Ever since high school I have been involved in a lot. I just liked (and still like) to keep myself busy. Recently, I have learned that being involved in too many things can easily distract me from working on my craft. Don’t get me wrong, being a multitasker is great…. to an extent; but I can count many times in my life where I’ve felt like I was spread too thin. I can’t remember which year of high school it was, but I was a part of different clubs, involved in different ministries at my church, and to top it off I was going out with my friends about every weekend. I must say, I balanced it pretty well, but I was TIYAD. I was sleeping late and waking up earlier than I usually would to complete assignments I may not have completed the night before, and though my grades were still looking good, they definitely could have looked better.
My experiences with juggling multiple activities in high school set me up for my college experiences, or so I thought. I figured I could still handle a similar workload to what I had handled before, but it was rough. To be honest, it still gets rough sometimes. It speaks to how stubborn I can be I guess, and it took me so long not to bite off more than I can chew.
I am currently in my senior year at Oakwood University and have been singing with The Aeolians of Oakwood University since my freshman year. Being in the Aeolians is a serious commitment to say the least. This choir is no play play either, since they won the Choir of the World games a few years before I auditioned. So being in this choir has been a wonderful experience, but again, it is lot of hard work and the expectations are high. Rehearsals three times a week, so much music to learn, and multiple performances a month (well not since Covid, thank God). In addition to being a part of this choir, I was also involved in different clubs and activities around campus before school closed. And on top of that I always made time to hang out with my friends quite a bit.
Honestly, I think I did a good job of balancing everything in retrospect, even though sometimes I would feel overwhelmed with each added responsibility. In a way, being so busy and being in the choir helped me to strengthen my time management skills and prioritize things that need to be done. It also taught me how to say no. That is something I struggled with, and probably the main reason for me being so busy 99.99% of the time. But I have gotten better at it. This continuous cycle of me being so busy (to the point where I didn’t have time for myself) lasted from my freshman year up until halfway through my junior year. Each year I seem more able to control it.
No matter how good you are, or think you are at multitasking and juggling various responsibilities, it will take a toll on something in your life. Just don’t let it be the wrong thing. I’m still a great student and did well in my classes, but I could have done way better if I stuck to a few activities rather than the million things I did take on. With this lesson learned I haven’t been as overwhelmed in my senior year. Yes, the pandemic and the continued injustices committed against other black people like myself did add stress. But the extra, unnecessary stress that normally comes with overworking myself is something I don’t have this time around.
In addition to managing my time better, juggling my responsibilities and connecting to my passion of being a healthcare provider has lessened the blow of everything going on around me. Being a healthcare provider (although I’m still not sure what kind yet) is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and though some classes are tough and may discourage me, it doesn’t stop my passion. Whatever yours is, find it, don’t let it go, and don’t let your many responsibilities get in the way. Tasks will always pile up, but your passion will remain. It will make all the noise a little quieter, all of the obstacles a little smaller, and will turn those overwhelming moments into lessons you’ll need to accomplish your goals.
Roddley Point-Du-Jour is a senior biology major at Oakwood University. You can connect with him on Instagram
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