What It's Like Being An Overachiever
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My Need To Overachieve Puts Me Under Constant Stress, But I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

Yes, I am probably taking a few too many credits than my 20-year-old body can handle. Will that stop me from taking them all, though? Probably not.

My Need To Overachieve Puts Me Under Constant Stress, But I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
Sera Mugeta

Hi! My name's Sera, and I like to be the best at everything.

And while, yes, this is an incredibly unrealistic goal, it's still one I cling to.

This semester is actually my easiest semester so far in college. I'm taking 16 credits, involved in two student groups, have a work-study job and retail job, and I'm still going strong in the middle of the semester.

I take more classes than I should, join more student groups than I should and probably work much more than I should. I'm an overachiever. I like having a full (probably overflowing) plate because it keeps me busy. Then, I complain about how busy or overwhelmed I am, when it's really all my fault for putting this all on myself. I'm also highly competitive which, when combined with my need to stay busy, is a dangerous combination. I don't know if it's the 'Tanzanian' traits my Dad passed down to me, but I like to compete, and I like to win. I complain about how I have no time for my favorite hobbies, reading, and writing when I could have time if I just didn't decide to do everything that knocked on my door.

I'm also incredibly indecisive. Whenever I build my schedule for the next coming semester, there'll be three classes I want to take but don't really have to, because they're not necessary for my major. I'm the person that adds those classes and pushes my credit load to a credit overload. Besides, what's the harm in taking classes you'll actually like? (The answer: a lot, but this is a rhetorical question.) In short, my indecisiveness makes me take up more projects than I may actually be able to handle.

And I have tried to relax. Multiple times. I had a week last summer where I didn't have any work, school or group responsibilities, and it was boring. The backs of my hands were itching to do anything. Not being busy or having something to do kills me. If I have nothing to look forward to or work on, then I feel useless and that I'm wasting my time. Except for the very first week after the end of a semester--that's when I really, truly clock out and don't do anything.

It's hard for me to see people doing absolutely nothing. I don't mean anything in terms of groups, activities or hobbies, but in terms of school or work. Those people who are just waking up day after day with absolutely nothing to do or plan for. It just sounds so daunting and boring. Hobbies, classes, and jobs make life a little more fun and inviting.

This isn't an article to convince me to stop putting a lot of things on my plate. Because I like having a full plate. It's more of a "hey, what's up" to the people who don't really understand what it's like. I talk to some of my friends about how I have so much to do and they'll ask me why I'm a part of so many things then.

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