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Students should not glorify being busy

By Jesse Stilwell, November 28 2017 —

University students are under constant pressure to be as well-rounded as possible. They are encouraged to take difficult classes, get high grades, join multiple clubs and most work part-time jobs so they can pay for expenses along the way. It’s a game of who can do the most activities possible without a clear end in sight.

How many times have you asked someone how they are and they respond with “busy”? It’s as if having ridiculous amounts of responsibilities is a point of pride. There is competitive pressure on students to outperform each other because they are constantly told how difficult it will be to succeed unless their resumé is filled with experiences.

It shouldn’t be this way. We need to stop glorifying being busy and overextending ourselves for the sake of it. It’s doubtful anyone is passionate enough about multiple causes and disciplines that pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion is worthwhile. Students would be better off if they invested themselves entirely in only a few opportunities instead of desperately trying to do anything and everything possible.

It can also strain relationships when someone is too busy to slow down and enjoy spending time with others. If a student is a member of multiple clubs and in classes, it’s extremely difficult for them to meet friends and form meaningful connections with other members of the clubs. Even though clubs can pad a resumé and give students meaningful experiences to add to their degrees, the relationships built within them are also extremely important.

Being constantly exhausted and never having time to yourself isn’t sustainable. It feels glamourous to have to run from event to event and constantly have something to keep yourself occupied, but it isn’t healthy. People can be well-rounded because they value relationships and taking care of themselves, not just because they hold high-ranking positions in several organizations.

It’s okay to say “no” when someone asks you to commit to something and you’re already strapped for time. Even though it can seem like being busy is the best thing you can be, always put yourself and your health first.

Articles published in the Gauntlet‘s opinion section do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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