The Dangers of Overloading

By Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

It's commonly recommended to do extracurriculars in high school to demonstrate passion, leadership, and other admirable qualities for when you apply to college, and that's something I've been aware of. In freshman year, I tried to bulk up on as many extracurriculars as I could possibly do, signing up for this activity and that club, taking on so many responsibilities that I ran out of room in my planner to write them all down. Still, I insisted on making myself do all of them because "it'll look good on my application" - and, of course, because I like them, though that second reason was always an afterthought.

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.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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