During a conversation with someone important in my life, she explained a concept to me that took me way off guard. While explaining how overwhelmed I am about school all the time, she simply stated to me that I seemed to have fallen victim to becoming a "human-doing" instead of a "human being." At first, I was upset, naturally because being anything other than a human being seems terrifying, but as she started to explain this in detail I saw how it did resonate with me.
I am a straight-A student who spends most of her evenings and weekends working on homework instead of going out with friends. I fill my periods between classes with more little tasks that need to be completed instead of having conversations with friends or eating lunch. I am so focused on doing well in school, that I give up time that could be spent doing fun things in order to get work done.
Yes, sometimes you have to sacrifice fun in order to get work done but my whole life should not revolve around getting work done. There are moments in time where I should relax. I don't recall the last time that I sat down to watch a television show or movie without feeling regret from not doing homework. I constantly cancel plans with family and friends to write papers instead.
I am missing out on little events in life just to accomplish something that may not have much meaning a year or so later. Yes, academics and grades are important to me but I must realize the other things that I have around me that deserve just as much attention. Even if it is small things like going out to coffee with friends or watching a movie by myself in my room, it could help me in the long run.
Differentiating who I am outside my schoolwork has always been difficult to me. An over-achiever and a dream seeker, I always want to do well. Though that is not a bad thing, it can take control over my life and make me nervous and unhappy. This isn't the healthy relationship that I want for myself.
By taking a step back and learning from others, experiencing things outside of academia, I continuously learn who I am as a whole person. I am not just my grades or my homework. I am a fan of music and I love going to concerts. I love classic 90's television shows and I love being out in nature and taking photos. Harnessing the passion that I have for doing well in school, not only to my homework but other elements of my life I can begin to become happier and less anxious about life.
So if you are anything like me, take a deep breath and step away from your work. Live life to the fullest and all areas and remember that you do not have to give up things in order to do well. It is learning how to balance all these elements and give them each fair amount of time that makes life enjoyable and worthwhile.