You’re not doing as badly as you think you are.
As a fourth-year college student, and a perfectionist at that, I spend every day of my life simply trying to keep up. One could argue that university is the busiest time of your life, juggling classes, intensive assignments and projects, jobs, internships, and activities. Oh, and don’t forget that you still have to clean, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. And if you want a social life on top of all of that, good luck.
We live in a day and age where nothing is ever quite good enough. Just having a job, or just taking higher education classes, is not good enough. Even doing both of those things is not good enough. Americans in their twenties are constantly being told that they need to work harder, faster, and smarter, because simply doing your best just isn’t good enough anymore.
We’ve all heard these things:
“The bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma.”
“That major is useless, everyone does it.”
“You’re going to need 2989408 internships under your belt if you expect to get anywhere after you graduate.”
“You need to join this club and that club so that you can put them on your resume.”
“You better start studying for your GRE NOW.”
I know firsthand the kind of stress that these ideals induce, because every day I wake up feeling as though I am not good enough. It does not matter that I work 25 hours a week and take difficult classes and dedicate ample time to my hobbies and internship searches, because according to our society, I could—and should—be doing more.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with ambition, exertion, and discipline. We should always push ourselves as far as possible, because that is how our generation will leave a legacy on the world. We have more resources now than ever before, and we should be using them.
We should NOT, however, belittle ourselves on the daily for not holding every honor or taking advantage of every opportunity under the sun. That, my friends, is a little ridiculous.
If this article is relatable for you, you’re probably being a little hard on yourself. Walk over to a mirror (I’m serious). Look in your own eyes, and just take a minute to be proud of yourself. As cheesy as it sounds, this can be pretty therapeutic when you’re simply feeling like you can’t keep up. I don’t care how put-together everyone else seems; this shit isn’t supposed to be easy.
Where there’s potential for improvement, there should also be celebration of accomplishment.
Life is short, but it’s also long, and there’s plenty of time to experience things and make your mark. Appreciate yourself. You’re not doing as badly as you think you are.
“Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.” ~Mary Schmich