On perfectionism and peaking too early

awardLike many of you I started my spring semester last week.  Since transferring to a public state school I’ve made it a point to lower my expectations.  The academics aren’t the best, and my diploma certainly won’t have the same prestige had I stayed at my previous school.  But nonetheless I have to graduate and get out.

What is new for me, is this resentment I now feel towards some of my fellow students.  Maybe resentment isn’t the right word.  I’m not sure, but whenever I hear someone discussing grad school plans, an internship, study abroad, etc, I just want to plug my ears and squeeze my eyes shut.

Yes, it is true that some opportunities are no longer available to me because of the transfer.  I certainly won’t be studying abroad and I’m sure it will take me longer than two years to graduate.  But is the rest unattainable as well?

I blame my anxiety for a lot of this.  I’ve decided I really can’t further my education.  I just don’t have the nerves for it.  The idea of finishing my undergrad is daunting enough as it is.  Which is of course frustrating because I know intellectually I can handle it, but getting assignments done is just impossible.

This got me thinking.  Is it possible I just peaked too early?  I was considered a gifted student my whole life.  Up until I arrived at college I was constantly receiving awards and recognition.  Did my anxiety get worse?  Yes.  But its also possible I gave up when I realized straight A’s weren’t really attainable at such a competitive university.

Since arriving at this new school, I thought I’d done away with my perfectionism.  After all, I don’t really care about my grades anymore, so long as I pass.  But maybe this is just the other side of the perfectionist coin?  Maybe I just don’t see the point in being the best at a place I consider beneath me.  Does that make sense?


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