Hey, pretty girl!
Typical Monday mornings kinda suck…but finals Monday mornings REALLY suck. Some of us lay in bed until 1pm, others of us skip their shower and hit the library (definitely not me rn), and then there are the those who have enough energy to put on a Christmas party in the floor lounge at 10am. Yeah… those kind of people scare me but it’s not because of their energy, it’s because I feel like I should be able to have the same level of enthusiasm this time of year.
Reality check – you don’t have to be the perfect person who can be super prepared for finals AND enthusiastic. I think it is only fitting to talk about the problems with perfectionism prior to this hectic week ahead of us.
For much of my high school career, I was fixated on every nit-picky detail about myself. From appearance to my GPA, I heavily controlled my life so that I could fit the mold of a person I thought that I was supposed to be. While this didn’t harm my accomplishments, and may have helped me achieve things, it was not always healthy for my mental state.
First things first – YOUR GPA DOES NOT DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON. Yes, GPA does matter for college applications and your first job, but it doesn’t define you as “smart” or “dumb.” GPA is truly just a measure of how well the school system works for your learning type. It’s easier for those of us who find the teaching style used in school, the same one that helps us learn best. GPA, in my opinion, measures how well the school has been fitting your learning style, as opposed to intelligence.
Now, this is not always the case. A lack of work ethic can also cause problems in school, I am not denying that. While a small amount of stress about grades is healthy and often leads to this work ethic, there is a point of unhealthy behavior when it comes to GPA. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes when you hit this unhealthy level you procrastinate and seem “lazier” purely because you’re scared of failure.
In college, I have trained myself to instead judge how much thought I’m putting into the class. If I am putting in the bare minimum and barely scraping by, it is time to put in more work. However, if all I am doing is school work and not having any self-care or social time, I know that this is too much. It is crucial to find a balance.
Now, perfectionism doesn’t only pertain to school. It can also stem to things such as body image. Over the last year I’ve found myself on a variety of different planes when it comes to how I view myself. MFYM are the posts where I get the most vulnerable, so here we go.
Senior year I was fixated on having model size measurements. I thought that in order to be like any of the successful influencers I saw on Instagram, that I would have to hit these measurements. The truth is, those measurements are not healthy for MY BODY TYPE. Because each body is unique, a specific size is unrealistic.
Coming to college I began focusing more on enjoying life than living to keep a certain clothing size. While that mindset caused a gain of five pounds, something that would’ve terrified me a year ago, I feel healthier than I did without that weight. It is important to know that being underweight can be unhealthy too!
Overall, especially during finals season, it is important to check in with yourself by analyzing your thoughts. Thoughts that are centered on “perfecting yourself” should be rearranged to fit what makes you happy instead.
Good luck this week on finals and keep yourself accountable!
With Love, Marin