Successtressed.

Is success acing an exam? Or is success a friend landing an life changing internship and choosing to immediately text you to share their moment with.

The last seven days have been absolute academic chaos; multiple exams, a presentation, a several page paper, four internship deliverables, an internship application for next semester, and three work shifts.

My mind is spinning, my bones are aching, and my eyes are constantly drooping. And yet amidst all the chaos I find myself questioning whether what I’m achieving can even be considered success.

My exam scores say yes. My paper comments scream praise. My professors seem pleased. And yet…

My success as a human is not a reflection of the work I’ve completed in pursuit of higher education– my success as a human is reflected in the people that surround me: the one that checks in on me every few days just to ask how I’m feeling, the one that tells me I look nice today every day that they see me, the one that reminds me of assignments every night because they know I’m too overwhelmed to keep track, the one that sends me cute animal videos throughout the day because they know they make me smile, the one that promises eternal hugs the next time they see me…

I’m surrounded by so much love at a point in my life where I feel so drained and empty and it’s absolutely incredible. I am so ridiculously fortunate and humbled by the individuals around me.

But then there’s the caveat; the part where achieving academic success means saying no to grabbing drinks or going to the gym or seeing a band. The part where academic success requires selflessness turning into selfishness.

I’m at a loss these days. I’m buried deep within an ever growing vortex of assignments and to do lists, a battle against my own brain, and an army of wonderful humans who I simply want to spend time with. There is no easy answer though, there never is. But I’ll search for it regardless.

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