I Seem To Have Time For Only One Extracurricular Activity At A Time (And That’s OK, I Think)

I don’t know how to be involved in more than one club or group at a time. I think.

This has been on my mind a lot lately due to a few different conversations with friends, as well as one at a recent group therapy meeting. We all know at least a few people who are involved in 67 different clubs, right? And have significant leadership roles in, like, at least a third of them?

It’s been interesting to see how my own involvement has shifted over time. Some of the groups I participated in my freshman year of college are… groups I haven’t thought of in months, if I’m being honest. I don’t attend meetings of Spectrum UI at all anymore, for instance. Lost interest.

Lately, all I seem to have time for is the Iowa Writers’ House. (I just checked my “writing” tag and I’m quite surprised I haven’t written a post about all the reasons I love it yet, so I’ll have to get on that ASAP!)

I mean, there is a cooking club my roommate and I belong to, but it requires minimal effort: All I have to do is show up, help other people cook or bake, and pitch in on the clean-up effort at the end. If that seems like a lot, just remember that I’m only a member, not a leader, so I don’t have to organize anything. (Plus, I don’t even attend all of the meetings!)

I have a leadership position in one of the subgroups of the IWH – I co-lead the Rainbow Room, AKA the LGBTQ+ writers’ group – and I love it. But GAH IT’S SO INVOLVED. And compared to some of the other people who also volunteer with the IWH, I do very little. But it still feels like a lot.

Anyway, the idea I suppose I’m building toward in this post is one that I wrote about in the post Dear (IRL) Friends: Sorry For Being So Absent Lately. I’ve been so overwhelmed as of late and although things are slowly getting better now, it still stresses me out to think that this might be frustrating to my friends. That they might like me less because of my lack of involvement.

And so, the other day, I got to wondering why it is that the Iowa Writers’ House established itself as MY THING that I manage to make time for even when I’m in over my head in pretty much every other area of my life. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Her Campus or cooking club. I LOVE THEM BOTH.

To tell the truth, I think it’s because the IWH has some sort of meeting for at least one if not more of its subgroups each week. There’s always SOMETHING to do, which means I get out of my room and spend time with other people, which usually works to cheer me up.

I think it helps, too, that I know a lot of people there. I’ll admit that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: If I attended more meetings for Her Campus or cooking club, I’d know more of the people there! But that can seem daunting, and sometimes I’m just not up to the effort.

I’m not actually 100% sure where I’m going with this post now. I mean, it would have been fine if I didn’t have any conclusive ideas about what draws me to the one extracurricular activity that I seem to be capable of sticking with most of the time.

Mostly I was just interested in the fact that you never know what you’ll end up spending most of your time on. I signed up for a bunch of activities at the beginning of freshman year, and a few this year, and over time I have dropped some as I discovered that I either just wasn’t as interested as I had originally thought or didn’t have enough time.

What about you, readers? Can anyone relate?

P.S. If you are one of those people who is involved in 67 different things and holds a leadership position in, like, at least a third of them, I applaud you. I’m slightly worried for you, but I applaud you nevertheless. I’m going to live vicariously through all you people who are busy adding activities and skills and leadership roles to your resumes left and right, because god knows I’m certainly not doing that right now. Or ever, really.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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3 Responses to I Seem To Have Time For Only One Extracurricular Activity At A Time (And That’s OK, I Think)

  1. I totally understand only having time for a few things at once. I seem to go between managing my time well and not, the balance is hard to find. It’s awesome though that you seem to be finding a balance! 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Exactly! Like, I’m managing my time during spring break remarkably well and just hoping it doesn’t all fall apart when I return to school in less than a week. :/
      Thanks! 🙂

  2. Shanti says:

    I do relate in some ways! I’m quite overcommitted, and I love some of the things I’m doing (a literary journal! Newspaper! teaching beginning violin students!) but a couple of things I just don’t care about, because I’m not the person I thought I was when I signed up. You definitely want to save your energy so that you can do your best in everything, and this is advice for me too. Thanks for the reflection!

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