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Extra extracurriculars

February 22, 2013

Hello, everyone. My name is Mackenzie Mahler, and I have a problem. I am over involved. That may actually be an understatement. I am not just over involved. I am extremely over involved, but I don’t think I’m the only one. Most of the people I know on campus are involved in multiple organizations and hold at least one leadership position. Whether it’s being the president of an organization or a manager at work, students are busy outside of class, and it can get out of hand. So, why are students still doing this to themselves? That’s a question I ask myself every day.

I fully intended to write this editorial on Wednesday night to have it ready for the paper by Thursday night, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I spent Wednesday popping from meeting to meeting, grading labs, washing my laundry, driving to the store and doing homework all day. I finally was able to go to bed at 1 a.m. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence for me. I expect it with a full load of classes, three on campus jobs and an internship. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything that I am doing, but that’s the problem.

If I didn’t enjoy my jobs or my internships, this could be an easy fix. The fact that I actually like everything that I’m doing makes it so much more difficult to cut down on my non-academic activities, and I really should cut down on them. Often, I try to go to the source of the problem. When did this all start? When did I go from being an involved student to an over involved student? Why is this happening to so many other people?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I think I my trend of becoming too involved started in high school. There are teachers and school counselors repeatedly saying that colleges look for not only academically talented students, but they also want well-rounded, engaged students. I had everyone telling me that it’s not good enough to do just one or two extra-curricular activities.

I think that attitude has persisted into college for many students. It’s not enough to just have a good GPA to get into graduate school or to get a good job. You must have internships. You must have leadership experience. You must network to find connections.

Students don’t even question joining organizations or looking for internships now. It’s become as essential as attending class or doing homework to the college experience. Just be careful. It’s a slippery slope.

Mackenzie Mahler
News Editor

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