Letter #152

Content Warnings: Academic Stress, Perfectionism, Rejection


Dear friend,


When I was younger, I experienced a tremendous amount of rejections. In my academics, I got rejected from my dream high school, and I lost a ton of friends at the same time. I mean, the list goes on and on. These rejections started to build up gradually over the years and really did a number on my mental health and self-worth.


My past rejections were truly eye-openers to my self-destructive tendencies. Particularly, my need for perfection. In my head, every rejection reinforced this false notion that I was a failure. And judging from my large count of rejections, I chalked it up to “I’m not good enough. I need to make sure I never experience this again.”


Since then, I’ve been in ultra-defense mode: I would purposely do everything possible to avoid rejection of any sort. I’d burn myself out constantly, mentally punish myself if I scored anything below an A, and distance myself from people who pointed out my flaws…I became the most unlikable version of myself.


It wasn’t until this year that I started to condition myself to accept my imperfections. I feel happier, my friendships are stronger, and for the first time in a while, I can confidently say that I like the woman I am becoming.




A friend


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