Ask Garrett

Dear Garrett,

I think I’m addicted to being involved in extracurricular activities. I literally can’t say no to
getting involved in every opportunity that presents itself. It’s starting to take a toll on my sanity,
and I feel really overwhelmed. Any advice?



Dear Anonymous,

This is the perfect problem for me to advise you on. I ran into this exact same problem during
the second semester of my freshman year. People were constantly asking me to do things, join
organizations, and so on so forth. I was already over-involved, and could sometimes feel the
strain when you piled schoolwork on top of that. Luckily, I had a great advisor, by the name
of Kristin Gourley, who taught me how to say no. I am aware that at the moment, you say you
are not capable of doing this. However, you have to put things into perspective. Basically, with
any of these opportunities, ask yourself the following questions: Is this worth it? What will
I gain from this? Do I have time for this? Do I actually want to do this? Am I just doing this
because a faculty member asked? Ask these and answer them honestly. That always helped me.
If that doesn’t work, go talk to someone who is not involved in any of the opportunities you are
interested in taking. Get their advice on each one. Do this, and I promise you will learn to say
no. When I threw my completely filled-out RA application in the trash, it was the most liberating
feeling ever.

Dear Garrett,

I’m having a problem with one of my friends who lives down the hall. As freshmen, we came
in to MC and, knowing no one else, we bonded and became close friends. Now, as sophomores,
we’ve started to drift apart. Seemingly to me, she thinks she walks on water or something. She’s
very snooty, and she’s joined all kinds of clubs and now thinks she’s better than everyone else. I
don’t want to lose her as a friend, but I don’t like being belittled by her high and mighty attitude.
What should I do?


Sad and Somber

Dear Sad and Somber,

Many Maryville College students will face this problem. We always have that handful of
overly involved students who go through this phase when they think that they rule the world.
I went through this phase once, and it took me some time, and a few good friends, to realize
what a complete idiot I was being. The worst thing you can do, however, is fight her about this
problem or try to compare what you do to what she does. This will not help you at all. Basically,
you just need to have a quiet conversation with her. Explain to her your problem. Try to tell her
how much you value her as a friend, and that it really hurts to feel belittled by her constantly.
However, trying to tell her that everything she is involved in does not matter will not get you
anywhere. If anything, the storm will pass eventually. Someone will bump her off her pedestal,
and she will realize, just as I did, what an idiot she was being. After all, this is just college. How
much are all these clubs and organizations going to mean once we graduate outside of being fond
memories and resume padding?

Thanks for all the questions. I was amazed to find that so many people submitted questions.
If I did not answer your question in the column, you will find the answer posted online later this
week. Keep the problems coming, Maryville College!

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