I do not want to be well-rounded


prom managed to be enjoyable despite the 7 am wakeup call

This past week, I played a soccer game Thursday evening, got a spray tan at 9:45, woke up for breakfast with friends at 8:00, went to practice at 11:00, got my hair done at 1:45, went to prom that evening, went home and fell asleep near 1:00, got up at 7:00 and played a soccer game out of town, came home, got ready for a second prom, and spent my evening there. Whilst this was an extreme circumstance, it is not wildly different than my average weekend.

Everyone around me praises those who work hard. Those who take the hardest classes, play the most sports, and have a social life: the “well-rounded” people. That is who I strive to be—even pretend to be—but if it is really who I am, I am not sure.

I pride myself on the array of semi-challenging classes I take. I’m not interested in half of them; however, I enjoy the challenge—or, at least, I am supposed to. After my long day of classes, I attend two-hour soccer practices or games each day, and when I am finally home, I either A) do homework B) socialize, or C) crash into my bed and get absolutely nothing done. Option C seems to occur most often as my aching body and fried brain cannot take another thought or movement. And, when this occurs, I feel like I have failed. Like I have wasted away my night.

Given the difficulty this lifestyle provides me on a daily basis, it shocks me to look around and see a replicated vision in an overwhelming number of my peers. If not sports, then they work non-stop, volunteer, or play an instrument; my point is that all of our lives seem nearly too hectic for our own good. Yet, we praise those who can manage the craze and look down upon those who avoid it. So, truly, to feel appreciated and worthy, burdening your day with pointlessly difficult tasks and activities is the obvious result. 

For as long as I can remember, I have taken courses I knew I probably shouldn’t have and played on teams that are far more commitment than I am looking for

Now, I love soccer and enjoy a challenge at school on most occasions. This is not where my problem lies. It is that with the amount of time and energy these activities consume, I feel I have little time to simply exist, and when I do, I feel the need to fill it further to avoid being labeled as “lazy.” To further my discontent, when I complain about my schedule—which I will admit is quite often—I am told that I have chosen it or an array of other reasons why I don’t deserve to feel the way I do. That my distress is my fault and that I have put it on myself. But have I? I wasn’t sure that there was another option. 

For as long as I can remember, I have taken courses I knew I probably shouldn’t have and played on teams that are far more commitment than I am looking for—not for me, but for the satisfaction of doing everything I can. For being able to feel like a success not only to myself but in the eyes of others. If I do not hit the pillow exhausted, then I have “wasted” away my day. Truthfully, it is a sickening and draining feeling. Unless I have exhausted myself completely, I do not feel content, and I am positive that my peers feel similarly.   

In this, I am not looking for comfort or a call to action to change; in all honesty, I am not completely sure what I am looking for. I think it may be that I just hope this makes someone feel heard, and possibly, someone has heard me and felt less alone in their tire. Because, whilst we all try and hide behind the “well-rounded” honor, we are all quite tired of it.