Saturday, 18 March 2017

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


  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.