During the summer after my senior year of high school, my boyfriend opened my eyes to a harsh truth about myself. He laughed as I was complaining about being stuck in the house, as I didn’t have a license at the time, and told me that I was “such a busybody.” I was taken aback at first, but soon realized he was right. I have a really hard time just doing nothing.
A year and a half later, quite a bit has changed. I started college as a music major and quickly found an on-campus job in the student mailroom. A few months into school, a professor asked me if I would be his TA, a position which I started this past fall. And a few months after starting that job, I picked up a second major — this time in English and a minor in creative writing. And the minute winter break was over, I started emailing around for a third on-campus job, and quickly found one as a writer for the University Communications department. Oh, and I got my driver’s license! But the most important change out of all of these is my thinking towards my being a busybody. And I’ve come to see the positives to this part of my personality.
1. It’s turned me into an amazing planner.
While my boyfriend likes to tease me for my need to always be doing something, he is the one who reaps the most benefit from it. We go to school in two different states, and I work full time when I’m home for the summer, so we get limited time together right now. Because of this, I have a lot of time to think of fun, memory-making, inexpensive ideas for things for us to do when we’re together. I have a list of date and trip ideas that I’ve shared with him on Google Drive, and it has come in handy many times when we’re not sure what to do for an afternoon. My favorite memory that came off this listed was a day trip we took to a high-ropes course at the end of the summer.
2. It helps me see the value almost every activity.
Money is not the only thing of value in the world. When I was seeking out my new writing job, I knew I wasn’t going to be making much more money because I’m only allowed to work so many hours with my university. I took the job because I wanted practice working remotely and try to get a writing resume started. After years of not knowing what I wanted to do, I have decided that I would like to work as a writer and/or editor. I was able to recognize that just a few extra hours a week would allow me to test out this type of work before making myself available as a freelancer.
3. It makes my best my default setting.
Busybodies don’t just work all the time. We work hard, without question. And sometimes, it’s exhausting to want to do your best. But ultimately, it pays off. I’ve made so many professional relationships with my professors by working hard in my classes, and one of those relationships got me my TA job. This work ethic is also what has me on track (*knock on wood*) to take over the student manager position in the mailroom next year. And I will continue through college and beyond to apply my best self to my work, family, and relationships.
4. It taught me that sometimes, I just have to say no.
When you work all the time, you sometimes overbook yourself. One of my least favorite times in any semester is Advising and Scheduling Weeks. This fortnight comes in the middle of each semester, and always sends me into a frenzy trying to plan the right workload while making sure that I get into the classes that I need for each of my majors, as well as all my other requirements. And sometimes, I sign up for one too many classes. Last semester, I thought I was going to have to drop a class that I actually really enjoyed because I had a lot on my plate. But my mom urged me to evaluate my options, and see if dropping the class would make my life harder later. Ultimately, she was right. I kept the class, and I was able to learn a lot while also fulfilling a GenEd requirement.
This semester, I was not so lucky. Every student at my university has a community service requirement that they must do before they graduate. So, during last semester’s Advising and Scheduling Weeks, I signed up to do my service semester this spring. Unfortunately, I realized when I actually started going through my classes that I would not have to time in the day to complete the service and get all my work for classes and jobs done to the best of my ability. So, I took the leap and dropped the class. I immediately felt relieved that I would now be able to put my best foot forward during the coming weeks.
5. It helps me make the most out of the time I have.
During my first year of college, I was very lonely. Like I said before, my boyfriend and I live in two different states most of the time, and for a while, I fell into the common trap with long-distance relationships of spending more time texting him than going out and making friends. This year, I decided that I wouldn’t make the same mistake. I worked not only to make a friend group, but I also now make sure that we see each other regularly and use my date-idea skills to help us come up with fun, frugal things we can do on a Friday night, making the most of a small town in Ohio that doesn’t have any Lyfts out past 9 o’clock.
So there you have it. Like with most things, my boyfriend was right. I am a busybody. But what he was wrong about is that it’s something to laugh at. Working hard, both professionally and in relationships, has given me more opportunities than I ever imagined just two short years ago. And I can’t to see where it takes me two years from now.
Emma Seibert is currently a student at Wittenberg University. She enjoys performing and listening to music, reading and discussing words, and writing both.
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