Is It Worth It?

The ballad of an overworked college student.


Is it worth it? This thought has crossed my mind, more than just a few times throughout my last 4 years of college.

Most recently, I found myself in a heap on the floor, surrounded by papers, to-do lists and a crushing amount of worry and anxiety. I felt overworked – lack of sleep clouding my judgment; meticulously squeezing appointments, meetings and more into every hour of the day.

Is it worth it? I thought, as I looked at all of my appointments, meetings, leadership opportunities, internships and coursework with disdain.

I know I’m not the only one who has been faced with the decision to pile on the extra-curriculars, just for the sake of doing so; to say: “Hey world, look at me! I’m successful!”

But is that really success?

Unwritten rules claim the number of positions we put on our resume are equivalent to achieving success.

At what cost?

Do you ever find yourself beginning to doubt everything you have worked for? What good does it do to push yourself so hard that you begin to drag your feet? To regret?

As I struggled to stay positive, surrounded by papers, to-do lists and a crushing amount of worry, I came to realize as I pushed through the never-ending work, that success isn’t measured by the amount of extracurriculars you can slap on a resume, but through the experiences you gain from juggling too much; from failing, learning and trying again.

What if Steve Jobs had given up the minute he was booted from Apple? Henry Ford? Albert Einstein? Even Oprah Winfrey experienced failure early on in her career. Where would we be now without their failures?

As overworked college students we get trapped in this “Bluff bubble,” rendering us unable to gain a healthy dose of perspective. We add, add, and continue to add on more things to our lives in the hopes of one day, reaching a level of success that allows us to sit back, relax and finally smell the roses.

As I prepare to walk across the graduation stage in less than a month, I’ve given myself a challenge: to charge through this time of busy uncertainty with a smile on my face, understanding that my never-ending to-do list doesn’t own my happiness – it can’t.

The countless club meetings and internships may leave me with very little time on my hands to live the way I want to, but the experiences I’ve gained through this busy time in my life have given me clarity, purpose, and above all, the confidence that I can juggle the impossible and come out on the other end, just fine.

Is it all worth it? In my mind, absolutely.


4 replies »

  1. This piece is so relatable. I was just thinking about the same topics you discuss in your article this morning as I was trying to get all of my work done. You did a great job articulating your thought process!


  2. I’ve had these same thoughts, and it’s nice to hear some affirmation from a source that isn’t a parent or professor. I can’t agree with you more!


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