Knowing when to quit

By Mackenzie Bush | 9/14/14 2:27pm


I didn’t really realize that I had taken on too many obligations this semester until this weekend, about two weeks into it.

Sure, I’d figured out already that Spanish 201 is not a language class I’m qualified to be taking (but it is one I do need to graduate in May, so c'est la vie). I’d already had to prioritize sleeping before my 8:30 am class above actually doing the reading for it. And I’d been late to my Fiction class three out of three times because my job promised to let me out early and then didn’t.

But I was still completely convinced that I could handle everything, or at least I’d figure out how to soon. Maybe I’d just learn not to sleep, or spontaneously stop my horrible habit of procrastinating.

And then I was talking to my roommate Caleb after a few drinks, and I started ranting about all of the stuff I have to do, all of the obligations I’d signed on for. I could almost feel it all piling up in front of me, and I didn’t know how long it would take me to dig myself out of it.

But then Caleb told me: “You could just quit.”

I insisted that that wasn’t possible, that I had to save up money for post-grad, that I knew that I was an adult, and adults work. But as I kept thinking it over, I realized how enticing cutting off a bit of the fat would be. Before I even talked to my boss about decreasing my schedule to one day a week, my To Do List made me feel less like hiding under the couch.

I think that sometimes, it’s okay to admit that maybe you can’t handle it all. You can drop the Latin class you hate and don’t understand; you can stop going to that campus organization that sucks up more of your time than you want it to.

You have agency, and you can choose to scrape off one or two of the side dishes that are crowding your plate.

Remember: you have the whole rest of your life to be a mature adult. This is a time in our lives that we should be sitting on our roofs drinking Angry Orchards or spending entire weekends watching Netflix. Don’t feel foolish for reserving time to relax, party or have adventures, either.

I decided that maybe it’s best for me to harness the opportunities that I have only here, like writing a radio show and running a charity group, instead of dismissing them in favor of waitressing.

I understand that I’m coming from a position of privilege writing this. I know that a lot of people don’t have the luxury of quitting their jobs because they need to pay for luxuries like groceries.

But, if you can, take a step back. Try to make sure that the things you’re doing will move you forward, or that you truly enjoy them. If something doesn’t fit either of those qualifications, it might be time to cut it loose.

mbush@lanthorn.com

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