Starting this blog, I have spent a good deal of time considering what I will write about. I can only write about what I know, and something that I know (too much) about is pressure; the pressure to get good grades,  to speak the best, to cooperate the best, to be the best test-taker, to write the best papers, to interview the best. To succeed.

Throughout my life, I have had an enormous amount of pressure placed on my shoulders. Pretty much before I was born, the idea of grad school and a PhD was instilled into me. Once I was able to understand what a PhD was, I knew that I was going to get one. Now, I am in college studying neuroscience, constantly trying to get the best grades and be the best student so I can go to grad school and once again try to be the best.

So many young people have to go through the same thing I have. Usually, I don’t mind the pressure to succeed, but every once in a while, I just break down. Everyone does. Everyone has those days that they become overwhelmed with everything they have to do. For a college student, there are exams to take, homework to do, e-mails to send, bake sales to plan, meetings to lead and attend, professors to talk to, classes to register for, people to please.

Today has been one of those days where I just became overwhelmed. A tearful phone conversation with my mother, however, reminded me of how capable I am, how strong I am, and how lucky I am.

On days like this, where I am stuck inside in my pajamas, doing reading for a million classes and struggling with assignments, I try to remember how lucky I am to have this opportunity. In a few years, I will have my degree in neuroscience. In a few more years, I will have my PhD. A few years after that, I will be researching the brain, working every day to discover more about how we tick.

I am so lucky to be able to feel this pressure. And soon, when I am done with school, the pressure will be on me to help others with their individual pressures. Whether it is a graduate student I am coaching, and friend I am giving advice to, or a child I will eventually have, I will have the pleasure of helping them with their individual hardships.

So I will continue putting pressure on myself. And I will succeed.


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