I’m tired of the numbers game.

Or maybe it’s the societal pressures game

Xine Way


Photo by Markus Krisetya on Unsplash

I ranted about this as a teenager, and I still rant about it today.

I’m tired of the metrics of success. Of quantitatively justifying why certain initiatives might be important. Of reducing my worth down to a GPA, a grade, or a diploma, if I can ever even manage that.

Life seems like a rat race, and the pressure is on.

I set unrealistically high expectations for myself. I thought excelling was my sole purpose in life, that I could only matter if I achieved more.

That’s why I created a facade to please the people around me.

And now I’ve finally started to break through and be my nerdy self.

So what if I haven’t won an Olympic medal at 16 or written my first novel in college or haven’t made my big break yet?

So what if I’m mediocre and have wasted potential and can’t fix my life to be as Instagram-perfect as some of the other people around me?

So what?

What is all this for?

Why do the joys and triumphs override all the pain, the heartbreak, the mess that is life? I know I minimize positive things a lot, but life isn’t as great as it seems on social media.

I’m tired of measuring my worth and happiness based on doses of dopamine. Likes, claps, reads? Who cares? Maybe all that matters is the impact you have on the people around you, not all those numbers. Those numbers don’t define who you are, nor do they hint at your character.

I’m tired of the toxic achievement culture in academia. I want to break free, but at the same time, I know that going through school will ultimately help me earn more money. A degree gets you access to better jobs and a higher-paying salary. They ask for “education or equivalent experience.” I wish I had the education and qualifications I needed, but I find the hoop-jumping tedious.

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live a life where I feel like I’m not even the main character, where all I’m reduced to is a few numbers on a resume.

I just feel so lost, and I can’t find a way to end this on a positive note.



Xine Way

Aspiring librarian who writes, games, and walks on the side. Always happy to connect with writers on Medium!