The Inability to Commit

Why trying to do everything results in doing nothing


By Angelique Perrone

I’ve noticed a trend lately, that not only extends to students of Bryant, but also extends to the outside community and greater world. The fear of commitment can be seen in almost every aspect of life, from dating, to school and everything inbetween. It was not always like this, though. At one time commitment was not something that we, as a generation, struggled with. The shift in recent years has been a large one, and one that is not to be overlooked.

Commitment issues can be seen in all facets of life, but the most prevalent one that I’ve noticed as a young female in this world, is commitment in relationships. These relationships are seen in the media and in my own life. How often do we see two celebrities “talking,” but not dating. They’re going on vacations together, being photographed all around the globe, but refuse to put a title on their relationship. We see the same thing in our personal lives between friends and co-workers. Two people, just “talking,” with a semi-commitment. They do almost everything that two people that are dating do, just without a title. Why is this? Why do we accept that this is the social norm? Why can’t we go back to the traditional model which our parents had? That is, two people getting to know each other, with a commitment that they can see a future together. If two people don’t want to give it their all, which I feel “talking” embodies, then there’s no point in wasting time. Relationships are work, which require time and effort. If you and your partner are just in it for the short term benefits, that’s between the two of you, but if you’re in one for the long hall, do yourself and your partner the favor of having the respect to commit fully, and just date.

Relationships are incredibly important, but we are here in college with the world at our fingertips. So many opportunities are available to us, and we should take advantage of them. Sometimes, maybe there are too many. How many opportunities are you taking advantage of at school? Two, three, four, five? The higher the number, I feel the more you commit to, the more you will find yourself being stretched too thin. In the end, you ultimately crumble, because there is a commitment issue. Not being able to narrow down your interests might be the overarching problem, but in the long run there will be even greater issues because you won’t be able to fully give your attention to one. I know it’s a bit hypocritical for me to try to give advice because I’m definitely guilty of this. But once I realized I was overextending myself I cut back on my activities, and I can honestly say I’m so much happier because of it.

Extracurriculars are not the only thing that suffers because one can’t commitment. Grades in general can feel the affects of not being able to commit to only doing one activity at a time. In my classes, I see this all the time. People are constantly half listening to a professor lecture while on their phones, checking their emails, and studying for other classes. Attention is thus diverted and students retain less information. A study by the University of Connecticut saw, “those who frequently multitasked in class had lower grades on average than their peers who multitasked less often (Poitras).” Not actively committing to paying attention in class can have adverse effects on grades, and with the money that you’re investing, it’s not worth diverting your attention for.

With all the commitment issues that have risen to the surface in our generation, there are a few explanations for the inability to commit. One of the reasons is described in the headline, “What Happens to Us in Childhood Affects Our Adulthood” by a practicing psychologist by the name of Mark Banschick, who specializes in adult psychology. Early relationships with parents can be the root of attachment issues, which come across as the problem with commitment. Also one study found reasons of lack of commitment in the classroom such as, “student immaturity” found by Midwestern State University. Students do have the ability to help fix some of these effects, but others like parental factors are out of their scope of reach. We should definitely keep these in mind when trying to plan for our futures. Your money, education, and relationships could be at stake if you do not try to commit fully to everything you are doing. Think twice the next time you are choosing to do something and give it your undivided attention.