Diane Munoz is a counselor, blogger, and hardcore Ravenclaw dedicated to helping teens with anxiety overcome their fears so they can become confident, successful women.

Overachiever’s Guide to Wasting Your Youth

Overachiever’s Guide to Wasting Your Youth

Have you ever heard that if you work really hard when you’re young, that you’ll have an easy life later? Yeah, I’m sad to say this, but that’s crap. Don’t believe me? Then you’re going to want to watch this.

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If you need help dealing with stress, click the button below to take my “Who Do You Turn Into When You’re Stressed?” quiz. It tells you which TV or movie character you turn into when you’re overwhelmed. Plus you’ll get personalized tips on how to deal with stress like a boss!


Let me tell you about an aweome breakdown I had in college. My roommates wanted to book a 7-day cruise for Spring Break. And I could not believe how inconsiderate they were being. Um, hello! We can’t all just take off for the Caribbean for a week! I was pre-med student taking 15 credit hours while working as a flair covered, suspenders-wearing waitress at TGI Fridays to avoid student loan debt. And they wanted me to spend $1,000 of my hard-earned, breadstick-scented money to run around on a boat for 7 days? No, that was not going to work. Well, can you believe that they went on the cruise without me? They had the nerve to come home a week later all tan, relaxed, and happy. While I spent Spring Break at our house alone. Serving potato skins. And reviewing three-dimensional bond-line structures.

Well, that was an eye-opening experience. It made me realize that I had pretty much missed out on fun in high school to get into a great college. And now that I was there, I was killing myself to get into a great medical school. So what next? Was I going to get to relax once I got to medical school? Not likely. I’d probably be working my butt of to get a great residency placement, right? And then again to get job offers, and promotions... So, when exactly was I going to get to enjoy this life I had sacrificed so much for? I asked myself, was I really willing to give up the best years of my life in the name of my future success? I decided then I was not. And as anyone who knew me in college can attest, I had a LOT of fun. (And side note: I still managed to graduate with honors and a killer job offer.)

But, if you’re like I was and you’re dead set on locking yourself away in the library and suspending all fun and any semblance of a social life until you’ve earned it, don’t let me stop you. In fact, I’m going to help you.

As promised, here is my Overachiever’s Guide for Wasting Your Youth:

1.      Skip all travelling art exhibits, festivals, and concerts until you have more time, money, and social skills. You’ll have a life once you’ve made something of yourself!

2.     Have you dreamed of living in a big city? Don’t do it. You won’t know your way around, you don’t know if you’ll like it, and you might not be able to make friends. Honestly, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

3.     Avoid doing anything if you aren’t 100 % sure that you’ll be amazing at it. Karaoke? No. White water rafting? Get out of here! Summer internship in Washington DC? Not on your life. Also, be ready to give up on any of your life’s ambitions the moment there is a flicker of doubt that you’re good enough. This is your life we’re talking about here! You do not want to take chances!

Related: Beginner's Guide - How to Fail the Right Way (Seriously!)

4.     Put off your dreams of travel until you really “make it”. You’ll have way more time and money after graduation. Besides, it’s the responsible thing to do. Feel free to reward yourself by buying Starbucks and fast food in the meantime, though. I mean, you do deserve a little something!

5.     If you’re really committed to wasting your youth, don’t even think about talking to someone you’re attracted to! Let’s go ahead and assume that they’re out of your league. You’d probably just do something horrifying like shoot chocolate milk out of your nose anyway, right? 

6.     Agonize over your every flaw. Get creative. Get specific. Have you ever noticed that your nostrils are not quite symmetrical? You monster! And make sure to compare yourself to your friends, that goddess of a volleyball player in your Creative Writing lab, and any and all celebrities you see in magazines. Yes, I suppose it is possible that this is the most beautiful, young, and energetic you will ever be in your entire life. But that is no excuse.

Related: How to Beat the Bully in Your Head in 5 Easy Steps

7.     Make sure to beat yourself up over every failure. And I mean all of them. Make sure too to brush off any compliments you receive. (They’re probably just being nice.) Make sure to minimize all of the awesome things that you accomplish. And do not get caught up dreaming about the amazing things that you’re capable of accomplishing in the future.

Related: How to Stop Being a Perfectionist and Love Who You Are

8.     And lastly, if you want to be absolutely certain to waste the best years of your life, make sure to spend an inordinate amount of time over-thinking all of your life’s decisions. Make sure to especially agonize over other people’s opinions. Or, you can save time and energy by letting them make your big decisions for you! Now, if you don’t know how other people feel about your decisions, just guess! Becca from AP Physics probably thinks it’s lame if stay in-state for college, right? Discuss.

Related: The Surprising Skill You NEED to Have to Be a Success

So, there you go. You can wait until success arrives to start living your life. Or you can make a pact with yourself to live your life now while you work toward success. (And yes, the two can occur simultaneously!) Until next time, live long and prosper friends!


If you need help dealing with stress, click the button below to take my “Who Do You Turn Into When You’re Stressed?” quiz. It tells you which TV or movie character you turn into when you’re overwhelmed. Plus you’ll get personalized tips on how to deal with stress like a boss!

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