all of my commitments. 

However, I knew it reached a new degree of bad when I began spending more time on Indeed.com and similar job posting sites than I did on any social media app I have. This was the turning point towards my decision to create a different mindset for myself. 

For starters, I began to transfer the restlessness I had during my free time into spending time with the people most important to me. Nightly dinners with my friends have slowly but surely reassured me that a second job, while possessing so many benefits, would in fact render me unable to catch up daily with the individuals who bring me the most joy. 

Just as importantly, I’ve discovered the importance of being independent and making time for yourself. I considered myself to be a highly dependent person prior to coming to college, but if there’s any advice I could offer to incoming college students, it would be to value your alone time as well. Something as low stakes as going on a walk, reading a book and even just sitting in a library and doing homework are all such incredibly important areas of growth that I certainly could not achieve if I joined one more club amidst my already busy schedule. 

The last and perhaps most important change I made in my daily routine to combat this workaholic nature was to constantly remind myself that any area of progress I made (regardless of what realm of my life it concerned) doesn’t always have to be a stepping stone for something more significant. Rather, accomplishments can be something I relish in for a bit instead of always being eager to move on and move forward. 

I wouldn’t say I’ve completely changed the way I go about this trait I possess. I still find myself planning way too far ahead into a career I don’t even have a degree for yet, or endlessly scrolling through the student jobs site despite already working a job on campus. But despite this, I would say I’ve found successful ways to ease up the amount of pressure I tend to put upon myself to always be busy working. Baby steps have proven to be essential, and I plan on continuing to implement them in my day to day routine even further.

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Sophia Ross

Wisconsin '26

Sophia is currently a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she is planning on majoring in Journalism! In her free time Sophia loves running, taking pictures on her film camera, and going to as many concerts as her wallet allows!