Hello, my name is Alexandra Higl, and I’m an over-achiever. (Phew. Glad I got that off my chest.)
I am among the likes of the annoying “Hermione Grangers” of the bunch – from my commitment to stalking professors in their offices, to being that annoying girl who drinks too much caffeine and doesn’t get nearly enough sleep, to having panic attacks if an assignment is done at the last minute, to micromanaging every aspect of my life.
It’s kind of embarrassing, actually. I’ve never really been proud of this fact. (I swear I’m getting better, though.)
But, there’s one thing I won’t accept – mediocrity.
Recently, I read somewhere that millennials are natural over-achievers. Perhaps this is because the stakes have been raised. Within the past few years, college admissions have been more competitive. The job market expects more. Bachelor’s degrees aren’t enough. It’s time to get your master’s in five gazillion areas, along with a dozen doctorates.
You have to be versatile. You have to be well-educated. Sometimes, future employers, professors or career counselors put so much pressure on students they feel they have to be Superman or Superwoman.
Next, students will have to play the kazoo while tap dancing on stilts and interchangeably speak Latin and Chinese just to get into high school.
I only joke. That’s just for the honors programs.
However, I’ve watched more and more of my peers crack under the pressure. Someone tells them they have to be involved in this, that and something else (all while getting a 5.0 GPA and achieving world peace) in order to land their dream job.
Chances are, the person who has your dream job can’t even do all of that.
So, you know what happens next? The student does it for the résumé line. They go to a meeting, commit to a position and never show up again (or do a mediocre job).
This is where I draw the line at my over-achiever tendencies.
I can say, with complete confidence, I do everything I do because I love it. I love learning from my professors during office hours. I love being involved in a million and one activities. I’m on my best game when my schedule is jam-packed. I actually thrive on being busy.
But, I make sure I can actually be 110 percent committed to everything I do.
True, it’s embarrassing admitting defeat and dropping out of an activity. (This especially applies to over-achievers everywhere.) Been there, done that.
Yet, after the deed is done, you realize it’s the most liberating feeling. Now, you have time to be the best you can be at something you truly love, with every fiber of your being.
Take a good look at your life – and your résumé. (Go ahead. Pull it out right now.) Okay? Are you ready?
Now, go ahead through it. Do some deep soul-searching. (Play some inspirational music if you’d like. I find that John Lennon helps.)
Do you enjoy everything you do? Do you wake up, go through your day and put your best foot forward towards every activity? Or, do you do it for the résumé line?
In the end, it’s all about finding your passions in life. And, if your passion (or personality) is over-achieving, that’s okay. Let your freak flag fly. Just be careful to pace yourself. And, commit to what you love.
Because, who really cares about résumé lines anyways? Do what love, and you’ll love what you do.