Accepting your Limitations

I was watching Dancing with the Stars the other night (don’t judge) and that there seems to be a common theory (especially in the US) that I find very dangerous: You can do anything if you work hard enough!

While this seems very affirming it is simply not true. Not to crush you aspirations, but some people can’t become president even if they tried their hardest and that guy on Dancing with the Stars who misses an arm and a leg won’t be able to dance technically perfectly.

I’m not trying to be mean. Actually I’m not only trying to be realistic but affirming that way. Here’s why: If the judges will keep on telling him he’ll do great if only he practices hard enough, he will fail terribly.

Don’t get me wrong I admire this guy for doing his thing on the show, for working (probably) so much harder than anyone else! What I’m trying to say is that he won’t ever be able to toss around his partner in the air safely like the other contestants.

Which is okay!

And that’s the affirmation in finding and accepting your limitations: Even though I might not be able to be president and the DWTS guy won’t be able to dance perfectly, that doesn’t lower my worth as a person.

It’s good to accept your limitations and realize that they don’t define you but your strengths and abilities do!

The real challenge is to realize which limits you have to push and which you’ll need to accept – still no answer for that, I guess.

Being an Introvert

I’ve always been on the fence about the whole Introvert/Extrovert debate.

Only recently Introverts started to get a lot more credit, where as before it seemed like being extroverted was the „right“ way to be. We imagined Introverts to be shy weirdos who don’t have any friends and can’t talk to other people. But actually Introverts are just chronically overstimulated people.

While Extroverts have a low arousal level naturally and need a lot of stimulation to get to a positive hedonic tone (a optimal, pleasant level of arousal), Introverts are the other way around. This theory was stated by H.J. Eysenck who was a British psychologist.

It simply explains why Introverts have more fun staying at home to read a book (because little stimulation is enough to make them feel good) while Extroverts love to party or being around a lot of people (they need a lot of stimulation to feel good).

Enough science for now!

Somewhere I read, heard or saw another definition of Introverts and Extroverts which I loved: Introverts gain energy from being alone. They loose energy when being around a lot of people.

What I found interesting about this definition is the fact that it doesn’t exclude Introverts (like me) from having fun when around friends or at a party. It simply means that when they’re around people a lot they’ll loose energy and will need some time alone after a night of partying to gain it back!

Such a relieve for all my fellow Introverts out there: We are no weirdos – or at least not just because we’re introverted!

Wednesday Verses #1

For Wednesdays I would like to start a new tradition called ‚Wednesday Verses‘ where I will share some serious or not so serious lyrics from some of the songs I’ve been listening to. This week a not-so-serious classic:

You must be a football coach, the way you got me playing the field

–  Ignition (Remix), R. Kelly –

Easy-peasy pea soup for chilly days

This is my go-to soup recipe for fall and winter. For a student like me this is perfect because it is super fast and cheap – and of course it tastes good too! For two serving you’ll need

  • some shallots
  • olive oil
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of (whipping) cream
  • salt
  • lemon juice
  • chili flakes (optional)

So all you do is braise the shallots lightly before adding the peas. Pour in the broth and cream, bring it to a cook and then let it simmer for about 10 minutes. At the end just go ahead and puree the soup and add some salt, lemon and chili to season to your taste. I know it’s fairly simple, but that’s exactly what a university student needs after a long, cold day. I like to serve the soup with my favorite kind of rye bread. Because I looooove to dip my bread into the soup. That way it’s more filling and tastes even better.

Failure

A few weeks ago I was telling you about how busy I was due to studying for my exams. Well here is the post to tell you how it went. Maybe the title is a small hint though *winkwink*

To explain my story I need to start from the beginning: When I was born.. (jk, but seriously I will need to give you some background information).

I’ve always been a very good student (very good meaning mostly A’s). It’s not that my parents where really strict about me getting good grades but rather that I just enjoyed learning new things. I’ve always been very curious I guess. Since I knew that university existed I was determined to go there no matter what. While my mother started working right after school and my father did his A levels and diploma a little later in life, I knew I wanted to study as long as possible.

While studying for my A-levels I found myself very interested by other peoples behavior and thoughts, so I thought about studying psychology (I can go a little further into detail about why I like psychology some other time if you’d like). I realized that to go to a certain uni I should get a 1,3 in my A-levels. I’m not exactly sure what that translates to in other countries, but let’s just say that it’s pretty if not very good.

I knew it meant a lot of studying and discipline if I wanted to make it but it was by no means impossible. So to cut a long story short: I did it (even though I messed up on my oral exam)!

I was very proud (maybe with a hint of cockiness) and ready to rock uni. So there was uni, the place I had so many expectations about. And most of the time when you have a lot of expectations nothing will live up to them. An that was the case with uni for me so far. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE psychology, but uni… not so much.

I was very spoiled to be able to write critical essays and tests about what I found most interesting concerning the topic we where studying at the school where I did my A-levels. Now in uni, we do nothing else but memorizing stupid facts to remember them for the multiple choice style exams. I hate it! To be honest my hate might root from my inability to memorize facts. I have no problem understanding complex coherences and reviewing them critically in a written text but I can’t handle studying for multiple choice tests.

So my success in the first three semesters was not what I expected. I had a really hard time and in the end failed to stay anywhere near my GPA from my A-levels. I tried tons of different study methods but in the end none of these methods were noticeably different from when I didn’t have time studying and only crammed the night before an exam. I can’t seem to get much better than around a 3,0.

To finally return to my initial topic (my last exams results): I studied as much as I have never studied in uni before. I tried the last thing I could think of, which was straight up studying – studying as hard and for as long as I could. For two weeks I sat in the library everyday for 8 hours and wrote over 600 flashcards that I tried to memorize.

I felt very good about myself, proud that I had the discipline and I even had a good feeling during the exam.

In the end it turns out that no matter how hard I try and what method I use I can’t seem to get any better.

I know that failure can mean a lot of different things, but for me it means not exceeding my own expectations. And while failure is an inevitable part of life I’ve learned that it is not your failure that define you but the way you respond to these moments. Which does not mean that I didn’t cry and cry and cry and thought I was the stupidest person alive! I am a big believer of feeling emotions that have to be felt, ya know?

But after I cried, hated myself enough and  after a week passed I realized that even though I feel like I tried everything I could, gave my best and still failed, there was nothing else to do but to just keep going.

I am not the most motivated student right know (which is understandable I guess) but I will keep going because – well, a future in psychology ,for me, is worth a little hard work and even some failures.

So please let me know about your failures simply so that I can make myself feel better about my nonexistent success in uni!