Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quality Over Quantity

One of the most stressful and exciting times in the semester for me is class registration. Like many students, after midterms I start to get restless with my schedule. The routine of class, work, internships, and social activities begins to drag on, and I am ready for a change of pace. This semester more than ever, I have been giving a lot of thought to my work, education, and social life balance. By balance, I’m really referring to lack of balance. This semester I have taken on too many responsibilities—15 credit hours, 2 jobs, 1 internship, organizations, and when I have time, rushed social activities with my friends. As a result, I have let my physical health fall to the side, ‘me’ time has vanished, and I have a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Despite acknowledging my need for balance adjustment, as I look at the possibilities for next semester, I am reluctant to change my plate of responsibilities. It’s like the feeling of decreasing your speed when you’re driving on the interstate. When you’ve been speeding along for the past hour at 80 mph, decreasing to 70mph because you see a cop makes you feel like you’re crawling.

It’s easy to diagnosis my lack of balance as an over commitment issue; however, I think the problem is my focus on quantity of work over quality of work. I’m definitely not alone in this mentality either. Within my generation, and society, there is an extremely strong emphasis on accumulation. The amount of experiences and opportunities acquired can be perceived as more important than the quality of the experience or opportunity.

I was discussing this idea with Katie, a professional staff member here at the Center. She related this mentality to a common job search strategy she observes with students. Often students apply for job after job after job, churning out their resume and cover letters like an assembly line. They fail to focus on the quality of the application, or resume they are submitting—however, taking the time to tailor these materials for employers is what contributes to a successful candidate. The same could be said for positions on campus—it stands out more having a leadership role than being a ‘member’ of several organizations. I think that making this mental shift, focusing more on quality over quantity, will allow me to prioritize next semester more efficiently.

Posted by Anne

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