What You're Doing is Enough. Seriously.

In the midst of midterm season, I cannot help but take note of how many people around me seem to be questioning if everything that they’re doing is “good enough." Whether it be receiving high exam scores, displaying a promising application for an intended major, securing that dream summer internship, or getting involved in research – it seems as if the majority is basing their worth off of a scale that values being seen as a student that can “do it all” compared to those around them. To put it simply, people are afraid of where they land at UW: below average, average, or not enough above the average. Now the curve is reset and half of the students here at UW find themselves at or below the average. Yet no one came here being “average." Despite whatever your exam score may read, whatever research job you did or did not get, or however stressed you feel about not doing “enough” compared to those around you, remember this: college may be the time when you figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life, but every decision you make in college doesn’t determine the rest of your life. You can make mistakes. You can change your mind. You can make new discoveries. It’s all okay. That’s part of the journey. That in itself makes you “good enough." 

While it is natural to compare yourself to those around you every once and awhile, there comes a point where it becomes unhealthy. If you’ve reached the point of burnout, doubt, overwhelming stress, or worst of all, experiencing a state of feeling “stuck”, then it’s time for you to make some positive change for you and solely you! You do not have to mirror every single academic, professional, or personal avenue that those around you are doing to uncover your own version of success. Everyone’s goals, fears, and outlooks on what a fulfilled life looks like will vary and because of that, you have to remember that you are valued, you are loved, above all, what you’re doing is truly “enough." Personally, when I find myself being a bit hard on myself, I remember to pause and think about the advice that a close friend once gave me. She read me a quote that said, “Think of how proud your younger self would be of you in this very moment.” As cheesy as it may sound, in that moment I was shocked. I realized that my younger self wanted nothing more than to be in college without carrying the worry of “not being good enough” and now that I am here, I fell into the same cycle I did years ago. Rather than focusing on SAT prep, AP classes, and extracurriculars, my present self has been repeating history by way of working towards LSAT prep, research, and internships with the goal of getting into graduate school – all with worry that everything I am doing is “not good enough.”

The solution? Live in the moment. Constantly searching in life will not make you happy. Instead trust yourself and value what you’re doing. If you can wake up every morning content with what you’re studying, what you’re doing, and who you’re surrounded by, then all that combined makes you way above “good enough.” While it’s difficult to stop comparing yourself to others (trust me I’m working on it, too), the times that you do will feel like absolute bliss. You’ll determine if what you’re doing is “enough” – and there’s no better feeling than that. 

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