Try your hand at juggling multiple extracurriculars

By Rory Dulock | Staff Writer

Growing up, I was involved in a lot of extracurriculars. From participating in theater productions and playing piano to being a designated hitter on the softball team, my life was busy and filled with after-school activities.

I absolutely loved participating in those extracurriculars throughout my childhood and high school years because some of my best memories and friends have come from my involvement in them. As I got ready to start my journey at Baylor, I knew I wanted to continue participating in a variety of experiences.

However, upon coming to Baylor, I was told that it was ill-advised to try to be involved in so many things. I was given many reasons as to why I shouldn’t pursue extracurriculars in college. “Your grades will suffer.” “You don’t want to be overwhelmed.” “It’s not worth putting time into extracurriculars that don’t apply to your studies.”

Since I have been at Baylor, I have proven these statements are untrue for me. I can honestly say my grades have not suffered because of participating in extracurriculars. This is due to my high school experience of juggling both schoolwork and a lot of extracurriculars while still maintaining a high GPA.

In high school, it was normal for me to be on campus for around 12 hours a day. There was cross country practice at 6 a.m., then morning volleyball practice, then classes until 4 p.m. and then some sort of UIL practice (debate, journalism, tennis, one-act play, etc.) until the late afternoon or evening.

How on earth did I manage schoolwork and all of those extracurriculars? Learning time management, establishing priorities and working hard.

Time management was clearly something I had to learn if I was to get all of my schoolwork in on time, and prioritizing what needed to get done first and doing it to the best of my ability led me to be academically successful. Learning these skills allowed me to participate in as many things as I did and to continue to do so at Baylor.

I have known that I want to have a career in journalism since high school. While I was in high school, I participated in UIL journalism, and now that I am at Baylor, I write for The Baylor Lariat. It makes sense why I did UIL journalism and why I am currently writing for The Baylor Lariat, because there is an obvious connection to my career goal. Both of those experiences have contributed to my grasp of journalism, and I am grateful to have been a part of them. However, other extracurriculars that are not relevant to my studies have also positively impacted my life.

I’m not going to lie: There have been a lot of times when I have felt stressed due to the amount of things I have taken on. But believe it or not, I think it’s a good thing to be overwhelmed at times. No one’s career or life is going to be easy-breezy. It’s important to learn how to deal with stress in college, rather than struggling with it once you’re out in the world. Participating in extracurriculars allows you to practice how to handle stress. Despite what others may think, I don’t let these feelings get the best of me.

As previously mentioned, I have also created many memories and friends through the variety of extracurriculars that I have done. In fact, I gained one of my best friends through being on the golf team during high school. Obviously, golf doesn’t have much relevance to journalism, but I learned so much by participating in it along with the other sports I did throughout high school. Making new friends and meeting new people has always been an important aspect of participating in extracurriculars, so joining organizations like Club Tennis at Baylor — even though I’m terrible at tennis — has been impactful for me.

Furthermore, extracurriculars that are not relevant to your studies allow you to become more well-rounded. By participating in polar-opposite activities, you are allowing yourself to grow as a person. For instance, in high school, I participated in a variety of sports and in theater — two very different extracurriculars. Doing so allowed me to gain appreciation and perspective for both activities and surrounded me with different groups of people. I plan on continuing to participate in polar opposite activities while at Baylor, because I enjoy being around different groups of people. It is totally worth putting time into extracurriculars that don’t apply to your studies.

While looking back on all my involvements, I can confidently say that I have no regrets participating in my weird mix of activities. I hope my fellow Bears can also say they have no regrets — not because they are limiting themselves but because they are experiencing as many things as possible.

Even if you didn’t participate in extracurriculars during high school, Baylor is now your opportunity to get involved with a variety of organizations and clubs.