Last night I had plans to go see a movie on campus with my buddy Bob (not his real name, in order to provide anonymity), about 30 min before I was supposed to meet Bob he called me to say he wasn’t going to be able to make it since he had too much work to do. Now this isn’t an infrequent occurrence, I’ve canceled plans before also because I didn’t get as far as I needed to in a paper or I just needed to spend more time studying. When he called he sounded very worried about how much work he had so I asked if he was alright, and he wasn’t. He told me how he had signed up for too many classes and couldn’t handle all the work he had to do. Bob isn’t just taking a full class load, he’s also the leader in a major club on campus, plus he’s writing a paper for which he was given funding for and he is also working with me in an internship/ seminar class. The only thing he can do at this point is with draw from one of his classes, which doesn’t look good on his transcript but it would be worse if he got a failing grade or a low grade which could tank his GPA.
Something that I’ve made sure that I didn’t do in college is overextend my self. I made that mistake once in high school; where on top of my regular course load which included AP and honors courses I was also president and regional office holder of the debate club, taking SAT prep courses, and putting in volunteer hours. My school work suffered, my SAT scores weren’t where they could have been, and I ended up not being able to achieve all the goals I had set out for the debate club.
I’ve found that it’s very easy to make this mistake especially in college be it at Temple or anywhere else. What I’ve done to prevent this is simple, take on extra tasks slowly. Sophomore year when I decided to apply for a job I only worked a couple of hours a week until I made sure that I could keep my grades up along with work. This semester when I realized that I was going to get hit with a group of large papers along with the GRE during the same 2 week period I made a point to take time off of work this way I wouldn’t be stuck doing 3 things poorly.