Hello everyone! I’m writing to you after finishing the busiest week of my entire semester, and lately I have been thinking about balancing all of the expectations we place on ourselves. This week that balance has gone completely out the window, but to be honest, it was never really there in the first place. Considering that the rest of my semester is also going to be very busy, I am trying to figure out how to not completely lose my mind. I constantly feel stressed out and overwhelmed, and I am so damn sick of it.
I am so sick and tired of feeling like I have to do everything. I feel there are so many expectations constantly surrounding me that I need to achieve. Students are expected to stay on top of all of their school work, have a part-time job, have a social life, be fit and eat healthy, get involved in extra-curricular activities, get enough sleep, and stay on top of other adulting things like cooking and cleaning and taking care of oneself and more. It is literally impossible to do all of these things, and if you are reading this and are somehow able to do so, PLEASE let me know as I would LOVE to hear how!!! I personally can’t even stay on top of my school work, never mind anything else, and that in itself drives me absolutely insane. How are we expected to achieve such impossible standards??
These expectations that we place on ourselves are absolutely absurd, and frankly, I’m tired of bending over backwards trying to reach them. And yet, there’s something that keeps pushing me to try and obtain them. Maybe it would be easier if I just didn’t care, but unfortunately I do, which pushes me to always strive harder to achieve them. When I don’t reach these achievements, which is bound to happen because taken together such expectations are unachievable, I am left feeling like I have failed. More importantly, it makes me question why am I doing what I am doing in the first place, and if it is really what I should be doing. This self-doubt makes me feel like I am lost, and I absolutely HATE feeling this way. Of course, it is self-induced, from the expectations to the work put in attempting to achieve them to the inability to reach these impossible standards, but it still sucks.
I am sure I am not the only one that feels overwhelmed and struggles with being a student and attempting this whole adulting thing, all while trying to negotiate one’s place in the world, and I am sure that it doesn’t get any easier as time goes on. If that is the case, then there must be a way to negotiate these feelings and expectations. Maybe a good place to start is allowing ourselves to stop the insanity for a moment, take a step back, and just breathe. We are all human, and we are all struggling with various manifestations of these expectations in different ways. Being able to recognize that, and I suppose recognizing the impossibility of being able to truly achieve everything, can maybe cause us to discover what is really important to us and prioritize those aspects rather than attempting to do it all. That is something that has always been difficult for me, but I’m trying. And I know I’m not alone.
I hope the next month will bring less stress and more moments of stopping and breathing and just being. Though it hasn’t been off to a great start so far, one can always hope. Huge shoutout to all of you facing similar struggles right now and crushing it, and if anyone does have this adulting thing figured out and is an expert at balancing these crazy expectations, do let me know!! Until then, I will be stumbling through #chiaratakesvancouver in my own messy way, so stay tuned.