My first day of college felt like a dream. I stepped wide-eyed through the black iron gates into a paradise of manicured lawns and towering stone buildings, exhilarated at the chance to attend an Ivy League school. Everything looked just as beautiful as it did in the brochure, and I felt sure that I would soon be as happy and fulfilled as the students I’d seen smiling on the cover.
But within a few weeks, I encountered the unpleasant reality beneath my school’s surface. The incessant competition. The endless work-filled days and tense, sleepless nights. The tremendous pressure to perform brilliantly in every capacity: academics, extracurricular activities, social life, physical fitness, and career. I felt like I was juggling bowling balls. But I couldn’t slow down, because no matter how well I did, it seemed the person next to me was doing better.
Then one night while my roommate and I sat in the common room bemoaning our crunched schedules and heavy workloads, she broke into tears. “I don’t know why they let me in,” she said. “I’m just not good enough.” Her words caught me off guard. Until that day, I had thought that such feelings of inadequacy were mine alone. But I soon found they pervaded the whole campus. As I began my sophomore year, more and more of my fellow students admitted to feeling constantly overwhelmed. “I feel so worthless,” one confessed to me. “I would transfer, but my parents would never understand,” lamented another. And the one that hurt the most: “Sometimes I think I’m going to have a breakdown.” 👉 Click the #linkinbio
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