Sister to Sister: work hard, don’t break down

Derin Adegboyega ‘24 questions if being a workaholic to claim gratification is worth the cost of friendship.


Photo depicting stress.

You’re not there yet?

But also, life is too short to live in stress and worry.

Why do you bother?

But also, rest a bit why don’t ya.

You know you’ll fail anyways

But also, it’s not over till it’s over.

Some of those thoughts have run through my mind, and others I’ve heard from outside. Either to hold me down, push me further, or slow me down. They have helped guide me to be better. 

Many people say that I should not listen to those negative thoughts, but without those negative thoughts I wouldn’t have heard the positive response to my fearful questions. Without the positive response I wouldn’t have the encouragement to work hard and show my dedication. Without that positive voice of encouragement in my head, I wouldn’t feel the joy in my heart when I have reached my goal. 

Throughout the 6th and 8th grade, my thoughts were flooded with improving academically. Overachieving so more schools would notice me. I slowly started drifting away from my friend group to try to focus more on high school and receiving a scholarship. By the end of it all, I was alone. 

During that time, I don’t even remember most of the activities my friends and I did together. Getting into high school for as little money as possible was always my focus, never the people around me. I somehow managed to pass through life without actually living it. I thought that as long as I got good grades and studied hard, I would find some sort of fulfillment in my existence. But all I managed to do was push myself further away from the very people who embodied the fulfillment I was looking for. 

Looking back in the past all I can see are the regrets. The regret of not staying. The regret of not waiting, not taking that time, not being confident in my own abilities. The confidence that I should have taught myself from a young age, the confidence my parents tried to enforce on me. I have only learned worries and paranoia. That same paranoia that I used as motivation to work harder had now become the very enemy that I feared. Now all I can do is look forward, take it one step at a time. Learn to improve, not just by myself, but with the people around me. 

Spending time with those close to you can help reduce stress and increase positive emotions such as joy.