With midterm season approaching I find myself grumpy, tired, and wondering why what I am doing matters. Every year it’s the same: doubt fills your mind and you’re wondering why you joined X team or signed up for X club. All the responsibilities are beginning to add up and you just want to get good grades in your classes.
Everyone that goes to any university anywhere will get a degree. What separates an Acadia biology major from a STFX biology major? All the enrolment advisors will tell you that it is our small class sizes or having such a unique environment nearby to study, but many other universities are promising similar if not the same things.
Remember those clubs and teams you’re thinking about dropping so that you can focus on your degree? Those clubs and teams are going to be what separates you from that biology major from STFX. Employers are going to care just as much or more about your dedication to varsity sports, your strong debating abilities gained from Debate Club, or your field work experience gained from the field trips in the Fletcher Geology Club.
You’re also going to make many more friends through these clubs and teams as opposed to sitting in a lecture with 50 other people. These friends are probably going to influence your life more than your lab partner will. Fundraisers, trips, and celebrations are going to bring you closer to each other and even if you drift apart after graduation those memories of them will change you and you’ll come to appreciate the things you learned from them.
I’m not saying grades don’t matter, but everyone focuses on being the best student with the highest average. Why not spend time on developing yourself as a person instead? Those clubs and teams do matter. Even if they are taking up a lot of your time that could be spent learning how to balance chemical equations or memorizing Shakespeare, you are still learning and growing as a person. At the end of your degree you’re not going to think back to all the fun you had in class, you’re going to be remembering all the trips and events of clubs and teams you took part in that allowed you to express your passions.
Kelsey Crouse is a third year Environmental Science student and varsity cross country athlete