Being over-involved isn’t always healthy

By Jamie Linton, Columnist

As syllabus week festivities come to a close and normal class work and schedules begin, all students, not only freshmen, feel the fall semester pressure as they hit the ground running.  It can be easy for both continuing students as well as first semester freshmen to become enchanted with the explosion of opportunities presented to them as a means of creating a fresh start on campus, or merely as a way of increasing their involvement. While it’s highly encouraged that all students become involved with RSOs, research or other activities outside of the classroom, it can be all too easy to spread one’s self too thin and become overwhelmed.  

Although finding your niche on campus can allow you to flourish, this can often come with the cost of being forced to prioritize certain aspects of your life over others in order to find organizations in which you’ll thrive.  

At a large university, it can be easy to feel like you have to be the jack-of-all-trades; however, on a resume, having a developed position in one of your favorite organizations is more impressive than taking on a smaller role in several different fields. Instead of bouncing back and forth between various clubs, find an organization that allows you both happiness and experience in the field of your choice.

Unfortunately, for many students, attempting to balance a heavy workload in addition to sampling extracurricular activities can cause their mental health to suffer. According to a study conducted by the American College Health Association, 58 percent of college students will experience overwhelming anxiety and 36 percent were so depressed they felt it difficult to function. 

Luckily, there are resources on campus offered by Disability Resources & Educational Services and the Counseling Center which provide everything from academic support and provisions to living accommodations to University students who need them.  This is, of course, an incredible resource for students who have utilized similar centers in high school, but it is equally as important to note that many services are available to all University students even if they haven’t used them in the past.

Considering that the transition to college can be a trying time and all academic years have their unique challenges, it’s vital that students are not only aware of the services available to them, but are also equipped with the confidence to reach out in times of need.  Although the University does a great job of introducing students to the resources available, it would be beneficial for staff members to stress that students should not feel like a burden if they have to apply for testing accommodations or to let students know that seeing a mental health counselor, even for mild anxiety, is OK.  

If the University went the extra mile to make students feel more comfortable about utilizing the incredible resources available to them, it could help lessen the amount of stress college students feel in everyday life.  

The Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in Room 206 of the Student Services Building and you can call to make an appointment starting at 7:50 a.m.

Jamie is a sophomore in Media.
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