Letter #172

Content Warning: Perfectionism, Academic Stress, Family Stress, Self-deprecation, Mental Exhaustion


Dear Stranger, 


How are you? I hope you’ve been well, even if you’re not, that’s okay. The past couple of weeks have been rough on me, too. The reason being that I am a person who places myself at a very high standard and I constantly struggle with perfection. I often get frustrated and annoyed for just getting something wrong or not being able to create something the way I intended. Grades are especially difficult for me. I try not to look at them because they could bother me and throw off the rest of my day. I expect hundreds and high nineties for myself, yet I get seventies and sixties, despite studying for tests.


The feeling of desperation and frustration seeps in as I watch my grades slowly fall. The occasional fighting between parents, the cold winter mornings, sleepless nights, and my peers bragging about their own grades don’t help at all. As much as I would like to say that my teachers are helpful, they aren’t. They would give us work and expect the students to teach themselves. The fast-approaching exams are even more pressuring. My parents are very supportive people, and they tell me not to worry about my grades and to try again next time. On those sleepless nights, at three in the morning, listening to somber songs, I look around and feel like there’s no actual future for me because I’m simply not good enough for the world.


I know it’s hard. It’s even harder to believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, you wonder if giving up is easier, if it’d be better if you ran away. And to be completely honest with you, I agree. But I don’t want to run away from my problems. It makes all of the nights I spent staying up and finishing homework a waste of time. I do little things, though, like adding another sentence to an essay or studying for an extra five minutes, or even going to sleep early. The definition of working hard should not equal being exhausted every single day. Or your hand aching from all the writing. Or your head feeling like it’s been shaken really hard.


Teachers often tell students that they should be hard workers and to focus on their studies. But I think taking the time to relax and cool down is as important as school or studying. Being burnt out won’t help, and being exhausted won’t either. So, let’s do it. Take a few rest breaks between studying sessions and get plenty of sleep. Keep your head up high; we can get through this. 


Stay healthy!

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