As I was progressing my way through the first half of my college career, I noticed my transcript was certainly stellar, but my camera roll was desolate, however, I continued to reassure myself: "It's okay that I don't put myself out there as much as I use to. I have the GPA, I'll have the successful future, and even prefer to have the hangover-free weekends"... little did I know.
Personal achievements, particularly concerning academics, are self-fulfilling and necessary components to our overall self-esteem. However, that sense of fulfillment tends to be temporary. The genuine, long-lasting, purposeful feelings stem from the relationships and intimacy we share with those around us.
When I began prioritizing my time properly, realizing the importance of a social life, it changed my well-being for the better. So how can you have both the 4.0 (or your definition of an accomplishing GPA) and loaded camera roll? If you manage your time correctly.
Academics are imperative, and my school achievements are a significant part of my identity that continues to define me until I move on to another chapter of my life, but hear my spiel: we will lose our minds by merely surviving.
Balance is a skill to master
At first, you'll feel guilty. Socializing and staying out with friends when in the back of your mind you have exams and assignments due the following week (gasp!) well, you need to either momentarily repress these thoughts and enjoy the night or, the key to thriving in my opinion, Get your stuff done before you go out. If we're similar persons, you will get the job done, and it's irrational to hold yourself hostage in your dorm.
Life is short and we will lose our minds by merely surviving
Before you know it, it'll be your 21st birthday and you won't know who to invite to split the Tropicana costs with, or you're getting married and you don't have a loyal group of girls on speed dial to be bridesmaids, or even worse, a MOH. Life is short, and if you're not living it, your emotional-being will pay the price.
Your transcripts won't take selfies with you!
Transcripts show discipline but they don't sympathize with you, listen to you, Netflix and Chill with you, or take selfies with you. Therefore, it should not be your only concern. Break up with your textbooks because I know you're bored, but keep it an open relationship, because knowledge is still power.
My GPA is the same, but my mental health is prospering. My camera roll no longer consists of just the occasional selfie and screenshots of Tasty recipes that I'll never make, but now with people I love, in moments I continue to cherish because I was able to teach myself the power of balance, an essential skill that takes time to master, but is imperative to start living over surviving. I'm happier than ever, with the same GPA, but now with more memories and meaning to my life.
You guessed it: you can have it all.
You should not allow your stubbornness or your obsessiveness with school harness you back from living or dedicating crucial time to friends when you have upcoming due dates haunting your subconscious. Don't hold yourself captive to deadlines. Our social lives give us endorphins, our relationships give us meaning, and our academic achievements give us personal fulfillment and knowledge. These are all are necessary to "live our best lives."