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Inquiring Minds: Over or under: the commitment problem

There’s a chronic disease that has long been infecting this campus: overcommitment. Too many students suffer from it. Yet even more, it seems, suffer from just the opposite.

Besides the return of geese, midterms and spring break tans, a sure sign of the middle of spring semester is every club’s drop in attendance.

This university encourages its first year students to experiment and try everything at least once. So every club knows to expect the uncommitted members who float in and out as they please.

Floating is OK for first-years, but by the time students are junior or senior they should have found a club or two to put all of their attention and energy toward. No one benefits from members who never attend meetings or help plan events.

Bouncing from club to club and interest to interest just to fill in that blank space on a resumé will not enrich or enhance life, or your resumé for that matter.

Employers want to see not only diversity but an ability for the applicant to be committed to one task and organization for longer than two weeks.

The best way to facilitate learning is to experience the real world through the various clubs and organizations that are on campus. However, experience becomes more salient when participants find one club or organization and stick with it for an extended period of time.

SGA, SPEAK and even The Waltonian provide students with valuable opportunities to apply material learned in the classroom to daily life and interactions with people outside their clique or peer group.

Resist the urge to join every club, write for every student publication and play every sport. In other words: don’t call yourslf a member of the Italian club if all you ever do is show up once a month for the food.

The results of such activity are burned out students and discouraged student leaders who come to meetings only to find a few willing souls to carry out the work of 20.

Excellence in academics should be priority, and extracurricular activities should enrich, not hinder the academic progress of students. Don’t be discouraged at the lack of extracurriculars you are able to cite on your resumé.

It is the quality of participation, not the quantity, that makes for great reccomendations, enhances the development of life skills and enables us to become good stewards of our time, resources and energies.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written biweekly by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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