Happy: The New Perfect

Happy: The New Perfect

Perfect: a 7 letter word that should not exist.
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My name is Chandni Shroff, and I'm a recovering perfectionist. My entire life, I've been too hard on myself. It is not pressure from my family, friends or fellow peers that drives this ambition for success. Instead, it's a forced internal demand that incites this desire to be impeccable in every aspect of life.

I admit it -- I can be a somewhat of a control freak. But there is a difference between wanting to be in charge of a situation and in choosing to opt out of an opportunity due to perceived social pressures and performance anxiety. The feeling of failure can be so debilitating, and the notion that your best efforts may be too poor to showcase in public can have a detrimental effect on one's self-image. An important thing to realize is that the definition of failure is quite skewed in the mind of a perfectionist. For most people, success lies on a spectrum, and the terms poor, good, decent and great all have a different meaning. For a perfectionist, failure is anything below excellent. If it does not match the narrow set of ideal standards in their mind, then it is simply not good enough.

My perfectionism manifests itself in a dynamic manner. On one hand, I get anxiety in regards to performing tasks -- they must be completed in an impeccable fashion. However, it also presents the illusion that no task is too difficult, daunting or demanding. With every successful accomplishment, a perfectionist fools themselves into thinking they have an intrinsic ability to succeed. That's the thing about perfectionism: it always seems like it is within reach. My mind has tricked me into thinking I need to get the best grades, most awards, and highest honors; it is a vicious cycle that results in a spiral of anxiety, self-doubt and frustration when I fall short of these idealistic standards.

Striving for perfection is incapacitating, rarely attainable, and disheartening.

A perfectionist constantly compares themselves to others, works relentlessly to the core, and beats themselves up incessantly. Regardless of how well a situation may have gone, a perfectionist will constantly brood over what they could have done better.

The more I strive to be perfect, the less happy I become.

It's taken me a long time to come to the place I am now. I finally recognize that my issues of perfection stem from my mentality. Tendencies regarding perfection are driven by fear: fear of failure, fear of being judged. I know that it's going to be a struggle. Every single day I have to remind myself that it's OK not to be perfect. I'm working to change my outlook so that I can accept my flaws and become a better, happier version of the person I am. To anyone else struggling with perfectionism, here's my advice:

Strive for progress, rather than impeccability. Embrace your creativity and allow yourself to have new experiences. Let go of the need to be perfect and just be. Be kind to yourself, and be proud of who you are. Picture-perfect is just that: an illusion.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.utica.edu/student-blogs/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/The-Perfectionist-Scale-3.jpg

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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Getting A Cat Senior Year Of College Saved Me, And It Could Save You

Even if you're not a cat person (which I know most of you aren't), there are valuable lessons to be learned from a furry companion, especially as a senior in college.

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In the first week of September during my senior year of college, I already felt like I was bungee jumping with the wrong cords that could snap at any second. No matter what anyone tells you, senior year is no joke. With all of the feelings of stress and anxiety, you would think that putting a new pet into the mix of all of that is the worst idea someone could have. But, really, when do we ever get to make crazy decisions if not senior year of college? So I got a pet, of course. Why not live on the edge?

Let me tell you, finding the animal you want to adopt is a pretty magical moment. I went into that shelter looking for a cat that was at least a few months old and had its bearings on life. I came out with one that was barely nine weeks old (totally not the plan). It was all because when I held him he booped his nose on mine and my heart turned into a puddle on the floor. I knew right then that this would be my cat. His given name was Batman, but we decided to call him something much suaver: Bruce Wayne. He also is a black cat, so I would say the name fits well.

It is important to note that before this cat saved me, it wrecked me. The first week of ownership was one of the biggest growing periods of my young life. I cried every day. The realization that I was now responsible for such a small, fragile being was, to say the least, earth-shaking. But, after that first week of worrying if he would even survive in my care, the dust settled, and I got to explore what it was like to not only care for an animal but to have a new companion to live life with. I watched him explore and learn and play. I saw him grow from a small kitten to a fierce lion-cat (who very much enjoys being like a lion and chasing his "prey" a.k.a., my limbs and extremities). I was able to nurture this small being and see him grow into the cat he is today. It has truly been a gift to be such a vital role in his life. High-key, this experience has given me a glimpse of what motherhood might look like (disclaimer: I know that will be much much harder and I'll cross that bridge when I get there).

Now onto the part about how he saved me. I learned what it is like to care deeply about another being while also being responsible for them. I learned how to balance my social life, spending time with him and making him feel loved. I learned how to tell if he was sick or not. Arguably, the most important thing I learned, was that if you think they have an ear infection, you're probably wrong and you probably don't need the $120 ear drops the vet will give you (look, overreaction to their first sign of illness is a thing and you will definitely experience this). But really, the companionship I experienced from Bruce during senior year boosted my morale and kept me motivated to finish undergrad strong. I don't think I would have made it through my senior year if I hadn't had Bruce there to show me love, support me, and keep me laughing. He became a companion that I would not be able to find in a person. He also wasn't someone I had to talk to. We could just sit, play, and sleep without having to exchange words, but even in this nonverbal relationship, he knew I loved him and I knew he loved me. Having him around made everything much brighter and mean much more.

Would I suggest everyone get a cat senior year of college? The cat-loving part of me wants to scream "Yes!" and meet you at the Humane Society tomorrow, but the logical part of me knows that it isn't for everyone. A pet is a huge responsibility and if you aren't ready for that, then don't step into that part of your life. On the flip side, I also urge you to be open to the possibility of a pet being just what you need. Who knows? Your pet could get you through one of the hardest seasons of your life. They could also be just another thing to love and smile about during one of the best seasons of your life. They're with you through it all! Whether your pet barks, meows, or chirps, you'll learn valuable life lessons and gain a loyal companion.

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