Dear High School Perfectionist,
I know how you feel. I know the stress, the accomplishments, the constant pressures, and the lack of sleep. I know, because I was you six months ago.
I know that it takes a special kind of person to really do it all: play a sport, be in a theatre performance, be involved in seven clubs and have leadership in no less than three, and of course, a full load of honors and advanced classes. Not to even mention the job you have to keep your resume up and the countless volunteer hours you commit to. I know, because I truly did it all.
I have to admit, after four years of being "that kid," I actually do have regrets. So many people will tell you that being the perfectionist in high school led them to where they are today. And it did. But, I could still be exactly where I am today by living a very different high school life.
I could be at the same college I am today without being in that extra club, without taking that extra honors level class, and without staying up until 2 a.m. to study for what seemed like the most important test of my life. I wish I had slowed down. I wish I had gone to the party, had taken the day off, and had spent the night with my family. I wish I had taken the easy elective, and dropped the useless club. I wish I had taken more time to enjoy the beauty of high school.
That's not to say that I didn't live my best high school life every day. I went to the football games, the dances, and the pep-fests. I truly lived high school to the fullest and experienced nearly all that it had to offer. I went to get coffee with my friends and I got into the college of my dreams.
What I didn't experience was the relaxation. I didn't take the time to soak it all in and really enjoy the lack of responsibility that teenagers have the privilege of enjoying. Honestly, if I could do it all over again, there really are things I would change.
I wish I could go back. I wish I could relive those years of peace, those years of being a teen. Before living on my own, before having to grow up. The years of high school are a special time that are truly like no other.
So, young perfectionist, take time to breathe. Reflect on your years. Are they really what you want them to be? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself and ruining what could potentially be the greatest four years of your life? Please take some time, reflect on what it is that you want from your high school years. I promise you what you don't want is tears, stress, and disappointment.
No matter how you chose to live out these next few years, live with no regrets.
The Girl Who Was You