One of the worst things about myself is that I’m an overachiever.
Some of you think that being an overachiever is a good thing. Well, honestly, I’m not proud of it.
I became an overachiever when I was in high school.
I hated myself for slacking off in middle school. Moreover, I loathed myself for only getting accepted into one high school.
I made a huge deal out of my high school career. Not only did I study for many hours straight, but I also juggled a crap-ton of extracurriculars.
I’m so grateful to have made a few friends in high school despite my workload because I was very antisocial; I skipped most of the school dances, sports events, hangouts, … most social events.
As a college freshman, I exceeded my limits – physically and mentally.
Despite how inexperienced I was at programming, I was fortunate enough to join a research group and be an active member in various STEM organizations.
Homework was last to do in my agenda. I wanted to have “the full college experience” – making friends, finding jobs, talking to professors and researchers, etc.
I never really prioritized anything. If I came across something that was work-related, then I had to do it and somehow squeeze assignments into my agenda.
I believed that my resume had to be astonishing because according to some of the posts I read in College Confidential, students and graduates struggle with finding jobs related to their degree(s).
So, because I was determined to fulfill my dream of becoming a programmer by overworking myself, everyday seemed… hazy.
I swear I was sleep-walking everyday.
I’ve exhausted myself to the point of casually forgetting recent things.
And, sadly, I felt very lonely.
I wasn’t really socializing; I was mostly networking without making any new friends.
My reputation was everything, not my physical and mental health.
Oh, and it wasn’t just my health that I became upset about; I was dealing with family issues as well.
Some of the friends I made in college knew about those family issues, but not really how I felt about them.
Freshman year was when I learned that a close family member became ill.
Because my college was somewhat close to where my family member often stays, I felt obligated to visit her.
Sometimes my parents pressured me to visit her, but oftentimes I would push myself to visit her as often as I could. Since everyday felt like it could be her last day, I usually felt guilty for not being able to help her.
I recall one time where I not only saw that family member, but I met a lot of other family members who were there to support her. The meeting was quite shocking because one of them either had a heart burn or a heart attack. My mind froze when he stopped breathing, turned red, and looked like he was falling asleep.
There were some other traumatizing things I witnessed that are kinda difficult to remember the details clearly. (My mind twisted a lot of the details to make them seem much more devastating than they actually were.)
Overworking with trauma, stress, and loneliness… oh my goodness… I should have visited a counselor. But at the time, I didn’t even know that counseling was an option.
I hope this blog post makes sense. I’m just freely writing whatever came into my mind when I thought about me working hard.
If I could go back to when I became a college freshman, I would tell myself to take it easy. Study hard, but take care of yourself. Also, your family members will become healthy. There’s nothing to fear. Just enjoy the present.