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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer


Overscheduled? Maybe you should drop something.

If I had to describe Notre Dame students in one word, I think it’s safe to say “busy” would suffice. Sometimes it seems as though every student is juggling more than any human should actually be forced to endure, but they are doing it voluntarily. I would be lying if I said I am not guilty of this. It has basically become a hobby of mine to take on more than I should. At the end of each break, I would sit there with a slight pit in my stomach, knowing there was a semester of endless work on its way.

However, I have begun to learn being busy does not need to be something to fear. 

This semester I am trading the Golden Dome for the Capitol Rotunda. As a member of Notre Dame’s Washington Program I’m doing an internship, classes, homework and exploring our nation's capital. My entire semester has to be a balancing act. I have to make sure I prioritize both my internship and my schoolwork. I must ensure I relax to avoid burnout, while also making sure I get out to see all of the monuments and historical sites that the city has to offer. I would like to save the money that I make at my internship, but I would also like to go out and try the food around the city. 

Honestly, this program has given me the most realistic view of what life will be like once I leave Notre Dame’s bubble. I will not always be able to quickly run to South Dining Hall to get an easy meal between classes and homework. I will not always be able to get to my destination in a three minute walk. And I may have to learn to let things go. 

Being busy has always been bittersweet. Nothing good comes from sitting idle. However, it is very easy to burn out when balancing multiple clubs, jobs and classes. Obviously, one way to handle this is by getting a high tech planner, getting basically no sleep and skipping meals. Or students like me can turn to a healthier lifestyle. Yes, keep the overpriced planner. However, maybe cut back on some things that are not necessary. If it is bringing you more anguish than joy, it has to go.

For those students who are overscheduled, learn to delegate to others so you will be able to go out and enjoy what the community around you has to offer. It may be worth it to ask someone else to do a small task so you can go see a site.

Nobody is saying that you need to drop all of your responsibilities. These sorts of positions and activities help you grow in your personal and professional life. But you must remember to actually allow yourself to have a life and see the world outside of the library walls. 

You will most likely not be benefiting yourself by overloading your schedule until you are falling asleep in class. Take a moment to reflect and see what you can really handle throughout the rest of the semester. Go out and find a style of “busy” that works for you. 

You can contact Emma at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.