Why I Shouldn't Be Shamed for Being an Overachiever

Why I Shouldn't Be Shamed for Being an Overachiever

On college campuses, negativity is often used when describing overachievers, calling them names and shaming them. This needs to stop.
34
views

For as long as I can remember, I've always went above and beyond the requirements when an assignment or activity caught my interest. While I wasn't this way in every single activity I participated in, nor did I live in a state of unaltered success, I have always put 100,000 percent into the things that I have cared for, expecting very little in return.

However, since being in college, this character trait I possess has somehow negatively impacted relationships, and I cannot even begin to understand why. From close friends to classmates I barely know, the words "try-hard," "psycho," and "hardo" have been used when describing those who possess this overachiever characteristic that I do. Why should I be shamed for my passions (and the self-imposed stress that comes with them), rather than rewarded or applauded for my achievements? And why is the negative stigma of being boring placed upon those who categorize themselves as overachievers?

Just shy of turning four, I started taking dance lessons a few days a week, and even performed in recitals. By five, I was swimming competitively in the summers, and committed to Irish dance lessons twice a week as well. At seven, I was swimming three times a week (year-round) for one of the most intense teams in the country, while moving up fairly quickly in my dance classes. As a child, I was both a dedicated and a highly-respected hard worker.

Throughout my teen years, things began to change. I couldn't train physically for dance or swimming due to a car accident, nor did I have the motivation to do so in the eyes of my peers. I lived in a perpetual state of angst, and felt my life was perfectly symbolized Simple Plan lyrics and my closet full of black. But behind the scenes, I was studying seven hours a night and editing papers five times before handing them in, just to try and reach perfection.

The bragging in the halls of high school consisted of students talking about how drunk they got the night before, and how many assignments they blew off -- doing just enough to get by. It had almost become respected to be "the one who didn't try," and a competition to become that person. I could never let my friends know I was doing just the opposite.

When I arrived at college, these competitions to try less became even worse. I soon stopped trying altogether because I felt it was more important to socialize and fit in, than to focus on my work. I became the overachiever of partying and not caring.

Of course, this quickly came back to bite me. I transferred, and thankfully got a fresh start to my GPA. This do-over allowed me the chance to return to my roots of real hard work, and I welcomed it with open arms.

But for some reason, not everyone did.

My occasional Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights-in were deemed "awful" because I wanted to work ahead. And people in my group projects were annoyed with me doing my portion of the work (and often theirs when they refused to put any effort in at all) extremely detailed and ahead of schedule. Eyes rolled when I, or other overachievers in my classes, stayed after for advice on our work, or raised our hands to answer questions. Even some teachers said I care far too much, and I was completely baffled by these responses.

Why has being categorized as an overachiever become so negative? I will not judge those who choose to not do their work (unless it impacts my grade or success), so why should he or she judge me for actually doing mine ahead of time?

I still make time to go out with my friends, enjoy many glasses of wine, and attend social activities. The only difference is that now I am proud of both sides of me. I am happy to now admit I spend twelve hours a week actually doing the readings for my classes, watching documentaries about my future career path, belong to six clubs, and turn every assignment in on time. It does not make me a better person, nor mean I get better grades than those who do it last minute (because I often do not), it just means I try because I am proud to be an overachiever -- whether I succeed or not.

I recognize I will never be perfect, and I don't try to be for anyone but myself. I may receive a C on an exam I study 14 hours for, I may get a job offer for a less successful company than those who don't put much effort in, yet are naturally intelligent, and I may miss out on the occasional Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night out, but I will no longer be ashamed of being the overachiever, "try-hard," "psycho," and "hardo" that I am.

Cover Image Credit: theage.com

Popular Right Now

10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
326608
views

I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

https://secure.img1-ag.wfcdn.com/im/d5ea3c03/resize-h2000-p1-w2000%5Ecompr-r85/3021/30217778/Express+6+Volt+Cordless+Bagless+Handheld+Vacuum.jpg

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The 5 Types of Retail Customers

A run-down on the many forms of customers you either encounter as a retail employee or are guilty of being.

652
views

We all get summer jobs or seasonal jobs at some place to get that extra cash when we find ourselves broke after spending $300+ on Ubers/Lyfts in under a month (possibly speaking from personal experience). This in turn led me to broaden my job searching horizons and led me to work at a fast food chain that goes by the name of 'Salsaritas' (ironic since my nickname is Salsa, also was not intentional) and currently a retail store at a local mall. So, I guess it's safe to say that I have come across a lot of different people with a whole lot of personality. Working in these types of industries, it can sometimes be really hard and pretty interesting. So voila, here we go:

1. The Always Angry Customer

media1.giphy.com

This is the customer that is constantly angry. They walk in pissed off and they want everyone else to know that they are pissed off. This type of customer also uses at least one of these following sentences: "Let me talk to your manager. Who's your manager?" or the "How long have you been working here for?" Honestly, there's not much you can do to help them other than try to just do what they ask for and get them the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

2. The Messy Customer

media0.giphy.com

Easily one of the most annoying types of customers (sorry). This person will walk and run their hands through an entire counter or rack full of perfectly folded clothes, unfold them, and then just leave them on the counter or on the floor. They also have the "it's fine, it's their job to fold them" mentality. Honestly though, how hard is it to put a jacket or shirt back on a hanger? And if you're this type of customer please, please, please, put what you found back where it came from. Sincerely, every retail employee ever.

3. The Super Nice Customer

media1.giphy.com

This customer is god-send and thank god that they exist. They are the ones who you can just tell are genuinely good people. New at work and don't know how the hell to ring up a customer at a register? No worries, they'll wait there patiently, smile at you, and occasionally tell you that "you're doing great sweetie." They treat you like you're not just a retail employee and at the end of the day, you just wanna give them a hug for making your day feel less shitty.

4. The Talkative Customer

media3.giphy.com

There's two parts to this one. This type of customer is either talking on the phone while you're ringing them up at the register or is just trying to get to know literally everything there is to know about you. If they're on the phone, it's impossible to know if they're responding to you or to the person who they're on the phone with. The worst part is when they hold up one finger to signal to you that they'll be just a minute and leave you to just awkwardly stand in front of them while trying not to listen to their entire conversation. The other part is when they just want to get to know you which is cute and all until they're just trying to analyze your entire background, where you're from, what you're studying, etc. Luckily if you're like me who wasn't born in the U.S. with a very ethnic name, you just scored yourself a talkative customer. Well done and good luck getting out of the conversation!

5. The Last Minute Customer

media3.giphy.com

Imagine that you just did an 8 hour shift and right when you're about to clock out and head out to go home, you see a customer walking in literally a minute or two before the whole mall is about to close. They'll probably ask you if you're about to close even though they can see that there's not a single person inside there other than you. They'll also probably tell you that they know exactly what they're looking for. It's never true and get ready for that OT. But hey, on the bright-side, you'll get a fat pay-check.


So, the next time you find yourself at a mall...Remind yourself to pick up something you might've accidentally dropped, keep in mind that workers are human beings too, and kindness goes a long way because at the end of the day, that employee could be one of your loved ones.

Until next time,

Salsa.


Related Content

Facebook Comments