The Dangers of Overloading
By Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
At first, I didn't have too much of a problem taking care of them along with my homework and small-but-still-there social life. It was a lot of work, but I was able to handle it for the first two months or so. But then the real high school work set in, and I found myself working nearly non-stop for upwards of seven hours a night, not including club meetings and practices, which was far greater than the two hours the rest of my classmates were putting in. Some nights I would be spending more time working on my activities than my actual homework, and trust me when I say, at my school, the teachers don't assign an easy load.
The differences between me and the rest of my classmates quickly became clear. During the day, they were bright and chipper, laughing and joking with their friends. I, on the other hand, was a sleep-deprived shell of a person. It was one day when I was dragging myself through the hallways, wanting nothing more than to fall on the floor and sleep, that I realized at last that I was spreading myself too thin. Extracurriculars look good on applications, yes, but only when they look good to you, too. You want to show passion, but you can't do that if you're forcing yourself into burdensome activities that you have little interest in, or when you have too many activities to truly devote yourself to each one.
So I dropped the clubs I didn't really care about, ceased the volunteer work that didn't mean anything to me, and quit the activities that only bored me. Now I participate only in clubs for causes that matter to me, volunteer at places where the experience is enriching, and engage in activities that both challenge and intrigue me. Colleges want to see a real person with true interests, not those fabricated to stick on a piece of paper. Focus on the extracurriculars that you would want to do even without worrying about applications, and the personal reward will be tenfold.