As application deadlines are fast approaching, I'm doubting myself more and more, which is hardly surprising, but, in this case, it is due to some very specific factors.
The impression I'm getting is that everyone surrounding me, regardless of their function in my life, has much higher expectations of me than I either anticipate or have of myself. This leads to great amounts of confusion pertaining to whether these expectations are due to their perception of my abilities, or if it's simply the case that they cannot deal with anyone under their "supervision" performing on an average or mediocre level.
While it's grand to be on the receiving end of unconditional support and of the belief that you are prone to greatness, it does get tedious, not to mention nerve-racking, to have others claiming I am much more than I myself believe myself to be. This, in itself, is not problematic; disappointment and censorious looks is where I mentally abandon ship.
I do well solely under certain types and amounts of pressure. My anxiety gears are very flimsy and spontaneously liable to spin out of control. (No one wants this.) I have yet to learn how to harness other people's expectations into productivity and non-panicky thoughts.
Confession time: I abhor being in workaholic mode. The balance is precarious between healthily productive and clinically unwell. However much I achieve while working non-stop is totally not worth the mental breakdown swiftly following.
At this moment, I'm agonising over the topic of a particular writing sample due by the middle of March. It's fact that it has to be brilliant enough to compensate for my bad grades and erratic behaviour. I've begun doubting whether I'm even up to the challenge. Do I have it in me to accomplish good academic work in the fields of political science and philosophy? The whirlwind of negativity has yet to reach critical mass, but it's not far off, let me tell ya...
Taking things slowly—my strategy up to this point—is no longer feasible.
It's time to buckle down, though I seem to be missing the buckle.
Time is, in all seriousness, running out. I'm worried pretty much all the time, to be completely candid here, yet I have to (somehow) puzzle out how to build something using my anxiety, rather than letting it utterly consume me, which has been the case until now. I appreciate the expectations others have of me, because they are meant as instruments to push me forward, but I can't seem (yet) able to use them appropriately.