Living the Life of an Overly Involved College Kid

May 10th, 2012 by Forrest Finkler

Choosing a college is an exciting and scary experience. Who will your roommate(s) be? What do you want to major in? What clubs do you want to join? Should you play a sport? Can you work? Is it possible to do everything? The answer to the last question, my readers, is yes. How do I know? Because I’ve done it all…well, almost.

Allow me to elaborate. Besides being a student, which we can say is a full-time job, I am also a Resident Advisor, Student-Athlete (Varsity Swimmer), Co-Head Lifeguard, Secretary of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Volunteer Assistant High School Swim Coach, Teaching Assistant, Intern at a local gym, and the occasional appearance at sports games as our Mascot “Stormin Norman.” Needless to say, I wear many hats. Many have asked me how I’ve been able to do it all without burning out, or quitting something along the way.

But that’s the thing, quitting was never an option. These were activities I loved doing. Sure, there were the occasional sleepless nights, and the “Why am I doing all of this?” Yet, at the end of the day, I loved doing everything. This was the college experience I wanted to have.

So, how can you do it all? Learn to balance and prioritize. I would do my homework between classes, or after practice. I scheduled work and internship hours around my classes, coaching, and practice. When I was in the room, and my door was open, my residents came first. I always made sure to put them first. Duty nights were scheduled around swim meets and practice, if needed. SAAC meetings and events were planned to fit the schedules of the student-athletes, and committees were made to help lighten the load for planning and putting on events.

The outcome of all of this? Dean’s list student, 7-time team record holder, All-New England swimmer, ECAC Top 16 finalist, and a proud RA of an amazing floor. I can’t promise that all of this will happen for you, but I can promise that if you want to do everything, and you are dedicated to everything you do, then you shouldn’t have a problem having the college experience you desire. College is what you make it. Do what you love, and it won’t feel like a burden.