Too much involvement leads to stress


Wake up. Skip breakfast. Go to class. Go to work. Grab lunch. Check email. Check planner. Attend meetings. Recreational time. Study. Eat. Sleep. 

Sounds busy, right? This is the life of Kanishka Jayasooriya, senior electronic engineering technology, who follows this routine almost five days of the week. He is the president of International Relations Council and Sri Lankan Student Association. He is also a band member and involved with Greek Life.

Getting involved on campus has its benefits and drawbacks. Students have their own reasons for getting involved on campus, and for Jayasooriya, it’s making a difference and helping people feel welcomed. 

He also thinks being involved keeps students occupied and helps them do well academically. Having a well-rounded schedule teaches students to keep up with their homework and meet deadlines. 

“Keeping up with the schedule every day helps one to manage time for everything,” said Jayasooriya. 

According to Addie Borah, Assistant director for Student Engagement, numbers of students getting involved in organizations has increased tremendously over the last few years. 

With more than 200 student organizations, students can get involved with community services, promoting arts and sciences, raising awareness and going to conferences. By joining organizations on campus, students are able to meet people and get involved in projects.

Borah said involvement improves communication, public speaking, running meetings, conflict resolution, finance, event planning “and the list goes on and on.”

“There is a line to draw (between academics and campus involvement) and some students have difficulty drawing that line. And when they cross that line, they suffer, their relationship with the organization suffers. Therefore, having a good balance is important,” Borah said on being too involved. 

Getting too involved might result in stress for some students as well.

 Anna Chicoine, senior English major, felt overwhelmed last semester with working, being involved on campus and maintaining good academics. 

This semester, working with the English Club, Hobo Day Committee and the Barnyard Cadets, she thinks she is doing better at balancing everything. 

“You can’t do everything. It’s better to (get involved) in a few things and put your whole heart in that,” Chicoine said.

Helen Conzemius, junior advertising major and vice president of the University Program Council, has never felt overwhelmed by involvement. She thinks being involved helps in resume building, meeting professional staff, meeting other students and learning about different events and issues. 

“With all the different events we have, it keeps us on our toes,” said Conzemius.

There are ways for students to still be involved without getting overwhelmed, Borah said, 

“Really do your homework. Look at different organizations, go to meetings, talk to members, make your decisions. Academics comes first and foremost, therefore be thoughtful of where you want to invest your hours,” Borah said.

Working closely with a few student organizations, Borah has also seen students coming in with questions on how to manage things when they feel overwhelmed. She emphasized staff members and the program advisers would help students who have questions about getting involved.