Yep, you heard me. As much as this sounds like I might be encouraging you to somehow worsen your life, giving up can sometimes be a method of self-conservation and survival that we need to utilize to best take care of ourselves.
I often fall into thinking that if I get myself into something, I have to fully commit to and finish it, regardless of how much it might hurt me in the long run. In my economics class, I learned that this way of thinking actually had a name, it’s called the “sunk cost” fallacy. It’s damaging to adhere to this way of thinking for too long because it tires you out and drains you of energy that could be spent doing activities you truly love.
When you make decisions in your life, it is important to realize that they are never set in stone. Just because you told yourself you were going to do something, does not mean that you cannot change your mind. This is something I really need to hear every once in a while as I tend to overwork myself on tasks that are never as deep or important as I make them out to be.
Despite our beliefs that if we work hard, we will achieve good things, there is a limit to how hard we work and the benefits we receive from it. There is a balance somewhere between draining yourself of life to best achieve a certain goal and not trying to do anything at all. But this balance, like all balances in life, is one that is difficult to reach.
If you are, however, similar to me, then it would benefit you to hear me when I say that you should know when the time is right to give up. While the pursuit of academic success can seem like your whole life in college, you must never give it that power. Your life is YOURS, and your life doesn’t revolve around your commitments or relationships. You are the maker of your reality.
So whether it be in relationships where you are putting in all of the work, or an essay you have been slaving over for the days and days, know your limit. Don’t waste time finishing books you hate or shows that don’t interest you just because you started them. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed to set boundaries and give up when you have to.
It isn’t an act of weakness, but of strength, and self-love.