I’m Average And That’s Okay.

Leo
4 min readAug 23, 2020

I’ve never been academically inclined.

I would not personally use the words ‘motivated’, ‘driven’ or ‘passionate’ to describe myself. I am an average human living in Singapore and I’m okay with that.

For some context, I am a Singaporean born and bred and spent two years of high school and three years in university down under in Melbourne. After graduation in 2018, I promptly moved back to Singapore in 2019 and began a slew of internships throughout the year. Three internships and one part-time job to be exact. As someone who did not serve any internships during her time in university, I firmly believe that I’ve paid my dues and am equipped with the necessary skills to seek out a full-time job.

I started 2020 with a writing internship that changed my life, which led me to this piece today. My internship with Hype & Stuff reconciled my toxic relationship with writing and I am now proud to call myself a writer and intended to pursue being a writer for the foreseeable future.

So, why is it okay to be average in such a competitive global society? Because being average serves a purpose despite what anyone of Asian descent would believe. Of course, the expectation (by society, our peers or our parents) of being above average holds only the best intentions, which is to allow ourselves to reach our best potential, to ensure that we give our all and our best.

But the issue with being pressured to be our best 24/7 leads to unrealistic expectations and insurmountable levels of stress that can be extremely traumatic to oneself. I personally know people who have been absolutely decimated by this expectation and also have best friends that thrive with the motivation with being their best above average selves.

And good for them. Do whatever that makes you happy is what I live by.

Personally, I do not necessarily strive to be the ‘best’ (by societal standards, whatever societal standards entail). I’ve been average my whole entire life. Known as the ‘quitter’ amongst my siblings for giving up violin, piano, guitar, and fine art lessons.

I’ve failed maths since I was 9 years old. I failed combined science during my N levels. I missed out on a few percentage points and missed out on second class honours when it came to my Bachelor’s degree.

Fuck, part of the reason why my first ex-boyfriend broke up with me when I was 19, was because he could not stand seeing me half-ass my degree.

But now, as a freshly 23-year-old, I am happy being average. This realisation or acceptance did not hit me recently; it came to me gradually at the beginning of the year if I recall correctly. Being less than has never bothered me. I never felt the pressure to excel in academics, which I have my parents to thank, and never felt the pressure to have a super high paying job despite being surrounded by peers who are doing so.

Of course, I am speaking from a place of privilege. I grew up middle class and my parents never spoke about money growing up. I acknowledge that my acceptance with my averageness largely ties in with the way I was raised and the opportunities that have been presented to me.

The purpose of being average is to 1) allow those who want to be above average to have some sort of benchmark to measure themselves against and 2) to allow me to be happy with myself.

This is not to say that I am not putting in effort into applying for jobs and chasing my dream of being a writer for as long as possible. Could I apply for even more jobs daily? Absolutely. But am I feeling any sense of guilt for not being as aggressive as I can? Absolutely not.

To be frank, this sense of self-acceptance and being largely happy with the choices that I make still surprises me. I often joke with my ex that I reached a level of nirvana when he broke my heart.

Does this piece make any sense? You tell me. This is me finally writing after my internship ended two months ago.

Here’s to encouraging anyone who reads this to one day be able to reach a sense of being happy with what they have if you haven’t achieved that already. But what do I know? I’m merely a kid with too many existential thoughts and definitely drinks way too much for her own good.

This post was written while intoxicated and is not officially edited. We write and live like men going to war unprepared!

Stay happy, healthy and self-aware.

X. Leo

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Leo

Way too curious for my own good, a baby nihilist and writer of sorts.