By Jordan Snyder
Distinguished Young Woman of Wyoming for 2015
The beginning of the semester is underway, the syllabus is out, the books are bought and classes are in full swing. If you’re anything like me, my notebooks are lined up and my planner is full of every important date I could possibly imagine. My schedule is full of appointments for volunteering and meeting with different groups I belong to on campus. I also have my few hours of availability to spend working. There is something so refreshing about having everything lined up and ready to begin. But as the first projects and papers due dates approach I can’t help but feel the stress building and some anxiety about my GPA. Often times I can find myself overwhelmed and feeling like I just can’t accomplish everything I seek to do. I am the type of person that tries to fill every second of my day, trying to accomplish everything on my list. But sometimes there just isn’t enough time.
My first semester of college was an eyeopening experience that involved learning opportunities that reached far beyond the classroom. I was forced to change how I managed my time and had to learn how to rearrange my schedule to fit in all my responsibilities. There was so much that I wanted to do, but I had to learn how to say no. I had to accept that there were just things that I couldn’t accomplish no matter how effectively I utilized my time. It was hard for me to say no to some of the things I wanted to participate in, but it was something that I had to do in order to fulfill my priorities. College taught me the importance of finding out what matters the most. Instead of allocating my time to several organizations I was able to find one or two and dedicate much more time to the things that meant the most to me. This may have been one of the most valuable experiences of my life.
Finding that balance is something I have to work on every single day, but the more I focus on what is most important to me, the more rewarding I find my experiences. Instead of rushing from one event to the next, barely making it on time, I find that I can thoroughly enjoy a few special activities and create deeper bonds with both the groups I’m serving, and those I’m serving with. It is a more wholesome experience for every party involved. The benefits reach even further than just my extracurricular activities, I have seen drastic improvements in my studies as well. Instead of grasping a topic and completing the assignments involved, I am able to immerse myself in the subject and become enthralled in what I am learning. I am able to learn much more than what the syllabus dictates as the learning objectives through time spent in office hours discussing these topics with the professors and by collaborating with other students with passions similar to mine. Overall, I can truly say that learning to say “no”, has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned here at college. That invaluable teaching has helped me to reach a potential that couldn’t be attained through involvement in every activity on campus. I learned that spreading myself thin made for superficial relationships and a sub par learning environment, but by finding a few things that lit a fire in my heart I was able to give back and receive tenfold what I was before. So, as those sign up sheets pass in front of you, and the booths at the activity fair grab your attention, remember what is most important to you and remember, that it is the quality of your time spent, not the quantity that matters most
Jordan Snyder is a college freshman at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Originally from Buffalo, Wyoming, Jordan was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Wyoming for 2015. Learn more about Jordan here!