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

I never had to dream big for myself.

Everyone in my life did it for me.

Relatives would run circles around me praising me for my academic achievements, my accolades and work ethic. It was assumed that I would amount to something great, there was never a question I wouldn’t.

So, I toiled. I burned the midnight oil, really embracing this image of a workaholic. My worth became tied to my academic performance. For all four years of high school, my GPA defined my life.

I played the game, taking as many AP classes as possible. I stayed in, skipping out on dinners with family and friends. I even pushed getting my driver’s license until after I got into college. For me, it was all worth it.

But then college happened.

And those years of being a raging workaholic caught up to me.

Suddenly I was surrounded by equally adept peers. Individuals who knew how to work hard and play hard.

While in high school I could work hard and get everything I wanted, now I was struggling in college. Classes were difficult, getting into student orgs was competitive and my entire academic career seemed to be falling apart.

What’s more, it became increasingly clear that I didn’t need to sacrifice so much in high school to get what I wanted. Peers had checked every box of their high school experience and still ended up at the same place as me.  

Still, I pushed through. I didn’t stop working hard. I decided that the next step for me would be to pursue a career in a competitive industry.

I would be an investment banker.

When I finally walked the streets of Wall Street, everything would fall into place. I would have made it, and everything would have ultimately been worth it. I convinced myself that this was the only path for me to make up for picking a non-stem major. It was the natural next step to fulfill those dreams everyone had for me.

I dove headfirst into the process. I fully committed to it. I spent weekdays and weekend nights in the library studying for interviews and prepping answers.

Now I can’t tell you the exact moment.

But somewhere along the line, I started losing pieces of myself.

As dramatic as it may sound, I would wake up every day with a crumbling sense of self. There became an increasingly wide chasm in all the relationships in my life. It felt like I was watching my life from the outside at times, a spectator to my own biopic.

I knew I had it in me to make it to the top.

It would be worth it.


I couldn’t tell you.

Because I quit.

In January of this year, I gave up this vision I had of being an investment banker and with it, I stepped into this new zone of uncertainty. The ambiguity of where I go next is uncomfortable, but it is a privilege that I feel grateful to have.

Old habits die hard, and I am definitely still a raging workaholic who bites off more than she can chew at times. However, my life is no longer solely defined by my work. It’s made up of movie nights with friends, long conversations with my family, hour-long workouts for my sanity, finally watching TV shows that I missed out on in high school and so much more.

And who knows….

Maybe one day I’ll become an investment banker on my own terms.

But for now, I dream small.

Without anyone having to do it for me.

Anisya Nair has lived in three different states, learned three languages, and mastered three different dance forms. Outside of this strange affinity for the number three, she is a second year finance major and accounting minor at the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time, she enjoys curating oddly specific Spotify playlists, exploring new eateries, working out, watching rom-coms and scrolling through Pinterest.