When I started college I was overwhelmed by the amount of opportunity: new clubs, new activities, new organizations. If you’re like me, you had a difficult time choosing what to sign up for and now, with a year or two under your belt, you have a mile-long list of weekly meetings and other extra-curricular obligations. With college classes only getting more difficult, what is the over-involved college student to do?
The key is in congruency! Congruency is a geometry term used to describe two figures that have the same size and shape. Yet, it is also an idea that can be applied to your college life. Imagining that you are one figure and your schedule is another, you would want the two to have the same size shape and fit together, like a puzzle. So, if you are being congruent, you are participating in activities and events that match who you are and what you are passionate about. In other words, congruent activities are those that are your “perfect jeans”; they fit just right and make you feel good.
So, let’s bring up your resume. Think about the list of what activities or groups you participate in, and consider these questions:
Why are you doing what you do? Did you join a leadership program to fill your resume? Did you start volunteering because you thought that it would look good? Participating in purely “checklist” or “resume-building” organizations can lead to over-exertion and boredom, keeping you from truly going after what you enjoy doing.
Where do you want to go? Are your activities helping to accomplish this? Considering this question can help you figure out not only who you are, but who you want to be in the future. If you’re unsure, narrowing down your activities to those that make you happy and stimulated can give you a hint as to what exactly it is that you’re passionate about and want to continue doing in the future.
After reflecting on what you’re doing, are you happy? Do you enjoy the activities that you are participating in? Are you passionate? What can you do to fill your schedule with activities that set fire to your life and make every meeting one that you actually want to attend?
The first time I was asked these questions about my schedule, I had a difficult time answering. I love to be busy, and thus have a habit of signing up for activities to fill my time. Yet, the “why, where and what now” questions really made me step back and realize that I did not have a connection with most of what I was doing, leading to less energy in reserve for what I really enjoyed spending my time on. So, do me a favor and honestly consider the questions. Your time, passion, and energy will thank you!