I am ashamed to say that I used to be an extracurricular slut. In other words, in High School and college I signed up for every and any extracurricular activity that I thought would look good on my resume whether I actually liked the activity or not.
I knew other teens who were promiscuous with their resume bullets, but it was not nearly as common as it is today. When I visit schools these days hobby whores seem to be abundant and unashamed of their wanton leisure activities. What has happened? Why do teens (and parents) feel the need to join every activity imaginable?
Signing up to as many activities as possible and becoming proficient in five sports, three languages and ten artistic talents is insurance against the future. I often hear the phrases, “You never know when you will need to know how to _____.” Or “You never know what colleges are looking for and what clubs or majors they want to populate.” This was the major reason I tried to do as many activities as possible—just in case it would help me get into college or get a job.
2. To Find Answers
Many teenagers have the incessant feeling that they should have it all figured out. They are desperate to know their “path” or their “purpose.” And to them, (to everyone, maybe) it always feels like everyone else has knows exactly what they want and has their path all lined out.
3. Escaping (or Succumbing to) Pressure
Teenagers are constantly asked what they want to do, what their hobbies are, what school they want to go to, etc by friends, family and family friends. Whether or not these people mean to put reassure on teens, is irrelevant, just asking forces teens to feel like they need to have an answer. So, in order to prove that they are not aimless, they sign up for lots of activities so they have many lists to give people when they are asked.
4. To Be Too Busy To Worry
Do you ever feel like you busy yourself just so you do not have to feel, think or worry? I think manye teenagers over book themselves to distract from the fact that they are maybe not sure what they want to do with themselves.
There are some major problems that extracurricular sluts encounter. They often feel like they are on a prescribed path that does not resonate with what truly makes them happy. And they have difficulty figuring out what truly makes them happy in the first place. I think we can help our teens realize that quality over quantity is what they should be focusing on here. It is not the amount of activities or skills you acquire, but the quality and joy that each of those activities brings to your life.