In a world that celebrates, if not demands, constant progression at lightning speed, it is increasingly difficult to achieve balance. We are taught to chase money, power, and success at whatever the cost. There are no limits set as to how far to go, to push yourself, or the speed at which to go to get to where you want or “should” be.

This way of life is especially imposed upon college students, where you are expected to juggle a full course load, a job, extracurricular activities, an internship, and your personal and social responsibilities. If you do not participate in all of those activities or graduate in four years, then you are not working at full potential, therefore you are falling behind. In falling behind, you fail. The purpose is to keep moving forward. Do not stop. Do not look behind. Just keep going. Oh, and pick up the pace. Remember, the goal is progression, not stagnation.

However, stagnation is all that is going to result from this way of life. While we are in the fray, working to complete everything on our overscheduled planners, we do not realize the damage that we are doing to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The damage does not become apparent until one day, where we wake up with debilitating symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, and are left wondering how we got there.  In analyzing how we got there, we compare ourselves to others and the bar that is set by society. We conclude that something must be wrong with us because we cannot keep up. In an attempt to fix things and get back on track, we see a doctor who prescribes us medication to treat our long list of symptoms. But that is all the medication does, treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause…What is the underlying cause?

The underlying cause is the combined weight of the demands of society, along with our own personal demands. Nothing is wrong with you because you feel that you cannot keep up. No one can live up to the limitless expectations of productivity set in place by society, nor should you. Everyone has their individual limits, and those are the ones that you need to keep your sights on, and balance with your responsibilities and goals. If your colleague is taking six courses, and you are only able to take four, do not feel bad. Six, is their limit, not yours. That is not to say that you should not challenge yourself, just do not lose yourself.