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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This past school year has been especially tough on me.  For some reason I cannot shake the mindset that school is everything.  It has always been and still continues to be my utmost stressor in life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love learning.  The information I have learned during my time in college is something I will never take for granted.  What I am learning shapes me, day in and day out.

Deadlines.  Papers.  Exams.  Research.  Readings.  Presentations.  Re-writes.  

Every.  Single.  Day.

It’s physically and mentally draining me, partly because I let it.  Each assignment feels like it is a sole determination of my GPA for the semester.  I let each and every assignment consume my life.  Whenever I have free time I think about how I could be doing my homework or studying.  Instead of letting my brain get some much needed rest, I think and think and think.

I have been feeling this way for quite some time now.  I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I thought I would write about it to help others out there.  I am writing this to remind you that your grades do not define you.  Your grades are not a measure of how smart and capable you are.

If you are also getting to or are at this point, prioritize yourself.  Talk to an advisor or counselor at school, or family and friends.  I am sure you are not alone in this.

There’s the cliche that as long as you are trying your best, that is all that matters.  Although what if me trying my best is pushing myself over my limit?  What if it is me being entirely too harsh on myself?  I grapple with this saying.  Therefore I propose a new one: do what you can and treat yourself with kindness.

Midterm grades came out last week and I so far have a B+ in one of my classes.  I found myself being really upset by this, but why?  A B+ isn’t a bad grade at all, plus it’s only halfway through the semester.  Not to mention the professor for this class is particularly strict.  I reminded myself that given the circumstances, I am doing what I can.  I am trying.

I hope this article resonates with anyone who is going through anything similar.  It is tough for me to put in exact words how this feels.  But once again, I hope this piece can give people perspective on 1) what college can do to someone mentally and 2) that grades do not define you and grades are not everything.

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