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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I have always been a dreamer. I have huge goals and set extremely high and often unattainable standards for myself. On top of this, I am a seemingly constant busy college student whose life revolves around school, work and extracurriculars. Throughout my time at college I’ve dealt with pretty much consistent burnout, however, I sometimes feel lost without the rush and stress of deadlines, applications and meetings.

Recently, I’ve been attempting to unpack those feelings that cause me to overexert myself and allow me to be defined by my major, extracurriculars and work life. Why do I constantly feel bad if I don’t have something I’m working on? Why do I constantly add things to my plate despite it already being full?

The plight of the overachiever is a dangerous one, often leading to burnout and other mental health issues if not dealt with properly. I’ve found it can lead to a lack of sense of self as well. Who am I if I’m not working? What are my hobbies outside of work? What do I value outside of climbing the academic ladder?

This doesn’t mean putting your dreams to the wayside, it simply means taking a moment to discover who you are outside of them. It means finding out what you as a person need before you as a brand or as a worker, student or member need.

I won’t say that I have all the answers because I certainly don’t but one thing I can say is that resting, simply existing, is not a barrier in the way of achieving your goals, it is the key. We are humans, not machines, no matter how much traditional Western capitalist society tries to tell us that we are. We are allowed to simply exist without the constant reach for goals and ambitions.

Zahra is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Journalism and Strategic Advertising with minors in French and Musical Theatre. She is a diehard Taylor Swift fan and likes to rewatch Legally Blonde every 3-5 business days. In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her two cats, Bonnie and Clyde, and spend an inordinate amount of time on Tiktok.
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