So you make it to college and all you want to do is to have the perfect college experience. Naturally, you’re here to get some knowledge, so in order to take advantage of all this higher learning you’re paying for, you sign up for all the interesting, challenging classes you can find—4, 5, maybe even 6 in a semester. Then again, you’ve also heard about how much learning there is to do outside of the classroom, so you should probably join some kind of major-related club or tutor middle-school students or get a part-time job in your field. And you obviously have interests outside of your major so you go out and find other people who like fire-spinning or playing soccer or going to Bible study or breakdancing and you join their club and start attending meetings every Thursday night.
But then all of a sudden it’s midterm season and you have two exams and a 15 page paper due this week and there’s a huge breakdancing show coming up and you’re coordinating the marketing and advertising for a professional speaker in your pre-law society and you barely have time to finish the two problem sets you have for Wednesday, let alone take a shower or sleep more than 6 hours a night—and the next three weeks are going to be at least this busy. Suddenly, all the things that were fun a month ago are just exhausting and you start to resent your activities for taking over your life. You haven’t gotten lunch with anyone other than your lab partner in at least a week and you start to miss the days at the beginning of the semester when you could climb into your hall-mates’ bed and watch four episodes of How I Met Your Mother on a Tuesday.
It’s a bit ridiculous, because over the summer when all you did was watch TV and nap in the backyard, you were bored out of your mind, but now that you have all of these fantastic and stimulating activities going on, you can thing of nothing better than stretching out on your lawn chair with a tall glass of Arnie Palmer.
The point is, you need to balance yourself. There’ll be time to take four religion seminars; you don’t have to do all of them in one semester. There are lots of interesting clubs, but you don’t have to be president of every one. It’s okay to take an easier course load to focus on your internship, or to stop going to club meetings if they don’t work with your academic schedule. The entire reason you take on all these things is because they’re fun and interesting; as soon as they stop being enjoyable, something’s gone wrong, and you better figure out what it is so you can get back to loving the life you’re living.