By, SAVANNAH KLUESNER
Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all quit something or another in our lives; we’ve all had that bittersweet moment in which we realize that we would be much better off without that extra commitment every Sunday or that fourteenth club weighing us down. In an increasingly overstimulating world, and especially at an institution where students pride themselves on being “Drake Busy,” we often find quitting difficult to do. However, sometimes there is no way around it; we have to stop participating in one thing or another. When is quitting the right thing to do, and how can you make your peace with it?
America as we know it is commitment driven, even if that commitment could potentially be hazardous to our health; if you aren’t constantly stressing out about how to fit everything into your schedule, there must be something wrong with you. While sticking to your word is certainly important, and making friends and joining communities is essential to our social health, we need to know where to draw the line. The reality of life is that it is impossible to do everything that we want to do. The world is full of choices, and refusing to make them can lead to serious consequences. Without the proper time for rest and relaxation, people can become more susceptible to illness, both physical and mental. This, compounded with recurrent stress, can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions in the long run. That being said, cutting down your commitments is extremely difficult to do, and choosing which one to eliminate is even harder.
How do you know when it’s time to cut ties with a certain club, activity, or sport? The most essential thing to consider when quitting is how one’s quality of life is affected by that activity. For example, one of the most difficult decisions I ever made was to quit Quiz Bowl in high school. I had participated up until the second half of my senior year and was attached to the group because of a sense of commitment and the stigma that I associated with being in a highly academic group. While these were both powerful motivators, being a part of the team lowered my overall quality of life: I struggled to complete my work because of the amount of time I was putting into Quiz Bowl and was constantly stressed. Furthermore, I was being rejected by other team members and left each practice feeling inadequate and unlikeable. Although it was difficult, I eventually made the decision to leave the team; immediately, I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I wasted three and a half years of my life in a situation in which I felt uncomfortable and unwanted, an experience that is not uncommon among high school and college students everywhere who feel as though their lives are dominated by the commitments they have made. Although keeping one’s word is important, one’s mental health and overall happiness are even more so. The question we must ask ourselves when considering cutting down on involvement is this: is this commitment truly making me feel happy and fulfilled? If the answer is anything other than yes, perhaps it is time to readjust our priorities.
GRAPHICS BY HANNAH COHEN