College Talks

What they don’t tell you about being an overachiever

Normally when you think of an overachiever only positive thoughts come to mind. Probably something about how they must finish so much stuff in such a timely manner, they have a great work ethic, and they are always working so hard; but why doesn’t anyone tell you the bad things about being an overachiever? Why does no one touch on things like always being busy and stressed out? I’m not exactly sure why either, but I’m ending it today. Here is why it is not always a good thing to be an overachiever:

You are ALWAYS busy

Sure keeping busy is a good thing most of the time. You are active throughout the whole day, and you don’t feel like a lazy bum because you sat around for 7 hours watching How I Met Your Mother. What about when you’re so busy that you can never catch a break? You haven’t seen your closest friends in days because you don’t have the time, you haven’t been able to sit down and just relax or take a nap, and you can’t seem to find time in the day just to eat a meal. You are rushing around going from one thing to the next, because you took on too much.

You feel the need to do everything

I personally think this is the number one thing that most overachievers hate, including me. Being an overachiever means you feel like you can take on the world and do everything flawlessly. We take on so many different things and don’t realize what we have done to ourselves until we’re just trying to keep our head above water; by then it is just too late. Our schedule is slammed because we said yes too many times and now we’re drowning. This goes hand-in-hand with being too busy. Since we have so much going on we suddenly have an absence of time that we had prior. We think that we have everything under control until one day we are so overwhelmed that it just hits us. We bit off more than we could chew because we thought we could handle it but now we find ourselves choking.

Overwhelming Stress

Taking on too much and being busy all the time can lead to an overwhelming amount of stress. I do not think anyone takes on multiple tasks because they enjoy stress, because who on this earth enjoys stress?! However, this amount of stress kind of comes with the territory. When you are an overachiever and feel the need to take on all these things, you aren’t really helping yourself in the long run. Being able to manage your time efficiently is definitely a necessity when it comes to being an overachiever, but that can only get you so far. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you have set out for yourself.

We’re all perfectionists

Just because you are a perfectionist does not mean you are an overachiever, but most of the time if you are an overachiever, you are a perfectionist. We feel the need to keep doing the same thing over and over again until we think it is just perfect. Then when we’re done and see that it isn’t, we are hard on ourselves to keep doing it again until it is. Don’t even get us started on group projects! Have you ever had an overachiever in your group before? Have you ever realized that they are usually the ones taking the lead and willing to do most, if not all, of the work? That is because we are perfectionists and in our head our work is better than anything someone else in the group is going to do. We know that we are going to do it to the best of our ability and until it is perfect, but we can’t guarantee that the other people in the group would do the same. Therefore, we choose to take on the majority of the work to make sure it will get done the way we want it and as good as we want it.

We hate being called overachievers

This might vary from person to person. Sometimes it is nice to be recognized for all the work that you put into something. On the contrary, it can get annoying sometimes when people are always pointing it out as if we don’t already know. Being called an overachiever can also lead to people giving us more work because they know we are going to get it done the right way. While this may be good for whomever is asking, that is just one more thing that we have to worry about. There is an expectation there that we know we want to fill, but just can’t sometimes. Accepting this is not the easiest thing in the world. So if you know someone is an overachiever, try not to point it out every chance you get. Instead maybe try to tell them how good they’re doing!

Don’t get me wrong, being an overachiever is not a bad thing. There are just a lot of traits that people don’t usually tell you. Not everyone is an overachiever and that is okay too. A lot of us probably wish we were non-overachievers sometimes and I’m sure it goes the other way as well. There are pros and cons to everything, people just tend to leave out the cons.

I congratulate my fellow overachievers and wish you all the best in the million things you will take on, the time you will never have, and the endless amounts of stress we bring upon ourselves. You can do it! Just remember to take on one more thing: time for yourself.




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