Under Pressure…

Under Pressure…
The day that I am drafting this blog post, is the 16th
of August. (I like prescheduling). This also happens to be the day that I wrote
my personal statement… and I had some very mixed thoughts while writing it.
Many people end up writing one, or something similar, if
they’re intending to go to university. It’s like you’re trying to fit something
along with your grades to make them more personalized – to make the numbers
into something more humane. While writing it, I quickly took all the best
aspects of myself, all my achievements, and buttered them best I could. I
chucked them on the page, and that was that.
When I was done, I felt pretty strange…
I hadn’t even thought about what I was doing much, but in
some sort of way I had just reviewed myself like I review my books. I’d looked
for what I liked most and what I didn’t like. Instead of being honest though,
I’d only put what I liked and what looked best in order to ‘sell’ myself to the
university. Sort of how an author promotes their own books – they’re not really
going to go around flaunting their negative reviews, right?
It made me think of the pressure I was putting on myself
too. As soon as I go to university (you know, if I pass those exams, if I get
accepted… if, if, if *bites nails anxiously*) then I would be feeling the
pressure to live up to all the things I have put down on that piece of paper. I
know there won’t be someone watching me like a hawk to see if I lived up to all
the things I claimed I was and am, but there would be that mental note tucked
into my mind of what I pledged whenever I am doing something.
Even now, before I have sent off the application I
already am feeling that pressure. The worst thing about it is that I wrote it myself. Sure, I needed to
write one, so you could say it wasn’t really done willingly…
Then again, maybe I am stressing and overthinking
something as little as writing a personal statement way too much.
The main thing I am trying to get at is that we put a lot
of pressure on ourselves. Sometimes there are outer forces influencing that as
well, and sometimes there really aren’t. But what you need to remember is that
when you shouldn’t even promise yourself when it comes to goals. Aspire towards
them, yes. Encourage yourself, yes. But don’t fret and stress about getting
there, because that’s just unnecessary panic you don’t need in life.
You’re gonna be able to ace whatever life throws your
way, and exceed all expectations.
Olivia’s Question: Do you pressurize yourself sometimes?

Olivia-Savannah x


26 thoughts on “Under Pressure…”

  • Hi Olivia,
    Pastor Francis here,
    Talking about oneself can be a challenge. What I notice is that in some cultures selling oneself is to be expected, "normaal' while in others it cringes and clashes with a desire to be humble. Scripture tell us to be have sober self-awareness and not over-rate ourselves. I may be idealistic here but I would have thought the thing to say to educators is more, I am capable and want to learn and grow rather than I am already wonderful pick me! Its more grounded that way and doesn't generate performance expectation.

    • Hello Francis, interesting to see you stop by my blog ^.^ Yes, I think culture really does have a lot to do with it. And your beliefs as well, of course. I agree — your idea would be so much more preferred by me especially, but it is hard to envision it happening. Then again, who knows what the future is for educational systems? Perhaps a change is in order…

  • Yes, I put pressure on myself. It's hard to get a balance between enough pressure to motivate yourself in your goals and not enough that you don't take that step. Fear of failure has been my pressure point. It's easier now that I am older and realize this.

  • Oh God, I know just what you mean. I recently graduated from University and my last year had to be for my internship and stuff, and I felt such an amount of pressure while creating my resume!!! It was awful, I felt like I hadn't done anything with my life, that there were so many other young people who've accomplished so much more than me… Like I said, awful.

    But it all worked out in the end. I got a great internship and got hired at that same company after that 🙂 although you know I moved to another country, so I had to look for another job here, and while updating my resume and trying to find this new job, I felt awful again (why, why do I do this to myself?!). And guess what, I found another great job and I'm having a great time haha.

    But yeah, I'm a little ball of stress and anxiety, that's me. Although I've been learning to control it, especially since I moved to Spain and feel way happier over here.

    I bet you'll do great and everything will be worth it, you'll see! 🙂 Good luck with everything!!! ^-^

    Lipstick and Mocha

    • Ugh, it's so horrible and heated when writing all about yourself. And it really forces you to reflect. But you HAVE done so much in life. It's just what they want to see on the resume vs all the good you've actually done. Don't forget you are spectacular in your own right <3

      I am glad it managed to work out so well for you. It's so cool that they wanted to keep you on. Maybe obstacles are just the beginning of something great which is going to follow afterwards.

      I'm so happy you're enjoying your time in Spain so much. Thank you, Carla <3

  • I used to pressurize myself a lot when I was younger. But one day you realize it's not worth it.

    I am a person that need to have goals and achieve them to feel like I did something important, but in the end, sometimes I didn't even wanted what I was working so much to achieve! So sometimes it's good to relax, take a deep breath, and think if it's really important for you.

  • Liv, you never know what's around the corner. Trust me, putting pressure on yourself just isn't worth it – aim high, sure, but with the knowledge that failure is a) a part of life, b) not the end of the world, and c) sometimes a blessing in disguise. I know it's hard, and I hope you do soooo well (obviously!) but if you don't? You're still you, and you're still awesome!

  • Olivia-Savannah, I think I might be the queen of overthinking and pressure. It's common in nearly all of us, but writers are probably even more prone to it. I wish you good luck. We all have doubts–it's the commitment to plow through them anyway that makes the difference.

  • Last weekend, I saw this meme about how to be a writer. The first thing it says is to WRITE. Don't think about writing. Don't plan on writing. Just write. Once upon a time, I had this grand dream of being a writer. But I was a nit-picker and I tend to complicate things – so much so that my original plotting gets so twisted that it became unrecognizable. After reading what I had, and after realizing I no longer know where I can take the story, I stopped.

    I think overthinking is a good thing when you can recognize that you've oversimplified things. You know what I mean? Unfortunately, life isn't black and white. There are gray areas that you need to extrapolate. I say go with your gut and let your words guide you.

    • Being able to accept that we can make mistakes the first time, and that it doesn't always have to be perfect, that is one of the hardest things for a writer to overcome. But in the end, we need to realise that there are always going to be things we don't know. You're so right… we just have to live life in the end…

  • I think it's common to writers to overthink. 😉
    But I like that after I've written what's in my heart, I feel so much better. Like a weight has been lifted from my shoulder.

  • Yes. But, I have such a supportive husband that I know he'll always be there to support me. Just knowing that alone makes every task manageable, every hardship bearable…

  • I do think that these kind of things are very hard to write. I don't remember writing thing kind of paper when I went to college but I might have. Resumes are equally hard. I think it is hard to write about yourself. I can usually come up with a list of things that I need to do better but I have a harder time finding my strengths. I think that nobody expects as much out of me as I do and it sounds like you are in a similar spot. I am sure that you are going to do great, Olivia!

  • I'm convinced my blogger friends are mind readers. Each week, there are personal posts about what that person is going through and it feels like they're inside my head. And I have to remind myself that everyone deals with stuff. I feel pressure everyday, especially at work. Since I was promoted back in January, it seems like I'm going extra hard to prove to my coworkers why I got said promotion. I have to stop and breath because my boss and supervisor saw what I'm capable of and deemed me fit for the job. There are a few coworkers who have had negative reactions to my transition and there's nothing I can do about it. If all goes well by September, I'll be out of there and working from home so I won't have to be around such a negative environment. I'm one of 3 black people there, the rest are white and Korean. You can only guess whothe negative ppl are. They have more yrs there so it should have been them, yada yada yada. I'm tired of stressing myself out, so I hope to get approved to work from home. I learned when I was 12 that I'm not a ppl person, so I'm finally doing what's best for me. Great post, sweetie!

    • Maybe we are all a lot more sync then we realise 😉 And yes, I think it helps to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this. Just remember that you getting that promotion means you deserved it, and any degrading or negative comments about that is because of jealousy and knowing how well you are doing. It's horrible that it is like that in your workplace, and I hope you will be able to get to work from home as that suits you a lot more. Some of just aren't people persons, and that's perfectly alright 🙂

  • Yes, definitely! Especially as I'm coming to the end of my degree and making all sorts of plans for the future – I'm feeling a lot of pressure lately. It's important to have moments where you take a step back and get some perspective. I like how you're using your blog to do that 🙂

    Oh and your personal statement was so amazing, you could write ten more pages about how amazing and talented you are. You are going to absolutely live up to and exceed what ever expectations university have for you 😉 Don't forget that while universities are highly academic institutions with somewhat rigid learning structures, they are also spaces for creativity,imagination and flexibility. They don't expect students to come with their whole lives worked out already, (especially in first year) they're really a space for growth. So yeah, enjoy it. I know I'm going to miss it!

    • Yes, my blog is the best way for me to channel my thoughts. And I am sure you are going to be great at whatever you choose to do, April (even though I already know what that is :D)

      You're too sweet to me. I hope I will manage to do that. I really want to explore creative writing more than anything, and I hope university will be something that really helps me grow – as you've put it. Love you x

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