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  • Carson Hathaway

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

The other day in my sociology class, my 87-year-old professor asked the class if everyone had read chapter 12 in our assigned textbook. "Professor, I'm sorry but I couldn't complete the required readings. I had to study for two exams in my other classes and I'm very stressed out because one of my family members recently got very sick." This girl in my class yelled out. The 87-year-old professor had a blank face for about five seconds and afterward said: "life is hard."


Those three words have stuck with me ever since. All his experience makes it very possible that he knows far more about life than the average person. Life is, in fact hard. Will I ever have my life fully figured out? Does anyone have their life fully figured out? I'm not sure. However, I know that life is easier when you aren't taking yourself so god damn seriously.


Many of us care so much about our reputations. Many of us place lots of importance on how much sex we've had. Many of us are insecure about the number of true friends we have. But Why?


Part of the reason why we have so much internal pressure is that we think we have to live up to other people's expectations. How many outsiders really have expectations about what we're doing? View things from their perspective. I bet you'll find that they are likely too insecure about their own lives to care about your situation. Realize that there aren't many people obsessing over every single detail of your life. Use that information to your advantage.




Many people say they watch television shows, movies, or sports because they are an "escape" from the real world. I previously thought that reasoning was ridiculous. Should you feel the need to "escape" from the real world? If so, shouldn't you prioritize fixing whatever is wrong in your life?


I now realize that way of thinking is simple-minded. My current semester at school has been very stressful. There's nothing with being stressed. However, obsessing over every detail of my life hasn't made me feel better. If anything, I've felt worse. Watching television shows, movies, or sports has helped me realize that the world doesn't revolve around me. That realization has helped me understand that most, if not all of my problems mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.


I'm not that important. You are not that important. Our egos can lead us to believe that nothing is more serious than our successes and failures. There's no reason to think that your life needs to be perfect. Having high expectations is great, but realize that being perfect isn't realistic, especially in a world where so much is out of your control. As my 87-year-old professor said: "life is hard."


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