Involvement adds value to the college experience
Seton Hall offers over 17,000 internship opportunities, 25 intramurals and club sports, 14 Division I varsity athletics, 130 student organizations and 22 Greek societies, according to the SHU website. Not to mention, students take up to 18 credits and then have a job to worry about.
Getting involved in college is half the fun and there’s plenty to do at SHU. Students want to meet as many people as possible while also building up their resume. Of course, this can all become a little overwhelming.
I wonder whether it’s better to be as involved as I can be or if I should choose one activity to focus on. Am I stretching myself too thin by having two internships, a job, five classes and also being involved in two clubs? Should I put 100 percent of my effort into my academics or my internship?
Dr. John Paitakes, senior faculty associate in the criminal justice department, has compiled a list of the things a good student should do. He said that students should be involved in more than one activity, but their primary purpose should be their education.
“You should know your own level of competency and comfort without getting too stressed out or overwhelmed,” Dr. Paitakes said. “We are all different and some can handle more responsibilities than others.”
In order to manage your time better, Dr. Paitakes said to focus on learning and education, then prioritize your activities and then plan ahead and organize.
“Reflect about your primary and secondary goals and decide which are most important and significant for you,” he added.
Brittany White (no relation), a freshman studies mentor, agreed that students should be well-rounded and get involved in extracurricular activities.
“While it may look good on a resume, being in too many clubs can come at a cost, the biggest being the risk of losing focus on academics,” White said. “If a student can maintain a good GPA and be a committed, active member of three different clubs, then that’s great.”
However, White recognizes that it is up to the individual to decide what they are most comfortable with.
“At the end of the day, students need to hold themselves accountable and be able to say that they were true members of an organization, not just a name on a list,” she added.
White said that students who want to be very involved need to have excellent time-management skills, while also being mindful of their mental and physical health. In order to prioritize, White said to use a planner, make a checklist and assess how much free time you have in the week.
“Above all, Seton Hall students are here to earn a degree,” White said. “They cannot sabotage their academic lives with an excessive amount of extracurricular activities.”
Personally, I always get too involved. I don’t want to look back on my time in college and say all I did was spend my parent’s $50,000 a year to go to class. Valuing hard work and ambition leads me to have two internships, one job, five classes, two clubs, one hour of free time a day and a priceless amount of experience that will make my education and money worth it.
Rebecca White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org