Finally learning to recognize my accomplishments made me a happier person…and strengthened my resume

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a full-fledged busy bee. I spend my college days spearheading campus projects, jetting across campus to class, and making a list for any situation. I thrive on having things to do, and I’m dead without my jam-packed, color-coded planner. The best feeling in the world? Crossing off an item from my to-do list, especially if it took long hours and coffee at midnight to accomplish. Until this summer, I didn’t realize that this was having much worse side effects than losing sleep and finding moldy veggies in my fridge because I’m too busy to cook.

Now, I’ve opened my eyes to the possibility that I may have been selling myself short for quite a while.

For the first time in two years, I stopped the presses and decided to spend the summer with my parents.

It’s the last year before I graduate and go full on adult, so I wanted to spend some quality time with them. No internship, no job, no meetings, just quiet. Even though I was still working on fall events and filling out an application for an awesome post-grad abroad program, I quickly began to feel like a loser.

If I’m not in a rush, am I really doing enough?


I came home from the gym one day after running nearly two miles on the treadmill when I finally had my realization. Running a 5k has been a goal of mine since high school, and I was almost there for the first time ever. How had I not realizedmy progress before? I patted myself on the back, then hit the showers. This victory was in the back of my mind as I looked over what I’d finished on my application for the post-grad program I’m really excited about. I started remembering more of my accomplishments from the past that I’d chosen to forget, things that could have amped up my credentials. My mind was blown as I turned into that meme of the woman trying to “do the math.”

Yep, this was a pattern of mine.

I get so caught up in this fast pace I’ve created for myself that I forget Ferris Bueller’s iconic life advice: stop, or you might miss it.

I’d been so concerned about getting new things done, that I never cherished the things I had already accomplished.

So, I spent the next couple of days reveling in my accomplishments and letting myself get a little cocky. “Remember that time you ran a campus wide knit-a-thon to raise awareness about local human trafficking? Or that time you put together a workshop about gender-neutral professional dress? Yeah, those were good times.” These high five sessions were good for my soul, and just as good for my CV. I added some qualifiers to my application that I believe will give me an edge.

I’ve also found some openings in my schedule to just slow down.

What’s the point of being busy if I can’t even have fun and reap the benefits while I do it?

Feeling crappy and/or filling out an application? Take some time to reflect and come up with five greats feats you may have forgotten about.

Teri Bradford is a college senior and aspiring writer residing in Pittsburgh, PA. When she’s not talking about human rights or politics, she can be found listening to the 2 Dope Queens podcast with a cup of tea, or updating her blog Concept.

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