Oberlin Blogs

Quitting ain't easy

November 7, 2009

Alice Ollstein ’10

Everyone knows that Obies like to take on too many commitments and burn the candle at both ends. We've all heard our friends complain about only getting a few hours of sleep, or having an insane amount of work to do, or having four solid hours of meetings.

Sometimes, a campus commitment can be like a bad relationship. You're stressed and unhappy, but you think, "Maybe it's just me. Maybe if I just try a little harder it'll get better." But it doesn't. In the end, for your own sanity, you have to sit them down, and have the breakup talk.

I just quit my job at the Oberlin Review, where I've been working since my very first semester freshman year. It's been a big part of my life here at Oberlin, and where I've made some of my best friends and produced the work I've been most proud of, but I had to leave. I burned out. Although it's hard to admit it, I took on too many commitments this semester and something had to give. My priority right now, besides keeping my chin above water in my classes, is planning and leading the Winter Term Nicaragua Delegation. I've selected four wonderful girls to go with me and now we have a mountain of organizing and fundraising ahead of us.

I'm happy they've hired an eager junior to replace me at the Review. Fresh blood in an organization of veteran grumps is always a good thing. We're all so entrenched in our ways that it sometimes takes a newcomer to point out how things could be improved. It's hard not to kick myself and see quitting as a failure. It turned out to be the best thing for me (my mental and physical health) and the Review. Sometimes you've just gotta rip the band-aid off.

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