When it comes to college, sometimes less is more

By Simran Devidasani

I reached that point. 

That point where if you were to add one more textbook — one more responsibility — the entire stack would collapse. It had been merely 12 weeks into my college career, and I was already stressed out to the point where dark eye circles had become a part of my wardrobe.

Taking on the responsibilities of four clubs, a show coordinator position, 15 credit hours and a commitment to being a good friend had taken a toll on my health — literally, I’d been sick for the past two weeks.

When I started college, I always had this mental image of succeeding at everything that I didn’t do in high school — all of the clubs, activities and other involvements I never became a part of back then but wanted to now. 

This led me to become an unwarranted overachiever who, ironically, ended up achieving less than what I considered stellar. I was barely getting any sleep, my days were spent running around from meeting to meeting, I was missing deadlines and my grades were slipping. 

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I thought writing everything down in my planner would be enough — it wasn’t.

It had been 12 weeks into college, and I was a complete mess. 

To make things worse, I hadn’t mastered this concept of saying “no.” After taking two midterms and staying up until 2 a.m. finishing an essay, I decided to go to a party the next day. Like most of us, I felt as though if I said “no,” I would miss out on the college experience. 

My craving for the college experience was my downfall, however. 

When the weekend hit, I was a walking zombie. Not only were my feet incredibly sore, but my room was a mess, and I felt as though I had betrayed the freedom my parents had entrusted me with to go to a college 3,000 miles away.

I had always been warned by the upperclassmen that “sometimes less is more.”  In other words, choosing one or two activities and sticking to them is better than barely scraping by in a million different things; going to every activity isn’t necessary, and sometimes you need to put your sanity first. 

I hadn’t adhered to the wise guidance of my elders, and I self-destructed.

What I did learn from this damage, though, was that sometimes it’s okay to take time off for yourself and that you really don’t have to say “yes” to everything.

Many of us, at this point in time, feel as though we’re stressed out — with exams, sororities and fraternities, sports or worrying about missing out on some good nights at the bars. But in all honesty, we have ample amounts of time to achieve everything we want to. What we don’t have time to put off is that essay due tomorrow or that midterm coming up.

It’s all about prioritizing and learning your limits.

After experiencing my first-time college meltdown, I realized that some experiences are just worth the wait.

Simran is a freshman in Media. She can be reached at [email protected].