It's Thursday evening, 10pm. I'm sitting in my room and asking myself: "What's the point of all of this. Should I just quit?".
I started my first year of university this week. Monday morning, I was excited. I structured my day, felt motivated to study and felt like no one could stop me from achieving the goals I set for myself. I went to my first lecture, being grateful for the opportunity I was given - study International business at Maastricht University.
Fast forwarding a few days. I am sitting in room doubting whether or not I am following the right path for myself.
How can something, I felt so sure about change that drastically within a few days?
To be honest, I felt overwhelmed. After the first few days, there were so many new things to learn, exercises to finish, assignments to hand in and things to take care of. My world changed from feeling like no one is stopping me to drowning in the obligations I had to meet.
I know from many of my fellow students that they feel the same way. Pressured into managing all the expectations. Our world changed within a week to the worse. But how can we change this?
My days were cramped with so many events, session to study and todos that it felt chaotic. I never experienced this kind of "mess" in my life before. But as an old friend told me once: “Most of the time, stress only exists in your head and you are responsible for that”.
I think in the end, all of this comes down to perspective.
Do you view the endless todo lists and events as an uncontrollable mess or do you change your mindset and do not take yourself to serious. For me, I regard university as a game. I will work hard. I will do my best. I will take my studies seriously. But most importantly, I will see how far I get and will not stress too much about performance pressure created by professors and our society.
I believe stressing is a trap. And perspective is the solution to that.
It's easy to regard your perspective on events like university as an excuse for not working hard. I think you cannot make it that easy for yourself.
My change of perspective means that I will not stress about my Uni obligations but this is no excuse for not delivering the best work you can.
Hard things and failures are a way for us to grow. So don't be afraid of new challenges. This is a big part of perspective.
You perspective will most likely not change by just reading inspiring articles and talking to other people about it. The change has to come from you. And only you.
So my advice would be:
Take time to slow down and think.
Reflect on your current life situation.
Gather context and perspective.
On your own.
In the end, life is too short to stress. Always remember that.