As a perfectionist in college, life is tough. I feel like anything I do, it will never be the best it can be; it’ll never live to my standards and there will always be more that could’ve been done. This applies to practically everything. It’ll never be enough for school, it’ll never be enough for my family, it’ll never be enough for my friends and it’ll never be enough for myself. Life is so hard when you have all these expectations to meet. How is it even possible to meet all of them? I’m only one human being.
Before coming to college my parents had high expectations of me, as any parent would for their child. You have to be the best kid on the team, get the highest grade on your exams, have that great GPA and graduate. I busted my butt through high school to be that perfect kid for them because to them I was that “good” child in the family or, I guess to them, I was the “smart one”.
As soon as you graduate high school and become an adult, you hope all these high expectations will stop, but sadly they don’t. Your parents will always want what’s best for you in the highest form which now transfers in to your college years. You have to pick the right career, like being a doctor or somehow the next president. If you don’t pick the major that is going to make you millions, you’re going to end up working a dead-end job for the rest of your life. Of course that’s not the reality, but you still have that pressure of needing to meet these expectations.
With high expectations from the people around you, there’s pressure to pass your exams, get those perfect grades, be the best in your program, because everything in this world is a competition. If you’re not number one, then who are you? It is so discouraging to always feel like you are behind or that you’re failing at being you. Especially if you are trying your absolute best and it just never seems to be enough, no matter how hard you try or how much effort you put in.
Over the years I have learned and am still learning to not be so hard on myself. There is just too much pressure to be the best at everything. I have driven myself crazy thinking of what more can be done or how I am never going to meet all these things in order to be perfect. Truth be told, you have to be okay with not being perfect. The only opinion that should matter is your own. You are your own person, in charge of yourself. Even though sometimes your own opinion kills your thoughts. Stop wasting time with sleepless nights, days of stress, regrets, and self-doubt.
What you need to start putting your time towards is knowing your worth. It can be easy in college to feel like you don’t matter when you only are this one human being in a population of thousands on campus. Even though you didn’t get accepted into your program, you totally failed that exam or you have too many things going on at once, don’t panic. If you tried your best and you didn’t get it, try again! Keep trying even if you have failed the first time. Just because that one time you didn’t meet someone’s expectations doesn’t mean you should just go live under a rock.
So please remember, you are enough. It’ll be enough for school, it’ll be enough for your family, it’ll be enough for your friends but most importantly it is enough for yourself. Life is hard when you have all these expectations to meet, but it becomes easier when you start living for yourself. No matter what you do, or who you are, you are enough for this world, so do not get discouraged. And so I will leave you with a poem from one of my favorite poets in hopes you’ll be able to see and be the best YOU there can be.
I can’t say I know
the burdens you bear
the struggles you face
or the fights you have fought
in learning to love yourself
I do not have the answers
you may be searching for
but I do have something
and though it’s just one thing
I will give you all that I can
and through my kindness
I hope you will start to see
that you alone are enough
you alone have always been-
and you alone will always be
– Tyler Kent White
Lead Peer Ambassador
First Year Success
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Student Success Building Suite 217
Monday 8am-10:45am and 12:30pm-5:30pm
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