Eighty-six percent

stressedSometimes I feel like giving up. Sometimes I wonder if all the crippling stress, endless
hardship and nonstop tension will be worth it in the end. Why do I bother trying so hard all the time? Why should I push myself to the point of physical exhaustion and emotional breakdowns? What will be my reward? What reward could possibly outweigh the mountains of frustration I face every single day? Is this really how I’m supposed to be spending some of the best years of my life? I seem to spend all my time fixated on what my life will be like after graduation – what career I’ll have, how much traveling I’ll do, how successful I’ll be – when I should be focused on enjoying my life. Of course, how am I supposed to find time to enjoy my life when my sole focus is checking one more thing off my to-do list?

I normally don’t include so many rhetorical questions in my entries – I just desperately want answers. What am I doing wrong? Why do I spend only a small percentage of my life being happy when the other 86% is spent worrying, fixating, stressing and being exhausted, preoccupied, overwhelmed and resigned? I don’t want to look back on these years remembering only tirelessly working and trying to be perfect – trying to achieve this ideal resume, ideal skill set and ideal ‘look’ that will score me the job. When did life stop being about making yourself happy and instead became more about being a success? I wish they were one in the same, but it seems like nowadays you have to make a choice. Would you rather be successful or would you rather be happy?

When I started college I chose the road of success and because of that decision I’ve missed out on a lot. I’ve missed opportunities that will probably only be available during college – a chance to live a carefree, spirited life full of mistakes. But no, that’s not the life I’m living. In my life I work hard to impress everyone – to be a successful daughter for my parents; to be a role model to my younger siblings; to prove to my advisers, mentors and professors how intelligent and driven I am – because in the end their opinion is the one that matters. No matter how miserable, drained and overtaxed I am I have to prove my worth to the world. After all, that’s what college instructs you to do.

“Mold yourself into the best possible version of yourself to showcase to the world after you graduate, even if that means killing yourself in the process.”

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