Wonder Woman Syndrome: Why We Feel the Need to Do It All

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At Bucknell, it’s no secret that we go to school with some pretty amazing students. Bucknellians here, there and everywhere are doing research to solve medical mysteries; volunteering in impoverished regions all over the world; directing their own plays or dance showcases; interning at the top companies in the country and so much more. But the catch? They’re doing it all…at once. Especially us girls.

One can refer to this “doing it all” attitude as Wonder Woman Syndrome. For those of you that know me, I’m the poster child for it. Between classes, meetings for clubs and organizations, homework and projects, leadership roles, volunteering and more, it seems that I barely have time to eat, sleep or breathe some days. But on this campus, I know for a fact that I’m not the only girl who’s got this “syndrome.”

While I’m staring at my Google Calendar-which looks more like a colorful LIFE board than it does a blank page-I glance over to the girl sitting next to me and her calendar looks the same. Yikes. I then receive a text from my friend that screams sheer panic: “SOS. So stressed out…what do I do?!” followed by lots of unhappy Emojis…not good. I pass by my girl friends in the Bison who are shoving quinoa to-go into their bags, whizzing by me on their way to the library, then to a meeting, then back for a project. And repeat.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It may be the result of our environment: Bucknell’s not an “easy” place to go to school. We always feel the need to stay on our game: dressing to impress, résumés chock-full of extra-curriculars and accolades, taking the campus by storm day after day without even the slightest break. As girls, there’s an air of competitiveness that seems to always creep up on us. Am I involved in enough activities? Am I doing better than her in class? Do I have a better jacket, pair of boots, necklace or sweater than her? Will I stand out? Will I be the best?

I’m sure you’ve all thought the same things at one point or another. I know I have…I wouldn’t write them if I didn’t. This type of thinking is the direct result of our environment, for better or for worse. Our University boasts some of the best students worldwide. Google “Bucknell” and you’ll read that we’re the nation’s largest liberal arts university. We offer an unbelievable amount of classes, programs, activities and organizations. As females on Bucknell’s campus, we’ve certainly taken advantage of all these opportunities, over-working ourselves and trying to “prove” we’re the best. I see it in girls on campus every. single. day. But for who? For what?

Wonder Woman Syndrome exists only if you want it to. The key to happiness at Bucknell…and in general? Do what you love. Certainly, I’m super busy and overworked, but I genuinely love every single class and organization I’m a part of and every leadership role that I’ve had.  Think about your commitments…can you say the same about everything that you do? If not, well, it’s time to ditch something. Wonder Woman shines as a famous heroine because she fought for what she was deeply passionate about: for justice, love, peace, and sexual equality. She devoted her time to doing what she loved and what made her feel fulfilled. Take it from her: do what you love and do it well. Throw yourself into everything you want to do and everything you love to do. Don’t do things for anyone else but yourself…because soon “doing it all” will put you on top of the world.