Why I Regret Overworking

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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