Cambridge, United Kingdom – Upon arriving at Cambridge University, one student’s pursuit of perfection clashed with the demanding workload, ultimately challenging their long-held beliefs about quality and quantity. Throughout their journey as a student with OCD, the individual grappled with the pressure to produce exceptional work while facing the constraints of time and the need for detachment from perfectionism.
Striving for perfection in their academic work, the student initially approached their essays with meticulous research and attention to detail. However, the rigorous demands of the university’s workload soon forced them to reassess their approach. Balancing multiple essays each week, derived from extensive readings and other commitments, presented a harsh reality – sometimes, good enough had to suffice.
The individual found satisfaction in embodying a new approach to success, one defined by quantity rather than a singular exceptional piece of work. However, this shift did not come without challenges, as they grappled with the fear of running out of time and the detachment necessary to resist the urge to continuously refine their work.
Furthermore, the traditional grading system at Cambridge presented another hurdle, as the student found themselves redefining their perception of success when a 70+ grade became the new standard of achievement. This shift in mindset forced them to detach themselves from the strict grip of perfectionism and prioritize productivity over the pursuit of flawlessness.
As the student navigated the complexities of their experience, they found themselves questioning the possibility of achieving a delicate balance between quality and quantity in their work. Ultimately, they arrived at a compromise – to partially return to their perfectionist roots by taking the time needed, within reason, to produce their best work. This revelation represented a newfound perspective on managing the demanding academic environment of Cambridge University.
The student’s journey sheds light on the challenges of maintaining a balance between perfectionism and productivity in academia, offering valuable insights into the complexities of managing neurodivergency in a rigorous academic setting. As they continue their academic pursuits at Cambridge, the individual faces the ongoing task of striking a harmonious balance between the pursuit of perfection and the practical demands of university life.
By sharing their personal experience, the student provides a compelling narrative that resonates with those navigating similar challenges in academic environments, offering a message of resilience and adaptation. As they embark on the new year, the student’s mantra reflects a newfound perspective on navigating the complexities of perfectionism within the academic marathon of Cambridge University.