November 12, 2018

by Bonny Shade

I hear it every year, the words of women who wish their chapter, organization, sorority family, grades, and/or social life could be better. Sound familiar? Yup. I see you – the one hustling to get everything done, please others, get the grades, maintain the social life, and… Oh, yeah – getting enough sleep and actually sitting down to eat a meal. Life is hard, busy, and overwhelming at times; and I am going to add one more thing to your plate… It’s time for you to care.

Now you may be thinking, “Bonny, I already care. A LOT! That’s why I’m so involved and busy!” And, as wonderful as involved and busy may be, that statement is a load of garbage. The things we spend time on are not always the things we care about. Let me rephrase this… (dramatic pause) … Being busy does not equal actively caring.

As women, we often find that we have to be and do more to get the same result as many of our counterparts. Some of this is a societal or cultural norm, while parts of this is a limit we put on ourselves. As a self-identified perfectionist, I place the majority of my confidence and competence in my ability to appear and make others think I have it all together. So, I do a lot. I keep and stay busy!

A few years ago I realized that business was going to unravel me if I didn’t find a way to unravel it. I sat down and created two lists: 1.) Things I Care About, and 2.) Things I Do. I gave myself a score of 1-10 on each item I wrote down. For example, I placed “ending college sexual assault” on my “care” list and gave myself a score of 6. I’m doing work in this area and am involved and busy, but I could be investing more. Think about it. What would be on your two lists? What score would you give yourself? Some items I wrote down were on both lists, but I also realized my “Do” list was much longer than my “Care” list. My “care” list, however, were things that I knew I wanted to get more involved with. Things I wanted to deeply invest in and items that would impact me as much as I hoped to impact them. So, I picked up my bright pink pen and started striking things out. Putting a visible line through items that I needed to give up in order to dive into things I cared about. It pained me. I didn’t want to give these things up but I also knew I needed a change in order to care for myself and make a lasting impact in areas I treasured.

Here is the point, I want you to stop being busy. Getting involved shouldn’t be another thing on your “to-do” list. The world is full of busy, unhappy people. YOU should not be one of them. Focus your energy on things you care about and dive right in! When you get involved in your chapter, organization, social justice issue, grades, major, even in the smallest form, you are investing in it. When you invest in topics you care about, they will invest in you and become part of your human makeup. I do not simply care about ending sexual assault on college campuses, I am an educator who changes lives. This is part of who I am. I want you to give up “to-do” things in order to care, deeply care, and get more involved in your holistic experience.

I urge you to write your own list, cross things out, and see what is left that you can fully jump in to. Your collegiate experience is too short to live by things you simply have to get done. Your involvement should have depth and become a part of who you are. Ladies, it’s time to care. It’s time to get Deeply Involved. What will you do to stop being busy and start investing and caring about what matters?