Ambitious—How many times have people used this word to describe you? And yes, while ambition is a a large component of success, it’s a double edged sword. Learning what to put on your plate at any given time in college can be just as difficult and calculating as the classes you’re taking. College, like life itself, is a balancing act.
Being involved on campus (and in the community) is a great way to have a fulfilling college experience, but when you become so busy that just opening the calendar app on your phone gives you anxiety, it may be time to reevaluate.
I went through a situation this past semester where I worked for a program on campus, and it was a position and program I loved! But the amount of time it required could be draining, and I often asked myself if the job was worth everything I put into it. When push came to shove, I found that my course load with everything else piled on top was just too much to handle. And I was faced with the decision that makes all of us gals with workaholic tendencies squirm: Do I need to give something up?
I struggled for weeks to find a solution before I could finally make a decision. So without further ado, here are the questions to ask yourself when you’re considering the forbidden Q-word:
1. Could you imagine your life without it?
If the answer is no, the next best question to ask yourself is why that is. If the answer has to do with staying in your comfort zone, reevaluate.
2. Do you enjoy the job, or do you enjoy placing it on a resume?
It is so important to spend your time meaningfully, especially because this is the time in your life where you’re supposed to be exploring the things you love. If listing that internship on your next job application is the most fulfilling part of it, ask yourself if the position could better serve someone who really wants it.
3. Is it a financially responsible idea?
This question is very important. Yes, waiting tables at the diner down the street from campus may not be your favorite Friday night activity, but if it’s the main reason you’re able to make rent every month, be realistic.
4. What is holding you back?
Understanding what may be holding you back from quitting can make the biggest difference in how you view “quitting” itself. One of the main factors that held me back before resigning from my position was the feeling of failure. In my mind, quitting equaled giving up, which I was not about to do. You have to remember: Sometimes it’s not quitting. It’s moving forward.
So quitting that extra internship, that on-campus leadership position, or that waitress position that got you some cash on the side does not make you a quitter or make you weak. It just means you had the strength to walk away. Remember, the less you have on your plate quantitatively just means you’ll be able to give yourself more fully to things that are truly important to you.
Image via Arianna Marie Photo