I have waited so long to go to college
To get away from this small town, from my parents
Oh to be young and grown–the possibilities
That all changed during orientation
It was like Christmas in the summer
Everyone wanted me to be in their club or organization
The staff wanted me to use their services
Student leaders, what’s that? Student staff–wait, you’ll pay me?
I was motivated and excited about all the opportunities
So I did my first duty as a new college student
I went for it all, “Oh, be involved!” they preached
It’s now spring semester and I’m back home
I was motivated by the excitement of everything offered during orientation
I felt like I belonged because everyone wanted me
But now I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay
Because my GPA–well let’s just not say
Did they set me up?
Why didn’t they tell me to slow down?
Did they just want my participation?
Was I just fulfilling a diversity statement for them?
All of this, and they still don’t know who I am!
As student affairs professionals, we want students to get involved on campus, but at what cost?
Are we providing them with tools to balance their time? Do we teach them to judge which involvements are beneficial to them as students and which are beneficial to becoming professionals in their chosen field? Too often, I hear stories similar to the one above. When will we have conversations with students about over-involvement and its impact on their academic success and future career goals? Not everyone can be on the E board–we need some back stage helpers. What are the motivations of students entering college?