Get Un-Involved

By TYLER DALE

Opinions Editor

If I had a nickel for every time I opened the Navigator and saw a headline titled “Get Involved,” well, I would have a whole lot of nickels. There’s something about Piedmont and other similar small liberal arts colleges, that really romanticizes over commitment and drowning oneself in responsibilities. 

Well I’m here to tell you that getting too involved is a terrible idea and very well may kill you. Sure, getting involved on campus is great, but most people really just need to chill out.

 First of all, we need to talk about the main reason everyone is here: their major. It’s what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives, it’s only natural it be their main focus. And unfortunately, interesting activities in departments other than your major may not mesh well with the rest of your schedule. 

Being a theatre major, I already to belong to a department that is, essentially, a schedule monopoly. The hours spent in the shop and in rehearsal vastly outnumber the hours I spend in class. And that’s only considering mainstage productions; I haven’t even mentioned student projects. 

It’s very hard for me to manage extracurricular activities outside the theatre department. When schedules overlap, I obviously choose my major. This is natural; if you love something, it makes absolute sense that it would consume all your time. This is how I know I’m in the right major. If other things are getting in the way with that, there comes a time when you have to trim the fat.

The best way to trim the fat is to just say no. It’s okay to say no. If someone asks you to be a part of a club or organization, you’re allowed to turn them down. It’s your education after all. 

If you’re involved in something you enjoy that is hindering something you enjoy more, sometimes you just have to eliminate the former. It’s like my theatre director in high school used to say when cutting his favorite scenes out of plays to make them less than 50 minutes long, “Sometimes, you have to kill your children.” It’s better to be extraordinarily good at one thing than to be halfway decent at several things, if that one thing is something you really enjoy.

So overworked and overstressed Piedmont students out there: don’t be afraid to kill your children. It will be worth it in the end.

Getting involved will turn you college education into a fulfilling part of your life, while getting over-involved will turn it into a glorious mess of stress, anxiety and mediocre work. 

So yes, get involved, but remember what your priorities are, and don’t be afraid to say no. Unless it’s to the theatre department. The answer is always yes to them. They have saws.