Students concentrate on too many activities; can’t truly focus
For incoming freshmen entering the University of Chicago class of 2016, the most popular major is “undecided,” with an over 50 percent rate. This is a developing trend nationwide, highlighting how our society has become so obsessed with achievement through doing more rather than better so we have lost our ability to find what we really love and focus our efforts on these true passions.
This shallow lifestyle begins at a young age, as our parents want to start us in activities so that we can have fun and learn skills. At age four we begin dance lessons, age six we start organized Little League soccer, at eight we enroll in chess club, and then at ten we join basketball with our friends.
Because of this accumulation as we get older, by the time we get to high school we are suddenly playing soccer, basketball, and baseball; dancing at a studio; and are on the math team, chess club, knitting club, and involved in political activist organizations–– all on top of a 15-hour per week homework load with AP classes. With so little time, it’s no wonder we can’t focus on our activities.
Activities aren’t the only aspect of our lives that are being degraded by our nature of doing too much with too little. As the outgoing personality has become more and more coveted, we have begun want everyone to know who we are and to like us.
Starting in freshmen year we join activities “to meet people” and thrive on telling people that we know everyone in our grade. Yet when we spend so much time having brief conversations with the 250 people in our grade, we miss out on time to really get to know people we are close to.
While making decisions about what we love becomes most important in college when we look to our hopeful careers, these problems also highlight a bigger societal problem––we don’t know what we really love. With students today involved in so many activities and wanting to be the best at everything, we in turn don’t truly know about anything.
As this generation of students moves into college and beyond, the inability to truly delve into relationships, occupations, or other facets of life transcends being involved in too many activities. But if we fail to learn how to develop their passions at a young age, this skill will still be lost for all of these larger themes as well.
Although it’s very important to stay well-rounded and learn about many areas that could possibly become areas of interest, when we spread our time too much this becomes counterproductive. This approach hurts the quality of everything that we do accomplish because our progress is spread across too vast of interests to really learn.