Vents by Jess: Feeling overwhelmed, spreading yourself too thin, and some advice to current students

I have never been more ready for a semester to be over. I know I say that every semester, but this one is different. Granted, they’re all different. College is like a video game; each semester, a new level. And with each new level, the difficulty increases.

Until you ultimately lose all your lives and it’s game over.

Okay, that was a tad dramatic, but you get the pointโ€”I genuinely cannot handle this semester anymore.

That is so heartbreakingly sad for me to say because this is my last semester of college before I graduate, so you think I would try to enjoy it more. I wish I could.

But for weeks, I am literally under so much pressure from myself and all the various entities of my life, each one demanding something from me until I no longer have anything to give. I am being pulled in several different directions from work, classes, professional endeavors, personal dealings… need I go on?

And I will admit: I have spread myself too thin.

Because there’s just not enough time in the day. There really isn’t. There is only so much you can give of yourself to each part of your life and when you start to rack up too many parts… you’re unable to give enough. Each of them suffer and you feel like you’re failing, despite everyone in your life being “proud of you” or telling you that “you’re doing a great job” and are a “badass”.

We know our own capabilities like no other. When you yourself see that there is more that you could be doing for each compartment of your life, in order to achieve the quality of work that can satisfy you, and see that having too many compartments is prohibiting you from doing so, it’s hard to feel like you’re not failing at virtually everything.

It’s not healthy either. If you’re falling short at all of your obligations due to lack of time to put forth necessary efforts, do you truly expect that your mental health will remain intact? I don’t have time to think. Hell, I don’t even have the time to spare to be making this post right now either.

So, I sure as hell don’t have time to look out for myself.

Perfectionists and overachievers are notorious for putting ourselves on the back burner. It’s an issue of improperly allocating value. The factory settings of our brains tell us that tasks and responsibilities uphold more value and priority than we ever will.

And at the end of the day, part of you wonders if what is being asked of you by life is truly unreasonable and too much or if you simply don’t have it in you anymore and have what it takes to deliver. It’s a struggle between placing the blame on things outside of your control or internalizing the problem. Your biased perspective cannot make clear judgment on if it is truly an external matter or if the self-deprecation you engage in is warranted.

I won’t bore you with the details of every anxiety-inducing situation Iโ€™ve experienced over the last month. And I won’t drone on.

But I will say this:

To all of my current and prospective college students,

You’re going to want to. You’re going to be encouraged to. You will believe it’s right to.

But DO NOT spread yourself too thin. Value yourself and value your time. Do not engage in a gazillion things, chasing the illusion that it will make you better or successful. It will just make you half-assedly complete a gazillion things.

Pick one, or a couple, things you truly care about and craft them in your image. Invest in them your time to create and strive for greatness. You’ll have a lot more to show, I promise.

Learn yourself. Do not overload yourself with more than you can handle. Be aware and respectful of your limits. Be respectful and kind to yourself.

Because you don’t want to wake up one day and realize your two months out from graduating and you spent the majority of the last four years running around, stressing out, and forgetting to breathe and enjoy it all.

Breathe and enjoy.

Jess

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