Stay involved, but don’t put your foot in too many doors

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On Friday, three weeks of the new school year will have elapsed. In that time, some of the best opportunities to get involved on campus either have passed or will occur in the next week or two.

Freshmen looking to get their foot in the door — and consequently receive a veritable smorgasbord of e-mails — have had the chance to sign up for student organizations at O-Fest.

Sophomores and juniors are in the process of rushing a fraternity or sorority. Seniors are readying their resumes for the Career Fair, a fantastic networking arena to connect with professionals from more than 120 companies.

That said, I offer a word of fair warning as a senior with a lot of working experience but without a clue what I’ll be doing when I graduate in eight months.

While it’s important to do a few extracurricular activities, don’t start double or triple-dipping with too many full-time jobs outside of class. Even George Costanza in “Seinfeld” couldn’t pull it off.

If you bite off more than you can chew, you might miss out on maximizing your Marquette experience. So without further adieu, I give you my working career at Marquette.

For my first college job, I worked as a student alumni caller at the Phonathon two nights a week for a total of eight hours. I started as a freshman and was promoted to a student manager position before my junior year.

Then some divine miracle occurred halfway through sophomore year. The then editor-in-chief of The Marquette Tribune thought my writing and reporting skills were half decent enough for me to come on board. Two years later, I’m still here. Perhaps it’s by the power of sarcasm, which I wish had its own font.

My junior year, in particular, was a blur.  By both working the Phonathon and reporting, then editing at the Tribune, I totaled an extra 30 to 40 hours a week on top of 15 or 18 credit hours.

But come this year, I realized I had to leave the Phonathon because I had my foot in too many doors. The saying “go big or go home” applies. I like to go all in on anything I commit to, and to me, it isn’t worth doing if it isn’t at 100 percent.

Overall, work outside of class has consumed the majority of my Marquette career.  Academics have seemed secondary or tertiary to extracurricular activities.  Sometimes it took an hour of drudgery in Biology for Non-Science Majors class to finish job assignments. When you have to use class time for that purpose, it’s a problem.

I know plenty of classmates who are in the same boat. You might have the desire to become a work-a-holic with two or three jobs. You might need to work multiple jobs to receive financial aid, making it not even a choice. For one reason or another, it happens, and work becomes as much a part of college as classes or the social scene.

I’m not saying this as a ‘woe is me’ type of argument. I’m still thankful for everyone I’ve met and the valuable life lessons learned from these jobs.

It has prompted me to create a Marquette “bucket list,” to reduce stress and savor some of Marquette’s finest assets in my last year.

Some of the items include going on retreats, buying basketball tickets and spending a weekend in Madison (I’ll give some credit to our neighbors to the west).

So save the majority of work for when you graduate. Work’s there for life, but the Marquette experience isn’t. Do enough to stay active at Marquette, but not too much that it detracts from the whole of “being the difference.”

After all, as Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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