In this generation, there is always that constant pressure to do better, be better, and even look better. It has slowly but surely become more about how you portray yourself and how you advertise yourself, then actually just being yourself. Life has become less about taking the time to slow down and enjoying it to the best of your ability and more about pushing yourself to your breaking point in order to succeed.

For us high school and college students, we tend to take on more responsibilities than we can handle. This means more jobs, more extracurriculars, more leadership positions... just so that we can impress future employers. I'm not saying that impressing our employers and boosting our résumés aren't important, it absolutely is. But, there is a very fine line between gaining the necessary experience and recognition and taking on much more than you can handle. I am someone who is guilty of the latter. From the moment I started high school to my current position at FSU, I have always pushed myself to do more and to be better. Why? Because it was important. It would all pay off in the long run when I had this amazing résumé that would showcase my experience and expertise. It would pay off in the long run when I get accepted at the places of employment I apply for, the future law school I hope to attend, or any possible scholarships I hope to be awarded.

While I don't regret any of the positions or opportunities I have taken throughout the years, I do regret that I didn't slow down and take the time to enjoy it. I started to lose my passion, my drive, and honestly, my desire to succeed. I pushed myself too hard and way to fast, not giving myself the time to breathe or enjoy it. I lived in a constant state of overwhelming stress and high anxiety because my days were fully packed from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. I didn't have any time for myself, much less time to think.

So take it from me, slow down and enjoy your life. Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Yes, it's important to be accomplished, it's important to have the experience, and it's important to succeed. But, not at the expense of your mental health and your happiness. Put yourself first.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.