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Run the Marathon of Life at Your Own Pace

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

It’s easy to think there is so much that still needs to be done. We have always been told that there are certain steps that we need to take at certain points in our lives. However, all of those societal expectations add negative weight to how we live. We sometimes forget to realize that we are human and that we have to deal with responsibilities and pursue passions at our own pace. 

I know I definitely have felt like I needed to do everything as soon as possible. Of course, having goals and benchmarks are important, but it can feel like all of these tasks are piling on top of each other. Sometimes, I don’t have time to enjoy or celebrate how much I have accomplished, or I don’t even have the time to recover or recharge. At some point, I asked myself: “Why do I feel the need to do everything so quickly?” I think it comes from not wanting to be behind on becoming successful. 

I didn’t take the time to really understand what success means to me, though. I based my form of success on what I saw in the world around me instead of what I wanted from myself. It led to some inner conflict because I saw myself doing tasks that I honestly didn’t care about. I didn’t know what my intentions were because my goals and passions had no correlation to things that I did, which were based on what society expected me to do. Now, I believe that success is supposed to have a different meaning for each person. Not all of us have the same dreams or goals we would like to succeed in. Basing our definitions of success on somebody else’s can cause us to live our lives in a way that we can’t fully embrace because it can lead to unnecessary negativity. Comparing our lives to other people’s forms of success is not a great way to be the best versions of ourselves.

To truly live life at our own pace, we need to care about what we want. It shouldn’t matter what other people are doing, because honestly, the only sort of comparisons that we should be making are with ourselves. That requires us to really understand our expectations of ourselves and how we can meet those expectations in a fulfilling and healthy way. If we have to go a bit slower to meet our goals, or if we need to take a completely different path to make our dreams come true, then please don’t hesitate to make those changes. Listening and taking action based on what is best for you is necessary to be the best version of yourself. 

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Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.