I'll never forget when the speaker at my high school graduation mentioned that after high school, life is going to become very hard. Little naive me thought I had it all figured out and nothing was going to go wrong for me. But boy was I wrong. Less than a week after I moved into college, just three months after graduation, life became stressful. However, what I have noticed is that in those tough times I learned the most about myself.
Currently, I am a second-year Resident Assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University. My first year as an RA was somewhat nerve-wracking, but I quickly got the hang of my responsibilities.
One thing I learned during my first year as an RA was that I didn't enjoy doing team building activities as much as I thought I liked to. All throughout high school, a lot of my classmates would ask me for help with assignments and ask to work with me to do group projects. Therefore I got used to always being the leader and I enjoyed having that role. But what I failed to realize was that effective leaders understand that sometimes they have to play the role of a follower because sometimes we don't know everything. But because I am a perfectionist, sometimes being willing to step back and trust my teammates is really hard.
A few weeks ago, two people told that I was a perfectionist and at first I didn't agree with them. At the time, I was re-doing two bulletin boards on my floor because I thought they looked like trash. Furthermore, no matter how hard others tried to convince me that they looked great, I still felt the need to do them over. It was at that moment that I realized that I had been unintentionally putting myself down. The real reason why I wanted to re-do my boards was because I had seen other bulletin boards and thought they looked really nice and neat. Every year my first year as an RA, whenever I would see the boards other RA's created, I would put myself down because my board wasn't as creative as theirs.
I also really hate to disappoint people and I noticed that about myself at the beginning of the year when I took a capstone course for print journalism students. Through this capstone, I was a reporter and I hated when things fell apart because then I would have to deliver the bad news to my professors or editors.
In conclusion, every day for me a huge battle between my mind and my heart. I waste a lot of time trying to do things to make everyone else happy and worrying if I'm disappointing the next person and if I feel like I am making someone upset, I say sorry way too much. I guess I need to evaluate why I get so caught up in trying to portray this "perfect" image.