My parents never openly stated they want me to live up to perfection, but throughout my life, I always held myself to that standard.
However, I realize that as I get older “perfection” seems harder to grasp because my goals are not completely clear anymore.
During my middle school years, I worked toward getting to high school; in high school, I worked toward graduation. In grade school I set a goal for myself to graduate early. I achieved just that as well as a high-grade point average. I graduated high school at 16 with honors—Summa Cum Laude. Then college hit me. As far as school and grades go, I still am maintaining “perfection.” Apart from academics, life experiences don’t always align with the same perfection. I am just striving for success in life as my ultimate end goal.
I appreciate the teachings my parents have poured into me over the years. Clinging to their past direction makes navigating through college simpler. I continue to work hard in school, but I find preserving my mental health a challenge at times.
Throughout college, I realized that the support system and friends you attain will make your college experience run smoothly.
Being 567 miles from home forces me to face certain issues alone. As far as relationships, health scares and accidents, my mentor (a professor who I grew close to) and a few friends became who I leaned on. Some problems that I face, I don’t have the courage to tell my parents.
For example, I never mustered the courage to tell my parents of an STD scare. During that time I only felt like a failure — before I learned of the faulty results. To prevent tainting my “perfect” image I won’t tell them, although I know they would probably understand. The people in my circle, however, helped me to get through that time and many more.
Dealing with some issues alone led me to feel depressed, so I tried to build my relationship with God. Sometimes, I found it, unfortunately, tough trying to maintain my relationship with God. I am searching for a church that I can call home, but I find it hard to drift from what I am used to. Other than the teachings instilled in me from growing up in church, joining Florida A&M University Gospel Choir really helped me feel that sense of stability I need away from home.
Sometimes I find myself extremely overwhelmed.
I put pressure on myself constantly feeling the need to grow in the field of journalism. Trying to keep up with the standards I set for myself can be hard. When I feel mentally bombarded my matriculation in achieving small goals stops.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic my parents brought me back home to Louisiana. I stayed home for three months, and in those three months I found myself doing a lot of self-reflection. During that time I realized that I am still very young. I am only 19 with plenty of time to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Coming to this realization helps me deal with my anxiety in regards to feeling as though my life should be perfectly mapped out.
I am learning that making mistakes in life are common and adding extra pressure to be “perfect” doesn’t make life easier — I’m doing the best I can.
My goals for the future become clearer by day and I know that I am on the right track to who and what I want. I am coping with anxieties that I face and surround myself with loving people who encourage me. My friends help realize that things will get better when my “perfection” slips and I doubt myself. Ultimately, we all experience similar trials and I am not alone.