Overcommitting

Christian Alexander, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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College is a pretty cool thing, not gonna lie. It’s so cool, in fact, that the application process in recent years has gotten extremely competitive for those who want a slice of the college pie.

Every year, thousands of students spend their time wondering just what will stand out and get them into their dream school. But at this point, what exactly is enough? What’s the right way to do the right amount of things and stand out? Having the grades, a pretty neat life story, and a few extracurriculars here and there aren’t enough nowadays.

Many students choose to overcommit, whether it’s choosing to overdose on AP classes or bite off more clubs and leadership positions than one can effectively chew.

I’ve been doing all three ever since Junior year, and it only worked once. During Junior year, I pushed myself in a pretty unhealthy and unsustainable way. Getting two to four hours of sleep each night during second semester was the norm, coupled with really bad habits like watching all of the Marvel movies leading up to the release of Avengers: Infinity War. But what did my lack of sleep, bad habits, and academic tunnel-visioning cost me?

Everything.

I came out of Junior year with some of my strongest grades yet, and I was lined up for a pretty busy summer too. I really thought that I could do it all again: I could put my life on the line once again to secure a better future for myself. I could work through one more semester of hell and come out on top. Most importantly, I could deal with a heavy workload and use it as fuel to push me further. Much like my Junior year, everything ran smoothly.

Until it didn’t.

First semester of senior year was a snap back to reality. I went in with six APs, the fullest course schedule one can take. However, I was failing at least two during that two-week AP drop window, so I dipped from two of them, by far the smartest choice I’ve made yet. But you know what wasn’t the smartest choice I made? Not working on my bad habits, or finding a balance between work, sleep, and mental health. After I left school at four, I would be at Starbucks until around 10, then end up falling asleep at 11, and waking up anywhere between three and seven the next morning. I didn’t realize I was straight-up failing Calculus until it was December, and I never took the 67% on my Powerschool seriously until then.

In short, habits don’t magically change just because you choose to challenge yourself. If your health has already been placed on the line, you may not be able to juggle it again. Because if you don’t, then it will one day come to haunt you. If you can’t do things well now, don’t go around adding ten more things in the hopes that it will magically make things better. Pace yourself and be smart.

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