Perfectionism

Amherst is known for its high academic standards and bright, hard-working students.  You might think of perfectionism as a positive trait, after all, holding yourself to a standard of excellence can push you to do great work, which leads to good grades, which in turn leads to the foundation for graduate school and a successful career, right?  It’s great to challenge yourself and strive to do good work, as long as you can maintain perspective.  Perfectionism can be debilitating if you are constantly under pressure to live up to an unrealistic standard, and therefore never feel “good enough.”

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is not typically included when discussing mental health issues.  However, it warrants a place as a topic of concern within the prestigious and academically-driven culture of Amherst College.  Some may view perfectionism as a virtue, and we certainly want to encourage students to strive to do the best they can and achieve success.  Yet perfectionism can be debilitating for students who experience chronic pressure and never feel “good enough.”