If you’re a leader on Valpo’s campus, this one’s for you:
It’s been awhile since I’ve decided to scream into the void and write an opinion. I’m disappointed to be back because I’m disappointed that the thing on my heart this week exists. As my senior year comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my time at Valpo. The relationships I’ve made, the courses I’ve taken and the independence I gained are invaluable to me and have made me a better, stronger person.
Overall, I’m proud of most of the things I accomplished here -- most.
One thing I’m not proud of is what I’ve come to realize about myself and other leaders on campus. Looking back on my time at Valpo before I started sessions at the Counseling Center, I found my identity in being involved. I touched on this a few months ago in another opinion. That was from the perspective of Valpo community members being victims of the hustle culture we’ve created on our campus.
I’d like to flip the script. Ask yourself the questions I’ve been asking myself lately.
Do you jump at every extracurricular opportunity, every award, every fellowship, every internship, any leadership literally at all, because “it would be good for your resume?”
Do you do these things simply because you know you can, or because your advisor for one thing is the same advisor for something else and they told you to apply?
Do you find yourself getting those opportunities more often than not?
If you said yes to any of these, have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
According to our website there are just over 2,500 undergraduate students that go here. So how do we constantly have the same pool of 15 students circulating leadership positions on campus? Why is it so common for us to see the same faces adding more and more to their plates? I would argue that two or three extracurricular experiences throughout your entire undergraduate career are more than enough to list on your resume.
Tell me why a choice few of us have way more than that per semester? I checked and at one point I was on the e-board for four things, on top of an internship, multiple jobs and being a regular standing member for multiple clubs on campus. Besides the fact that I was miserable and my hair was falling out, I cringe at the thought of how many chances I took from someone else to get leadership experience just so I could add one more heading to a resume that was already full.
I’m not saying you should stop challenging yourself or that we should take healthy competition away. I’m saying there is no healthy competition. There’s not even competition. Because everyone knows the 15 people who have done everything, they already have an established reputation of getting stuff done or producing good work. We’ll never know about the ones who don’t get picked because they’re consistently overlooked by people who are already on e-boards for 3 other organizations and are adding another just because they can.
I think there’s something to be said for people who keep showing up. Passion is important and I admire the drive to serve our community. I also get wanting to boost your resume -- we all do. But that’s the point. Think about whether or not you’re hoarding opportunities for your resume, taking way more than you need (or can handle) and stealing valuable experience from someone else.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.