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Wellness > Mental Health

“You Care Too Much,” She Said. I Do, But I Think I’m Okay With It.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

I was having a conversation with a friend, going over something that had happened; and in my painstaking detail of events and overthinking of the situation, she laughingly said, “You care too much.”

It was not meant in a negative way at all. I responded that she was completely right. I did care too much. I often do care too much. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. 

Is it really possible to care too much? To feel too much

I’m aware that I feel things big and hard. When I’m happy, things are exciting and bright—I bring the energy. When I’m sad, I’m big sad, listening to Celine Dion and comfort eating. When I’m mad, I’m often boiling, feeling charged with purpose and injustice by my righteous anger. I neutralize fairly quickly, but sometimes when a feeling strikes I can so easily just get completely wrapped up and lost in it.

It can be a lot. I can be a lot. 

Again, I know this. I’m claiming it, naming it and putting it out there for people to see (I’d like to think I’m nothing if not self-aware). I feel big and hard and messy and unfiltered. And it’s scary to put your feelings out into the universe. I consider this to be central to my personality, even though it’s not always everybody’s cup of tea. People sometimes see emoting as a flaw. I fear it makes me too hard to handle or too much for people to want to be around. People may not like me because of it. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll be able to change; but more importantly, I’m not sure that changing this part of me is something that I want to do. 

I often feel that my passion for things is one of my biggest strengths. It motivates and inspires me, it drives me. However, I also acknowledge that when that passionate nature pulls to the negative side, it can shut me down. It’s hard to focus and prioritize. My feelings are almost too big to do anything with. But that’s when I think it’s important to remember that it’s okay to just feel sometimes too. It comes down to finding balance, and I feel like people often work their whole lives to find “balance.”

There are times when I wish I could care less about things. It can be exhausting for the mood shift of a friend to affect you so deeply that you spend the day overthinking about what could be wrong. Still, I think again and I realize that it’s strong to feel so invested in the people we love that we can perceive subtle change and hurt with another human being. 

So maybe it can be one of my greatest strengths and one of my greatest weaknesses at the same time. The wonderful complexity of human nature intertwines contradiction to create unique and beautiful people. It is my work, every day in determining who I am and struggling through the mess I often feel my personality is, to try to manage these big feelings in a healthy way. It is the challenge I must remind myself of daily: find perspective in the sadness, love in the anger and calm in the joy. I don’t want to feel less, but I do want to better manage the chaos big feelings can sometimes bring. 

To anybody out there who gets caught up in feeling too happy, too sad, too mad and too everything, I think you’re just enough. We can care big and loud and let that guide us to magnificent acts of compassion or inspired acts of advocacy. I believe we can do big things with all of our big feelings. 

Emma Koster

Notre Dame '22

Hi! My name is Emma and I'm a junior at the University of Notre Dame. I'm so excited to be studying psychology, journalism, and digital marketing here at ND! In my free time I love to read, eat yummy snacks, and hang out with friends.