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Overload

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… but as usual, I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m just about one month into my second semester back at college now… and my schedule has gotten very busy very quickly! A “full time” student is defined as anyone taking 12 credits or more. I’m taking 21 credits. At Louisiana College, they call that an “overload,” and I understand why! I’m taking 6 art classes (which meet for 2.5 hours at a time, twice a week) and 1 religion class. I’m at school 4 days & 2 evenings each week. (Not counting the two on-campus clubs I’ve joined… and not considering my off-campus commitments!)

But before the college would allow me to take on an “overload,” I had to get approval from a number of folks: My advisor, my department chair, and the registrar. I had to explain why I wanted to take the overload, and demonstrate (through prior GPA) that I was capable of handling it. More than once I was asked, “Are you SURE you want to do this?”¬†I was sure. I knew it would be a heavy load, but I felt like I could handle it, and as a transfer student trying to make up ground to catch up with requirements for my major… this was a smart choice for me right now.

At first, I was a little annoyed with the “overload” approval process. It seemed like a lot of hoops to jump through just to add one more class to my schedule. But, frustrating as it might have been at times, the process forced me to think about what I was doing and what the implications would be for everything else in my life this semester. It forced me to count the cost.¬†Unfortunately, outside of the structured setting of a college, it’s a lot easier to take on an “overload” blindly. It’s easy to say “yes” to something before fully understanding the expectations. And in the open-ended real world… one “yes” can lead to years of commitment, not just a semester! It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to take myself through a college-style approval process before committing myself to things… even really great things :)

There will always be exciting opportunities. There will always be open doors. But that doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to take every opportunity or go running through every open door. The trick is figuring out what is destiny… and what is distraction. If I don’t slow down long enough to take myself through that process, seek out advisors, and wait until I know I have the most important approval at all, I could spend my life chasing “the next big thing” and end up with nothing.

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