It is a v. well-known fact that Harvard students tend to over-commit themselves to difficult classes, time consuming problem sets, sports teams, term-time jobs and leadership and axillary positions in approximately 13 extracurriculars.
While the effects of over-committing are well-documented (anxiety, stress, lack of sleep), the external effects of over-committing are often glossed over. In fact, we live in a culture that praises the nearly over-committed. We want people to work hard and long hours to achieve what they want (money, fame, success), but we don’t want them to necessarily crash and burn.
However, a population of the (nearly) over-committed isn’t quite optimal either.