The Overachiever and the Underachiever
Composition Assigment #6
An overachiever is someone who consistently exhibits superior results as a reward for putting an excessive amount of effort into a task. On the other hand, the underachiever waits until the very last possible moment to begin work on a project, puts forth a mediocre effort and is rewarded with an average result. The odd similarity of these personality types is that they are both satisfied with the outcome of their effort. They feel as though they have accomplished something grand, when in reality they have only succeeded in proving their own selfishness.
While at first glance the overachiever may appear to be a perfect citizen - always following the rules to a "T", always exhibiting loyalty and reliability, and always one step ahead, at what cost does the label of "overachiever" come? They are always working on something. Nothing is ever good enough and it is doubtful that anything another does will ever match up to them. In fact, mere attempts at success pale in the light of their ever growing list of qualities and activities that they are constantly discussing. Their friends are usually all overachievers as well so that they may routinely sit around and discuss their own attributes. It's like a never-ending game to them. No matter what they accomplish or what level they reach, there will always be that need for something more. Unfortunately, while they are spending their youth searching for that something, they fail to appreciate the little things in life and before they know it their youth is gone, and they have missed out on all the important things.
The underachiever is the type that someone might look at and be tempted to envy. After all, who wouldn't want to go through life without any worries of deadlines or commitments? This is not a matter of reaching one's full potential; this is a matter of a lack of care - a habitual display of complacency. This very thing is what makes them unreliable, unstable, and simply put, "The last one picked for the team". No one wants the underachiever on their team because they know they can't count on them to hold their end. They might have a few long-time friends but most people will become fed up with their immature and frustrating habits. "I might as well do it myself" was probably first said by someone living with an underachiever. They have no desire to help those around them, only to do the bare minimum to get themselves by.
It's fairly simple to find these two types of people everywhere; they're relatively easy to spot. In high school the overachievers can be found at the front of the classroom, correcting the teacher and working on the end-of-the-year paper that isn’t due for three more months while the underachievers can be found in the back - asleep. In college you'll find the overachievers at the library till midnight each night with their study group while the underachievers are out at a tailgating party without even a thought to the paper that's due in the morning. In the office the overachievers are even easier to spot - they're the ones in charge. They're the workaholics, always putting the company first – while the underachievers are nursing headaches from the night before.
So which is worse? What curse is best to live with? Is it a choice? Or are some people just born anal while others are born complacent? What about all those people trapped in the middle? Those who work hard for that consistent “A” average? Frankly, we may need the overachiever and the underachiever, after all whom better to make the normal people look, well, normal?
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