by Josh Vogt
Every semester at Loras, I tell myself, “I won’t do everything, I’ll give myself some free time.” But every semester, I find myself in more choirs and in the Hoffman theatre auditioning for anything and everything going on there. I keep telling myself that this won’t happen, but I always pile on everything, leaving my schedule more and more packed as more people ask me to join something.
But have no fear, if you also feel yourself facing these same situations, there is a way out of all of this. Just learn to say no, and be confident in it. Don’t feel bad about saying no to a club or extracurricular activity. Your free time matters, to you and your own mental health, so don’t ever take relaxation for granted. You might need this open space for all the homework your classes might give, but even if not, do not forget how much your body needs a moment to rest, so that you don’t overwork yourself.
It’s all about expressing this to people and letting them know that while you do like whatever activity they ask you to join. There is a point where it’s just too much stress to handle on top of your job, your schoolwork, and perhaps almost equally important, your time with other people. If you isolate yourself with work and other things that are basically a fun version of work, you miss out on countless moments of real human connection. Sure, you can get plenty of social interaction at clubs or other activities, and those are sometimes the greatest memories in your life, but don’t forget to make time for a calm hour of just sitting and talking with a friend, or calling your family at home.
If you don’t make time for all of these things, if you say yes to everything, and overwork yourself for multiple semesters in a row, you will feel truly dead by the end of the year. You might think that you can handle it, and maybe you can, but your body knows what’s best and it needs rest. You can pull all the all-nighters you like, and keep shoveling work onto your plate, but you have to take a moment and consider if maybe it could have been avoided if you just had more time. College is great, and a time to try new things, but just take a minute and enjoy all of your hard work, and you won’t regret it.