Managing Perfectionism

BY AYESHA KHALID

Being a perfectionist doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Setting high standards can drive us to work hard to achieve our goals. However, the problem comes when those high standards are unrealistically high for us. For example, maybe your goal is to get an A in a class – this goal makes you focused, and you work hard to be organized throughout the semester. But then you might start having thoughts like, “I must get an A on this exam and if I don’t, then I am a failure.” When we add that last piece – the negative label we attach to ourselves if we fall short of our expectations –  we can be discouraged from trying again next time, and this type of thinking can really destroy our self-confidence.

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I would say that I can be a perfectionist at times, particularly around academics. I have always had high expectations for myself around grades, which worked for me because it pushed me to study hard. But I notice that even after I write a test, for instance, I constantly tell myself that I didn’t do good enough even though I haven’t gotten a mark back yet. And even if I get a good grade, I focus less on the fact that I did well and more on how I could do better next time. I don’t take the time to give myself credit for doing well because I am always focused on what I did wrong rather than what I did right.

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A case for non-objective journalism and why it is good for mental health awareness

BY ZAKIYA KASSAM

One thing I was told repeatedly during my four years in journalism school was that my writing needed to be objective, above all else. In a field like journalism, where you are only supposed to be a vessel for the facts, I understood that my opinions were simply not relevant. That said, the landscape of journalism has changed enormously in the past few years alone, and that model of objective writing which was once germane, now runs the risk of outdatedness.pen-blank-paper

When I graduated with my degree in journalism in 2013, I took a vested interest in writing for online platforms. Around this time, I also noticed a rise in the popularity of confessional journalism platforms like Thought Catalog, for example, which is (as its name suggests) a website for writers to submit their general musings or thoughts about pretty much anything in the form of personal essays or other varying prose. For those of you not familiar with Thought Catalog, it runs just like any other submission-driven outlet; it has a publisher, a bevy of writers, and a submission model similar that of the Huffington Post.

When I first stumbled across Thought Catalog during my later years of university, I was shocked at what people were willing to share; it was like one big diary. I read about eating disorders, broken hearts, social anxiety, and unrequited affections. These were things that were relevant to me, above all else. All of a sudden, I felt a little more connected to my generation as a whole. The juxtaposition of these brutally honest articles against the picture-perfect posts from my friends on Facebook was jarring, but also comforting. Nothing on this site was written objectively; in fact the more personal the article, the better it was received by readers. This form of journalism heavily relied on a first person voice.

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Make Your Words Count

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

I love cards.

There seems to be a trend now of doing away with cards because they’re pointless and overpriced.

While they ARE overpriced, nothing about them seems pointless to me.

Walking around Hallmark yesterday searching for a card for my mother, it occurred to me how picking the perfect card is like a testament to how well you know that person and the memories you’ve shared.

Maybe you find a hilarious card that you know will make them laugh. Maybe you find a card based on their favourite Disney movie (I know that’s my dream). Maybe you find a card that has one of those sappy, emotional messages that actually sums up how you feel better than you ever could. Continue reading

I Just Can’t Even (An Apology)

BY CHELSEA RICCHIO

Lately, I seem to have been robbed of my ability to even.

By that I mean do ANYTHING whatsoever that isn’t mandatory or requires energy. I’ve spent A LOT of time sitting in my office or on my bed staring at the ceiling. Or the walls. Or a screen. Or the cat. Anything, really.

Even Queen B has her bad days.

I have not spent enough time doing work or taking care of myself. I’m miserably behind at work, frequently late, and my boss is not impressed with me. I can’t seem to do tasks like remembering to pay rent and eat food and oh my god return all the clothes you bought online that don’t fit, you complete moron, despite having thoughts like that over and over again. I’m pretty sure I haven’t done the dishes in three weeks. The Amazing Charlotte (yup, that’s her name now) came over once and directed my cleaning while playing the Jeopardy theme song, but I can’t exactly rely on that.

All of this has caused me to withdraw from the world, both socially and professionally, IRL and online. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with my two best friends, but other than that I very much want to be alone. I had to prioritize some things over others and make some tough decisions, decisions which have not been fair to those around me, and I feel terrible about those. I can guarantee you that I’ll probably regret them. But they are necessary for now.

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A Fork in the Road

By Ayesha Khalid

11165229_10204073761958708_1698943754307347136_n“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

When I found about the opportunity to write for this blog, it couldn’t have come at a better time. As someone who is fairly shy when speaking to people, writing has always been an outlet that has felt like a safe avenue for me to express my thoughts and feelings. But I always wrote for myself; sharing my personal experiences with the public would be like inviting strangers to read my diary.

After spending most of my life keeping my opinions to myself, thinking that they had no value and that no one really cared what I had to say, I had to make a decision. Like Alice in Wonderland, I had reached a fork in the road. Do I ignore this opportunity, continue on with my life, and play it safe? Or do I take a deep breath and take a risk?

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