A month into my sophomore year of high school, I found myself doing everything I could to make my parents, teachers, and friends happy. I joined a wide array of clubs and organizations to furnish the image of a model student. I did not spend much time with any one activity because I wanted to be a part of everything, and unsurprisingly, trying to fit everything into a 24-hour schedule caused more harm than good. My involvement in almost every club left me unable to develop a passion for any single activity.
I wrongfully believed that whatever my friends enjoyed, I would also enjoy. After a long year of juggling multiple activities and involvements, I met a soccer coach and teammates who would have an unexpected positive impact on my life, an impact that would help me change my habits for the better.
After dealing with an extreme amount of stress from my busy schedule, I decided to put most of my activities aside. My naive mindset led me to believe that this would solve my problem.
I quickly realized that an empty schedule was no better than an overloaded schedule. Possible solutions took over my mind until I landed on one that I believed might actually help, a compromise between too much and too little. I chose to try out for a new soccer team.
Soccer had always been my favorite sport, but I had lacked time for it in the previous months. At tryouts, I knew none of the other girls, but I worked hard to make the team. Over the next few months, girls who were once strangers became my best friends and they helped me revive my passion for soccer.
I formed a particularly great friendship and bond with my coach, Donnie Wheeler. He helped me realize through many tough practices and motivational speeches that my happiness was just as important as the happiness of my friends and family. For most of my life, I had done what others encouraged me to do. Time spent in each activity was minimal and insignificant because my heart was in the idea of being “involved” rather than actually doing the work to make a difference in a certain area. Coach Donnie opened my eyes to my flawed mentality in life.
In the past few years, I have been able to put aside my fears of disappointing those close to me and I have dedicated time to making changes in my life to form the best version of myself. I revisited clubs that I remembered positively and bid farewell to the ones that had no impact or importance in my life. During this time, I have discovered my true passions: sports, church, and community service. Now, instead of spending a minimal amount of time in many different activities with no actual contribution, I focus on a few activities that I can devote ample time to. I still love to try new things and be adventurous, but I am able to determine what is important in my life and rely on my own judgement to help me along the way.
I have realized the true meaning of the phrase “quality over quantity”. It is not only acceptable, but also imperative, to make tough decisions on how my time will be spent. I now focus my attention on the few necessary activities to bring about my own happiness and success.