Opinion

Give yourself a break from perfectionism

Anyone who knows me would say I have a healthy diet. Given I prefer Brussels sprouts over brownies, some would even call it perfect.

It is difficult to gain admittance into a top-50 university without at least an ounce of perfectionism. Miami students are brilliant, involved in innumerable clubs and organizations and aspire to change the world with their accomplishments. They are truly students who can do it all.

As an ex-gymnast, I know about the aspiration to attain a perfect “10.” But perfectionism is not fulfilling. As students, we have about five different professors – or bosses – each with his or her own expectations. It is impossible to try to live up to every one.

Take a note from our winning football team. They may currently be 7-0, but the focus is not about winning every single game. Rather, it is simply about being the best that they can be.

The next time that you are disappointed in an imperfect exam grade, give yourself a break. It’s not about living up to the expectations of your parents, professors, your harshest critic, or even your own. Because sometimes, you just have to have some Publix Premium Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream at 2 a.m. straight out of the gallon container.

Perfectionism isn’t necessarily good or bad. In fact, if you asked the perfectionist what he thinks of his perfectionism, he might tell you it’s one of the traits he’s most proud of, helping him strive toward his best. Or, as is the job interview cliché, it may be his biggest weakness.

Perfectionism isn’t fun. It just leaves you craving unattainable ice cream. Eat it.

 Alyssa Jacobson is a junior majoring in advertising and political science.

November 1, 2013

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Alyssa Jacobson


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.