Being at UCLA, we are surrounded by endless opportunities for involvement. Some of us feel the urge to be involved in more extracurriculars than we can handle. However, others avoid getting involved because they are afraid of it being too much on top of school. The Beautiful Mind Project’s Deena Samie decided to hold a workshop to address this problem.
What inspired Deena to lead this workshop were her own experiences at UCLA. During her first year, she isolated herself and did not involve herself in many extracurricular activities. This caused her to feel like she had no purpose at this school. Consequently, she decided to become more involved this year and ended up taking on too much. She became really overwhelmed, and it took a toll on her physical health. Deena mentioned that it is our duty to take part in community service as long as we find the proper balance and include self care in the mix. Additionally, taking care of our spiritual, mental, and physical health is a part of Islam. For instance, the Prophet SAW incorporated rest and meals around prayer times.
Self-care is important for all types of people and in all aspects of life. An article called “Resisting White Supremacy Can’t Happen Without Self-Care” was mentioned during the workshop. The article emphasized the importance of self-care while being an activist. It is important to take care of your well-being while fighting for a cause.
Prior to the workshop, Deena posted a survey in which she discussed the results of during the workshop. The survey of 35 people reported that 88.6 percent of the participants are involved in extracurricular activities, and 60 percent are involved for the purpose of gaining new experiences, friendships and skills. 88.6 percent actually gained new friendships, and 71.4 percent felt like they learned from their extracurriculars. 77.2 percent of the students that took the survey said that they were very stressed to extremely stressed. 80 percent of students were stressed because they thought they did not have enough time for both their schoolwork and extracurriculars, 77.1 percent were stressed over the fear of failure, and 57.1 percent were stressed because of extracurricular over involvement. 82.9 percent of students who took the survey spent their weekends studying. However, 80 percent of students lose sleep during the week because they do not have enough time to finish their tasks throughout the day.
Abdulhaadi Khan attended the event and said, “I really appreciate the effort that Noor, Deena and the rest of BMP have put into educating our community on mental health and emotional well-being. At the event, I realized that we shouldn’t take on too many commitments and that we should strive to do the things that we find meaningful. Balance is key. Too much one way or the other and we start to feel like we’re losing control. Especially in this day and age where so many things vie for our attention, it’s important to keep track of your needs and your responsibilities. Can’t wait for the next event!”
“I held the Saying ‘No’ Workshop because I personally struggle with accepting to do things that I do not want to do. I don’t like disappointing anyone, so I feel obliged to always be available to help others and ensure their happiness while disregarding my own. I do that to a point where I start neglecting my own basic needs which then causes me to have a distorted self identity, and that is painful. So I conducted a survey prior to the workshop to get a sample of our MSA, and seeing if they experience similar consequences as I do from spreading ourselves too thin. I found that 77.1 percent of the people who filled out the survey feel extremely stressed being a student here, and the reasons include not having enough time, not knowing your own strengths anymore, and not knowing why you’re here. The majority of us also experience sleep deficiency with a minimum of not having adequate sleep at least 1-2 time a week! That blew my mind and proved that there is a need for us all to self reflect and figure out what our goals are and what our strengths are to make the best of our time at UCLA by giving back to the world and gaining skills and experiences without burning ourselves out.” – Deena Samie