Balance: An Academic Omen

It is midnight and the world is spinning, as I sit meekly on the bedroom floor.

The lists are spread out neatly on the wooden floorboards beside me

My notebooks ablaze with to-dos and reminders,

I look down, memorizing them, contemplating each minuscule detail, trying to make sense of the world unfolded in front of me.

But, amidst the anxiety and fatigue, I simply cannot.

And yet, I must.

I must expend the necessary energy.

“This I must,” I softly whisper into the tender silence, but I remain timid.

 

It is now 12:30, and I remain crouched over the same lists, the same spiral notebooks, the same brightly-lit screen.

And, although I am cognizant—I know it is late and I must go to bed— "I cannot." I say,

“There is simply too much to do,” I reaffirm, whispering softly.

There are emails to be sent and books to be read.

And goals, yet unaccomplished, yet unrealized, and yet unfulfilled.

It is nighttime, I’m tired, but I must go on.

It is nighttime, I’m tired, but I cannot stop.

The well-intentioned and compassionate words of my dear mother ring clear in these late hours,

“You must work harder than others to establish yourself here. You have our support, but you must be diligent.”

“OK," I simply retort into the silence.

But is that really so?

 

“She’s wise and intelligent, the best of both worlds,” they affirm.

I don’t know. Maybe so. 

But, what they do not explicitly witness are the battles. The internal battles.

The fatigue, the questions, the worries, the doubts, the anxiety.

A façade of perfection, masquerading as such.

But, within this world of perfection and materialism, the unsettling worries remain.

The exasperating feeling that my efforts disappoint.

My work is insufficient, my hours are too minimal.

My schoolwork is poorly executed, at a comparatively inferior level.

I should do more. I should be more involved.

I should be more.

But is that really so? 

 

And, yet, above all else, I also hold the sensation that there is more that I yearn for.

Above the homework, the work, the responsibilities, above the stress.

Fulfillment. Complete fulfillment and that has yet to come.

And there lies my Utopia.

But Utopias are far too buoyant, far too optimistic.

And so, my Utopia must materialize within these very moments

And, so forth, upon much contemplation and reflection, I have come to the realization,

That life—the human psyche—demands more. More than homework. More than a simple career.

And so, I affirm:

 

Yes, I am indeed motivated and strong-willed.

A student committed to her studies and the advancement of her career.

But, within the same gesture, I must also prioritize my happiness and joy, amidst the responsibilities.

Enveloped within the academic world, I will remain content, so I promise.

And so, an intimate balance, between these two spheres of life, must be found and must be restored.

And so, I promise.  

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So, new semester, I welcome you. I wish everybody the best of luck in whatever you choose to selectively undertake.