We have a strange obsession over the concept of perfection. Driven by our culture, we strive for an unattainable ideal: "If I have the perfect parents, perfect grades, perfect (insert word here), then I would be happy." We seek what we can't have without remembering that we don't actually need to be perfect. Imperfection allows us to be human.
Parents, teachers and other high-achieving peers will have us believe that we must be perfect if we wish to remain competitive. However, what job or school requires you to have a 2400 SAT, 4.00 GPA and develop a cure for some form of cancer by the age of 18? Although these stats would be commendable achievements, are they worth the hefty cost of sleep? We feel like we need the perfect grades to get into the perfect college that will provide us with the perfect education necessary to obtain the perfect job. With this misconception, we then seek out resume-padding experiences that we think may help build an untarnished name for ourselves. Preying on our thirst for perfection, whole college and career industries have sprung up claiming to help us reach our goals.
Truth is, you only need to be good enough to get into the conversation. It is what you do afterwards that sets you apart. Focus more on your passions rather than securing possible resume-padders. Don't worry about anything secondary to your passions. You don't become an expert at anything if you divest your time trying to succeed in everything you do. You only become an expert when you devote your time to that one (or two) project(s) that truly brings you joy.
As members of this society, we have a responsibility to be excellent in what we do, not perfect. Although perfection can be a goal, it should not be the only goal. We only have 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. Thus, we need to prioritize what we want to do and cut out the activities we cannot do. If you enjoy debating, take a law class and see how it suits you. If you enjoy cooking, experiment in the kitchen and see what you can make!
With everything, though, make sure you're enough. Pursuing your passions is not enough of a reason to completely give up on everything else. Try as hard as you can and let your future worry about itself. Worry about your task at hand and you will be successful in achieving your dreams. Most of all, remember that you're going to be okay.
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