Confessions of an Over-Achiever

Have you stressed yourself out to achieve a goal that seemed impossible? Do you break out in sweats thinking about disappointing the people around you? Have you ever lied awake wondering if you’re doing enough to advance a career that you do not have yet? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may be an over-achiever.

In a culture who measures a person’s worth by the accolades they receive or the goals that they accomplish, it can be hard to break out of the molds of perfection that we try to fit in to prove our worth. As students, we are expected to have certain grades or take advantage of certain opportunities to prove that will push us into careers that will make a lot of money, but what does that mean?

Do we become less concerned with what we learn or if we learn if we do not get automatically get anything out of the lesson?

Personally, to achieve my goals, I have lost sleep, skipped meals, ignored my body telling me that it was in pain, and alienated myself from the people around me. I damaged my body and my mind to get the grades and the accolades that I knew that the people around me would be proud of.

I am not even sure if I was proud of my accomplishments. I defined myself as an honor student rather than a person who loved to learn.

I remember not getting the grades that I wanted in certain classes and becoming harder and harder on myself. It was not until last semester—when I made a mistake in a project—where I became aware that I was careless of my work because I cared more about the grade than what I learned from the assignment.

I decided that I did not want to college to just receive good grades—to make the people around me proud—but I also wanted to enjoy learning new things and gain new skills. That was my goal that I made for myself. That goal will extend to my life outside of college.

There is a problem with achieving goals to please other people. People are hard to please. Turn in the work that you are proud of: the work that is a true representation of yourself and your skills.

Once find pride in your work, others will see the care that you put into it and appreciate it too. Achieve your goals for yourself, and when your body tells you that you need a break, remind yourself that breaks are okay too.