You’re being held at gunpoint. I’m talking sweat-dripping anxiety. A life or death situation that’s more high-pressured and fast-paced than a game of hot potato. A situation that’s more impatient than our generation’s unrealistic expectation of unlimited high speed internet data connection. A situation that asks you point-blank truth or dare and you’re tossing up between the two, before you have to lock in the answer that’ll seal your fate. You wonder why life’s always got to be so black and white, true or false, iPhone or Android, Kmart or Target all the time (and this time happens to be no different).
We currently live in a society that depends not on the divisions of day and night, nor by the divisions of the hour, but by the minute hand ticking away, heck even the second hand if we’re really living life on the edge and testing Turnitin’s countdown when we submit our last-minute essays, seconds before the deadlines. What I’m trying to get at here is the modern-day individual’s rightful envy – or mine – of the prehistoric man and woman’s perception of time. Their sense of time in which unlike their evolutionary successors who annoyingly (I say this half seriously, half jokingly believe me) invented the sundial and the hourglass to only go on to make further technological advancements in accurately measuring time, from pendulum clocks to electric clocks, and analog clocks to digital clocks. And with such advancements came the notion that giving up time is as equally as torturous and incomprehensible as giving up food for the 40 Hour Famine.
We’re constantly in a time crunch. I mean c’mon we gotta make time for that period of procrastination, a necessary step before we go all Bill Gates/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/[insert celebrity workaholic] and heck we might as well add the token Donald Trump into the mix while we’re at it. The passage of time is ever more prominent and noticeable in the highly-circulated pop cultural proverb, “you have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé” that intends to motivate our sorry lazy asses into full-blown productivity – yes thank you for kindly reminding us of our incompetence.
And so after a three paragraph splurge and lead up into the main issue at hand, I finally ask: Are You The Perfectionist or The Multi-Tasker?
When you’re backed into a corner and fate has mercilessly dealt you the cards of back-to-back assessments who exactly are you?
And by that I mean are you the annoyingly, frustratingly intelligent human being in class who has an encyclopedic brain – and what I suspect to be a photographic memory of the entire course readings and textbooks – for whatever it is that you’re studying? Or are you the equally if not more infuriatingly annoying ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ student specimen?
The former possessing a highly perfectionistic tendency and approach to all aspects of their life and by such parameters must forego the quantity of experiences they undertake in order to reap the benefits of highly qualitative experiences. Each and every one of us are bombarded with choices, options, decisions. Due to time and all other restricting variables forces The Perfectionist in particular, becomes highly selective and restrictive with how their time will be subdivided. In turn, this allows The Perfectionist to derive more satisfaction by spending more time on perfecting activities and processes. The latter, in contrast, is forced to sacrifice a certain level of quality that is idealistically desirable. However under time constraints is unachievable, decidedly deeming such a level of perfection is unnecessary for their end goals and purposes. After all what’s the point of being just good at one thing when you can have it all? The grades, the social life, the internships, the financial independency, the family obligations, the guilty pleasures, and even the side hobbies. You might not be the best at everything but hey, being well rounded is the new best.
We are not all either one or the other. After all, these polarisations exist on diametrically oppositional ends of a spectrum and I’m thankful to say that most of us fall in between such antithetical states.
There is one other thing, fence-sitting is not an option here because we all know that 50/50 work-life balance is as real as teleporting from lower to upper campus.