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Student Blog: The Fight to Balance Feeling “Good Enough” Without Falling Behind

How The Social Constructs Are Harmful

Student Blog: The Fight to Balance Feeling “Good Enough” Without Falling Behind Have you ever opened Instagram, scrolled through a few posts and immediately felt your mood change because every picture in your feed is of someone doing spectacular, interesting things? Or when going through your daily routine that may feel more than lackluster now and you hear that someone you know got a new job or a great grade, does it feel like you're suddenly behind because you aren't doing any of those things?

This is a common occurrence for a lot of people, myself included, on an everyday basis. Our idea of success and happiness is linked to two things in particular. Feeling "good enough" and remaining on track with this imaginary timeline that everyone is supposed to follow through life. The construct has become dangerous, something that constantly plagues millions of people, but almost no one addresses it.

Well, I am.

As a 21-year-old college student who is now entering her senior year in a world that is still mostly a mess thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic among other things, I've experienced the not feeling good enough and falling behind in life phenomenon more than ever. And I know so many people around my age are too. Truthfully, how can we not? Anything I had remotely planned either for my career, life and more got scrapped the moment the pandemic arrived and everything changed.

Suddenly, everything was off track and although I knew everyone was going through the same thing, it was extremely hard to ignore how it felt as if I wasn't doing enough. Staying alive and doing the bare minimum for my mental health became the cornerstone of everyday life for me. And while this alone was hard to keep up with during the long months where everything seemed uncertain, seeing others doing so much more had me thinking that I wasn't enough. That sounds silly because we were in a global pandemic, but when society says you have to reach certain benchmarks at different ages, the slowness of life becomes associated with not doing what you should be for the future. Which is exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, the pandemic didn't produce this unsettling feeling or harmful thought process. It's been in existence for much longer than that, affecting millions in unbelievable ways. The expectation to have graduated from college at 22, getting your dream job upon graduation, married before you're 30 and starting a family shortly after that is unrealistic and a path almost no one follows anymore. The rigid beliefs that everyone has to be on the same track for their entire lives is unbelievably false and a thought process that needs to be disbanded as soon as possible.

There is no timeline for life. Absolutely none. We, as human beings, are all different and unique so it's no surprise that our paths throughout life will have countless variations. No two lifetimes will look the same and that's okay! That is how it should be. The idea of falling behind or not being "good enough" is a social construction that is more damaging than positive which can be seen in millions of people today.

It's important to remember that you are NOT behind in the imaginary timeline of life and no matter what you are doing, it IS enough despite what social media or others may say. You are on the right track, exactly where you need to be at this moment. I promise.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch