Feeling Peer-Pressured? Join the Club

Students Make the Call When it Comes to Getting Involved


Published: May 5, 2010

You sit in the second floor lounge eating your freshly toasted bagel, trying to relax before your next class. Two students sit down next to you and begin having an animated discussion about their summer plans—for 2011. All of a sudden, your bagel tastes like cardboard and you are now anxious about where your life is going. Are you doing enough? Are they doing too much?

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) is made up of all kinds of students. Some students choose to focus solely on their studies, while others choose to take on extraordinary amounts of extracurricular work in order to graduate with the best resumé possible, but at what cost? Is there such a thing as being too involved? Sometimes it can be hard for students to decide how much they want to take on.

Regarding her involved peers, Emily Auciello, FCLC ’12, said, “I ask myself whether or not I want that amount of stress and whether or not it is worth it…And of course I let them know that if they ever need help, I’m always there for them. It all goes to show that school, and life, is a balancing act.”

Auciello is involved in campus activities like New Student Orientation. She also sound-designed the studio show “Rabbit Hole” at Fordham and assistant-directed another studio show last semester called “Firework For Real.”

Stress can often stem from being over-involved, as many know. Mathew Rodriguez, FCLC ’11, sees it differently. He explained, “To get overly stressed about Student Affairs and clubs seems counter-intuitive to me. They should be adding to your college experience, not working against it or stressing you out.”

While the activities they are working on can become a bit much at times, students often do their best to power through. Rodriguez has been involved in Rainbow Alliance (Vice President), United Student Government (USG) (Secretary), Residential Life, FACE Series (Co-Chair) and National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (Co-Chair).

Brian O’Connell, FCLC ’11, said, “I tend to be a visual person, and some weeks when I think about how my schedule looks, it’s just packed. Throw some papers and other things on top of that, and it becomes interesting, to say the least. But I would rather have twice that stress rather than not being involved at all.”

O’Connell has been involved in many activities, including but not limited to USG, New Student Orientation, Senior Week, Spring Fling, Residence Hall Association, and Ambassadors/Lincoln Center Society.

Being involved can stem from many different motivations. Students often come into college and quickly realize if they are the “involved” type.

O’Connell admitted that he came to college and was inspired by one of his Orientation Leaders to take the plunge into working with various campus clubs and activities.

“[She] really helped motivate me. In high school, I developed into a person who likes to meet a lot of people, and [she] really helped me do that; I didn’t want to just sit around and take it easy. She encouraged me to put myself out of my comfort zone and see what was out there, instead of being a timid little freshman. I had no time for that, and I think it worked out very well,” O’Connell said.

Even with natural leadership abilities, some students may tend to feel that they are being pushed into the roles they are taking on.

While others feels that the pressure to be involved has not come into play in their time at Fordham.

“I feel like I need to feel the pressure, but it hasn’t really hit me yet. I try to pace myself in terms of involvement in order to fully experience everything offered and somehow I end up involved in activities,” Auciello said.

Perhaps that is the answer. Some learn to balance the pressure, some are okay with feeling overwhelmed, and others don’t feel pressured at all. At the end of the day everyone ends up deciding on their own what is right for them in terms of getting involved.