As Smart Girls, we have a lot of interests and passions that we love to pursue. But sometimes, pursuing all of these interests can be overwhelming.
Sure, it’s great to get involved and be passionate. But when we start getting involved in everything that comes our way, taking on every opportunity, we lose the ability to remain dedicated to everything we signed up for. Prioritizing can be a challenge; we like to believe that we can take on just one more activity. However, this becomes a problem when just one more activity turns into 20 more activities plus our jobs and our classes. Here are some tips on how to pursue all of your interests without spreading yourself too thin.
1. Make a List
Before quickly agreeing to take on numerous leadership positions that sound interesting, make a list of the activities and the hobbies that are most important to you. Choosing may seem difficult, but once you get writing, you’ll be able to organize your thoughts before impulsively over-committing yourself.
2. Start Small
Maybe you just started college and you just want to sign up for everything; options surround you! Instead of fully committing to numerous clubs all at once, attend a few meetings and get a feel for the clubs and activities. While an activity may sound like one that would interest you, actually attending the meetings will provide you with a sense of whether or not you can see yourself fully dedicated to this club. Slow down; you’ll still have time to sign up for clubs later. At first, simply explore; committing later will save you a lot of worry.
3. Be Both Focused and Broad
You should definitely have some focused interests and passions that you explore. That is definitely not to say that you should drop out of Biology Club because you want to be a journalist. However, think about what your extracurriculars can teach you. Learning more about science could definitely provide you with information for you writing. Also, if you’re writing opinion columns for three campus publications while doing many other activities, maybe you could drop one of your positions at a publication. You may love the work you do, but the work you do for the other publications will probably be of higher quality when you have less to manage. Quality is more important than quantity. Basically, don’t worry too much about whether or not your extracurriculars “go together”. You are designing your career, and these extracurriculars act as the building blocks; by all means make it your own.
4. Try Something New
Wait… you’re already indecisive, and yet you should try something new? Yes! Trying new things opens your eyes to passions you may not have known existed. While this may seem to make your situation worse, it could actually provide you with a clearer path; joining your school radio station doesn’t seem necessary for your intended career. But realizing that you absolutely love music could inform you that you want to explore music and entertainment journalism.
5. Ask Someone Else
Obviously, you should get involved in what you want to get involved in. At the same time, though, talking to someone else about their experiences with balancing and choosing extracurriculars could get you thinking about your own interests and decisions. You don’t even have to ask someone for advice; simply hearing someone else’s stories could help you figure out what you want to make of your own.
6. Find a Schedule That Works
Managing your time isn’t impossible. If you can make your schedule work, that’s great. Maybe you can fit lots of extracurriculars in and take your classes at night. Maybe you’ve found a way to balance everything. Find a schedule that works for you; that schedule may differ a lot from those around you, but what matters is that you’re doing what you love.
7. Let Go
Sometimes, you become so wrapped up in how you’ve been “doing something for years”, that you may not even realize that you don’t have the same compassion for it anymore. If you are no longer interested in something that you’ve been involved in for a long time, letting it go is okay. You may think you have to stay committed to everything that you signed up for, but if you’ve been doing it for years and you’re searching for something new, take on a new position or extracurricular. If the new extracurricular relates to your old one, then the move will show that you strengthened your skills and were able to apply them to something else.
8. Do What Makes You Happy
Above all, do what you love. Do the things that make you feel alive. Do the things that keep you up at night, just thinking about the next step, just thinking about the next new project you want to take on. If Biology club and your school paper and your sorority make you happy, then stick with them. Do exactly what you want to do; pursue the activities that you just can’t stop thinking about.
When you love something, you’re instantly more dedicated to it. On your resume, you are crafting a story; make it one that excites you. Don’t worry about what “looks good.” Worry about what feels good.