Studying My Study Habits: Choosing Compassion Over Perfection

This morning I completed the pre-test for the Pediatric Weight Management training course I will be taking at the end of the month. On the heels of blogging about graduating Brandeis early, as well as recently writing a book which goes into further detail about this and other formative experiences of my twenties, I am feeling rather self-aware about my studying habits.

I noticed I was much more compassionate to myself during this pre-test process and much less perfectionist than I had been in the past. To be sure, after I graduated college, I began to mellow out about my grades. After all, I had already gotten the great SAT scores that I had dreamed of as a kid (My parents modeled academic excellence for me. Ever since I was young, I knew my dad went to Harvard, and my mom went to Yale. Not because they were haughty about it, but because they valued their academic achievements.) I also had already graduated college with honors (Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude) and straight As.

I certainly can’t go back and say I resent my perfectionist tendencies, since they fueled my previous success. But in a way, I do, because they blinded me from other areas of my life which needed more attention, in particular, my mental and emotional well-being.

So today when I completed the pre-test for the Pediatric Weight Management training course, I brought to it a more moderate and self-compassionate approach. I didn’t aim for perfection. I aimed for the 80% I needed to pass and attend the training. I kept everything in its proper proportion. Knowing that I also want to begin studying for the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) exam helped me not to obsess over the nitty gritty details of the weight management pre-test. But it is more than that. It is knowing that I no longer base my self-worth on how good my grades are. It is accepting that I am not perfect and I cannot get everything right. And that that is ok. Because in the end of the day, I know I have a lot to give to the world. And my goal right now is to move forward, make healthy, grounded decisions, and contribute my unique gifts to the world.

study habits 2

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