How Perfectionism Can Influence Your Academic LifeJuly 12, 2017
Bernard Tomic's honest assessment of his lack of motivation (after his first-round loss to Mischa Zverev) earned him the ire of some former Wimbledon champions. It also cost him sponsorship, prompting some fans to wonder if tennis would be a magnet for bad parenting. It was no secret that John Tomic, his father, wanted a tennis star for his son. (The elder Tomic is currently coaching his daughter, Sara.) The others also witnessed how perfectionism have driven a young man to the edge. It wasn't an uncommon case, as Tomic had an outstanding record during his junior years. (The same thing could be said of Jennifer Capriati, who overcame drug-related problems and weight issues to stage the greatest comeback in the sport.) It would be too early to tell if the native of Gold Coast could be the latest victim of tennis burnout, even a caution on the relentless drive on perfectionism. Students could learn a few things from Tomic's struggles, though.
There's nothing wrong with striving for perfection, but it's another thing if there's an unsettling fear of failure. As a matter of fact, it won't be hard to imagine such a scenario in the university. Parents expecting their (teenage) children to do well. Insecurity (and possibly peer pressure). A misguided belief that success would win the approval of other students and professors. It may be a disturbing case in the professional world, where cases of suicide have been traced to that need to make everything right and better.
How can perfectionism influence your academic life? It depends on how you see it. If you have a laidback approach, then you might be thinking of summer coming soon. There's a good chance that you have a grounded approach to the coursework, not thinking too much about things you don't have any control. Well and good for you. If you're taking it too seriously, then it can mean two things. You're doing well, if not a bit too good for your course mates to notice it, or you're letting it into your head, unaware that you're about to go on a free fall. Before things get out of hand, you must acknowledge it as soon as possible. There are three things to keep in mind, namely getting in touch with your family and friends, discussing it with your tutor or the guidance counselor, and go on your own for a while.
3 Things That Can Turn out to Be a Life Saver
How can your family and friends help you? They will keep you to the ground, if not remind you that there's more to life than getting top marks in your assignments. They may have the best interest in you, also wanting to see your happy self and doing well in your endeavors. Keep in mind that you're learning other skills in the university (aside from what you heard during lecture hours). One of those will be free will. You can't say that you're forced to do something that you don't want to do. It may be the very thing that has been affecting Tomic these past years, but you can go above it. If you want to beat the deadline, then you will do a research (on how to write a perfect essay). You'll seek counsel from older students and your tutor. But you're not obsessed with it. You shouldn't have to feel that way. A stumble can remind you of other important matters. Dusting off your room may be one of those things.
The faculty may not recommend you to have an active social life, but they still have your best interest in their minds. One of the first things that you'll learn in the university is how to finish an assignment ahead of the deadline. It will be awesome if you can finish it five hours ahead of schedule, but they won't tell you that it will be the only thing that matters most. You're old enough to figure it out, even realize that there are other things to tend whenever you're away from the lecture room. (Laundry will be one of those things.) Striving for a balance in your academic life and other facets of your (tertiary) existence can be more challenging than how to write a perfect essay (during a time-pressed examination). Your tutor may be in a thoughtful mood, though. (And you may be reminded of it when you need it most.)
Introspection does well for your soul. You don't have to spend your gap year in the Outback, counting the stars on a quiet evening. There's no need to drive to the nearest beach, and stare at the sea for hours. (The great white won't make a leap on you.) You can lie down (and think about it), even take a walk. A long sleep has benefits as well. There's a probability that you'll recall your great strides in your academic life, and you shouldn't be ashamed of it. You're as good as your previous effort, so don't think too much about it. Look forward to the following week.
The Importance of Being a Perfectionist
It's all about the attitude, where you must not put off your mates and anyone you know in the university. You want perfect results because it can get you far (when you're charting your career early on). You strive for perfection because it will make everything manageable for you. You like a perfect surrounding, which will motivate you to do your best (in your coursework).
Your professors will appreciate those students who give their best effort. You won't make it halfway if you can't achieve perfection (or close to it). Don't get too consumed by it, though.
You can inspire other students, even win some admirers, if you don't overdo it. There's a tendency to look at the shortcoming of other people, which won't be uncommon among teenagers. (Empathy may be a foreign concept.) Keep an open mind, so you'll be fine.
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