To those who join every single student group, I see you.
To those who try to meet every single person in their class, I see you.
To those who are not satisfied until “free time” is no longer possible, I see you.
To those who do it all, I’m one of you.
One of the hardest challenges I’ve had to face as a Hopkins student is the huge amount of opportunities available, in terms of student groups, research, internships, classes, etc. The list is huge. As soon as I got to Hopkins, I had a list of the things I wanted to do and I did. I joined as many theatre groups as I could, became a Senator and tour guide, got a job at the Hopkins Hospital, and started my Chemistry major. I’m also looking into volunteering at a hospital and just recently starting the pledging process for Beta Theta Pi.
What I learned the most from my first semester of college is that the key to a successful college experience is not doing it all, it’s doing whatever you love the most and doing that right. There are a million things out there, things you love, things you’ve never heard of, things that you dislike but would look good on a resume, etc. By my standards, I take advantage of those opportunities as much as I humanly can.
There’s four parameters I’ve established for myself to determine what I do and how I do it:
It’s very easy to get wrapped up on what area that you love, like research, theatre, classes, etc. Yet limiting yourself to only one field of activities will also limit your perspective as a student. One of the best parts about my college experience is that it has allowed me to broaden my horizons through the very diverse people I’ve met, since most of my activities don’t correlate at all.
Write everything in your calendar. Write your workouts, study times, classes, meetings, lunches, write all of it. The only way to stay responsible on every single activity is to have them all in the same place and know which time to dedicate to each one. It’s also useful to make sure none of them conflict with each other. If they do, I’ve learned that reaching out and asking for help can do wonders.
3. Know your limit.
This is the most important one. The toughest challenge I’ve had to face is admitting that I can’t take on anything else, that I’m simply too busy. There’s a point where you simply can’t keep going and still achieve of your goals. Do you have time to eat? Do you have time to sleep? Do you have time to study efficiently? When any of those answers turn into a “no”, it’s time to do less.
Stay clear on what your priorities are. Where do you have the most responsibilities? Where are you going to thrive the most? What makes you the most happy? And finally, which one do you love the most? It’s important, for your success and mental health, to always do the things you love the most. Of course, keeping in mind that as students, our academics should be the top priority.
At least, that’s how I do it. The opportunities I’ve been granted so far have been incredible, and I can’t wait to see what Hopkins has in store for me.