Student Organizations: Can you ever be too involved?

The first two weeks of college are like a dream. You’re still dressing up like you’re walking a runway for class. (Or at least, you haven’t pulled out your really grungy sweatpants yet.) You feel like someone who can party with the best of them, make it early for all your classes and bring about world peace, starting on campus. You immediately join the first twenty student organizations that you see on academic walk.

But when it’s all said and done, and you’re peering into your crowded inbox, trying to divine a way to be at three meetings at once, you have to wonder; can you ever be too involved?  The actual answer is, of course, yes and no.

On the one hand, no one wants to be that kid—you know, the one that never leaves the lowest floor of library except for the occasional bite of food.  (Heck, not even I wanted to be that kid my freshman year, but I was in chemistry… so…. 😛 )

Getting involved is a great way to make friends, but it is also a chance to do something for yourself. These years you have in undergrad are where you can basically try out all the things you’ll be too scared to do when you’re eighty. Politics? Dance theater? Chess? Poetry Reading? Fifty self-defense moves you can execute with an orange? (They’re all on campus, and free! Maybe except the last one. That may have just been wishful thinking on my part.)

On the other hand, you probably don’t want to end up like this tumblr meme.

Ultimately, the choice of how involved to get is up to you. I leave you with just a few pointers.

1) Bite a little more off than you can chew. That way, you can decide what really appeals to you and what organizations you’d be best for.  I’ve never known the organizations I’ve inquired about to be anything less than understanding if I couldn’t hang around the whole semester.

2) Pencil in time to sleep. It’s highly unlikely that you’re one of those mutants than needs two hours of sleep a night.  Did you know that getting six hours of sleep a night has about the same effect on your ability to learn as being over the blood alcohol limit?

3) Try and pick organizations that don’t all meet on the same day, at the same time. As good as Duquesne’s CTS is, even I don’t think they know an app for being three places at once.



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