It was an unspoken feeling. It was completely and utterly uncharted. That is the word to describe the way I've felt my entire second year of college.
It's true: I've always been the overachiever. Ever since I could remember, I was always the student who went above and beyond. In middle and high school, I joined just about every activity that one could join. I pushed myself to my limits. I wanted to do a million things at once because I truly enjoyed being busy. I always loved the praise I got for the hard work that I put in and even more the praise that I would get when my hard work started to pay off. When I stepped onto my college campus my first semester, I was overwhelmed with joy. I felt unstoppable. I felt like I had the world at my fingertips.
Then, I had a rude awakening. Now, I'm about to sound odd, considering to most, this would be the experience of a lifetime, but here it goes:
I found an internship half way across the country, and I picked up and moved.
It was one of the best summers of my life.
But then, sophomore year began. It began way too fast. It began so quickly that I felt suffocated. I got back from LA and within days, I was living in a house with 100 girls.
People had always mentioned the "Sophomore Slump," but I never really believed them, not until now at least.
I felt overwhelmed instantly. I felt overwhelmed to the point where I started becoming numb to emotion and joy. I felt like I was just going through the motions. For some odd reason, I still wanted to succeed and overwork myself. I realized that I was still chasing the same high that the notion of "never failing" gave me, even though it made me feel no different. This was because when I didn't experience it, I felt worse. I started losing motivation to do my schoolwork and my favorite activities.
I felt like I wasn't normal, like this feeling that I was experiencing was something that only I got the chance to feel. It really hit me when I talked to my professor about the way that I was feeling. She asked me, "Have you ever experienced any type of failure?"
That's when it hit me. I hadn't. But I sure was afraid of it.
My entire life has been great, but it's consisted of me being too much to handle for myself. I led myself to being a more anxious, worried person over the fear of failing.
And that's when I realized.
I'm in college.
Then, I said "no" to a leadership position, and oddly, felt good about it.
I finally realized that the pressure that I had been putting on myself since I could remember had caused me to be in a total slump. The Sophomore Slump.
And I'll let you do the research yourself, because the second you type those three words in on Google, there are thousands of articles and a coined definition for the term. I mean, researchers have been paid to prove that this is indeed, a thing.
Here's the shortened version and the only one you need:
You are normal.
In fact, most college students experience it.
The fact of the matter is, I still do have the world at my fingertips. I have it now more than I ever did. Being clouded is fine, and being in a slump is also fine. It's perfectly fine not to be fine. For those of you who are overachievers like me, I applaud and also warn you, before it's too late. Take a step back and do something for yourself that makes you feel good without chasing the addicting feeling that success brings you. I promise it'll be worth your while. Stop putting unnecessary pressures on yourself, learn how to say "no" and live in the moment.