Hi! I am currently a junior in high school. I am one of the top students in my class, but this year I have been doubting myself. When I am alone, another side of me comes out. It kind of scares me. This part of me is sad and tired. When I am with my family and friends, I am an outgoing, happy, and positive girl. However, if I am alone I become certain that I am a failure and will never be able to meet my standards. I’ve become obsessed with the fact that if I screw up I could be kicked out of NHS and that I will not be able to renew a scholarship I have, if I have a “B” in any of my classes. I am really worried that I have too much on my plate, because in addition to my schoolwork, I am involved in my school’s musicals, plays, participate in my school’s Student Ambassador program, I ride horses, volunteer with various groups, and also tutor kids. I worry that I might breakdown.
Maybe you do have “too much on your plate.” That could be why you are feeling stressed. Perhaps you have taken on more than you can handle.
Another possibility is that your standards about yourself are unrealistic. The problem with unrealistic expectations is that they are, by definition, unobtainable. Unobtainable standards eventually become burdensome. They can also lead to depression or feelings of guilt for not having done something they an individual is convinced that they “could” have done, when in reality they could not have.
It may also be that you are misjudging your abilities and accomplishments. For instance, you are “certain” that you will be “kicked out” of high school and will be unable to receive your scholarship. You believe that despite your being one of the “top students” in your class. Realistically, there is very little chance that a “top student” would be “kicked out” of high school and not granted a scholarship.
I think it was very wise of you to ask this question and to being open to the possibility that you may have overwhelmed yourself with too many activities. My recommendation is that you discuss your concerns with your parents and a counselor to determine what the problem may be and how to correct it. Talking about these issues will help to correct the problem. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Too Much on My Plate?
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Too Much on My Plate?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/12/21/too-much-on-my-plate/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Dec 2014) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.