While reading Mindy Kaling’s essay for Rookie, I couldn’t help but notice her paragraph about how, when it comes to teenagers, everyone has to be everything.
Kaling writes, “Now it feels like you need to be a straight-A student, speak an obscure language, and also have spent a year living with brown bears or something to get into college. In the 90s you just had to be a pretty good kid and do O.K. on a standardized test.”
These two sentences pretty much summed up how I feel – and felt – about the college application process when I went through it. There is an unbelievable amount of pressure on teenagers to be unique and stand out, be a leader, serve your community, maintain a top spot on your sports team, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. When you’re in the thick of it, these pressures might not be as apparent since you have your eye on the prize, but for others, these expectations can mount to something unbearable.
It is important to take a few steps back every now and then to evaluate your pressure-level, your happiness, and to re-energize. You can’t be everything all of the time. Pace yourself and take on what you can truly manage, and surprisingly you will find that you can actually accomplish a whole lot more.
Do you feel the pressure to be everything?