let’s be real, you are not okay

I’ve been asking my friends at UBC for the past month, “How are you doing?” and a lot of them would say “I’m okay.”

What do you mean by “okay”? I’d ask. Are you content? Are you tired? Exhausted? Deteriorating?

Most of them would admit that their physical and mental health were deteriorating. They were breaking down and trudging through the rest of the semester. And I know for a fact that it’s not just my few friends. Our generation use memes to joke about academic-related mental breakdowns on social media and I see them everywhere.

But let’s be real here.

You’re not doing “okay”. And it doesn’t make it alright that everyone else around you are also breaking down crying because of school. Why are we accepting mental breakdowns and burnout as the norm? WHY?

Societal pressures. The glorification of overworking. Conformity. Family. Competition.

Are these things really worth sacrificing your mental health and wellbeing? Your relationships? Your self-love? Take time to think about it.

I encourage you to:

  1. Re-evaluate this past semester’s workload and commitments. Are you satisfied with your academic workload and other involvements? Did you take on too much or do you want to get more involved?
  2. Reflect on your health & wellness and sense of purpose. What is your why? Do you feel fulfilled and content? How are your physical, emotional and mental health?
  3. Redefine your version of “success”. When you look back at your life when you’re 80 years old, what do you want to have achieved?
  4. Plan for next semester’s attitudes, commitments, and workload. What does next semester mean in relation to your career goals or post-graduation? What choices can you make for the next semester that will allow you to thrive into post-graduation?

I would also like to encourage you to be honest and vulnerable about how you’re REALLY doing. It’s okay if it’s not with other people and just with yourself. Constant self-awareness and reflection is crucial to living a purposeful, fulfilling, healthy life. And you deserve to live this life RIGHT NOW.