Viewpoint: Don’t overcommit; enjoy college

Reubin Turner

Reubin Turner
Assistant City Editor

Late Night felt a tad bit different this year when I walked to help work one of the booths. As a senior, I think back to my first semester as a transfer student, and how I was mesmerized by over 200 organizations that used the event as a springboard to recruit new members.

Three semesters later, “Danger” and “Caution” were the only signs I could see above the signs of groups that read “Fun” and “Good times.” Although many freshmen and newcomers to the university long to find a niche and a sense of community, one should be warned that jumping into too many commitments during the first semester at a new school could have dire consequences.

Coming into a completely new environment can be challenge for anyone. Even if you were the star football player, valedictorian of your class, president of the chess club and student body, overcommitting in college can pose new challenges. Some students come to the university with high GPAs and a minimal number of hours spent studying during high school. As a result, they fall into a false sense of security about time that should be spent studying.

Students fail to realize time management in college is a different beast that should be treated accordingly.

According to a study published by the Journal of Advanced Academics of students who excelled in high school but were on academic probation in college, many attributed the minimal amount of work they put into studying as the key cause of their academic trouble. In addition, student also cited poor time management as a reason for underperformance in the classroom.

Speaking from personal experience, over-engaging in extracurricular activities can certainly contribute to poor time management.

This is, of course, not to say that students should not become involved in campus life. Being an active member of various groups on campus and other communities like church can offer several immeasurable benefits to those who choose to pursue them.

For example, The Baylor Lariat, a student-run publication, offers students the chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. It gives them the firsthand experience that many employers look for after graduation, all while providing them the opportunity to get published and advocate for causes that many in our generation are passionate about. The advantages of joining such an organization cannot be disputed. It’s simply a matter of balance.

One of the many tidbits of advice my mom began to tell me and my brother as we got older and explored areas we were interested in was to not be the jack of all trades, and the master of none. We all have interests, and things we love to do. I’ve found, however, the best thing you can do is to find where what you love to do and what you’re good at intersect. It is in this area you can be the most effective.

In the end, graduate schools and employers won’t care how many club rolls you’re listed on — they’ll only care how effective you were.

Reubin Turner is a senior economics major from Edmond, Okla. He is the assistant city editor for the Lariat.