Guilt is one of the strongest emotions felt by human beings. It can often come from the simplest of things in our daily life and may leave us feeling devastated, making us question our self-worth. Every one of us has probably fallen victim to the emotion of feeling guilty now and then. The degree of experience may vary, but feeling guilty is common for many people, especially during their student life. 

Most schools today still evaluate their students based on exams and the grades they get. While exams are a way to get students to study more, the real world out there may be looking for street-smart talents. Some college dropouts go on to become entrepreneurs, and the graduates apply in their companies for jobs. This can lead to confusion for many of the students and make them question whether the time and effort spent on formal education is worth it. Consequently, we end up feeling guilty about either of the choices we make: to study or not to study.

Is over studying bad? Consider this example. If you decide not to go out for a weekend party or baseball game and instead spend the whole day studying, you will probably feel guilty about sacrificing your happiness just for some grades. On the other hand, spending the weekend on late night parties might bring you a lot of fun, but ultimately an overwhelming feeling of guilt kicks in. This generally happens when you have a hangover from late-night parties and miss your research paper and essay deadlines. You think that you could have been more productive instead, building up your knowledge base. Such guilt may come in many forms.

How to stop feeling bad?

Feeling guilty can make you feel bad about yourself. It is a terrible emotion that is neither healthy nor useful to our psychological development. You may not be able to do away with this emotion totally, but at least you can learn how to stop feeling guilty all the time. Here are some tips on how to feel less guilty. 

1. Start journaling for mindfulness

One of the best ways to tackle your guilty conscience is by grabbing a pen and paper and putting down your feelings on a journal. If you feel completely lost and do not know where to start, you can find some of the best samples of essays on people who are guilty here for free. Reading such examples may be just the very thing you need right now to deal with your anxious feelings and let them go. The simplest yet most effective solution can be actually writing your thoughts in a diary.  

2. Find a balance

Lori Deschene beautifully said that “life is all about balance.” Of course, finding the right balance between your study and non-study activities is hard, but you can start by getting organized with your life. Prioritizing your tasks and understanding what is important and urgent can allow you to be productive without sacrificing your happiness. The time you spend not studying can help you learn better in the long term. 

3. Take a break

Allow yourself to relax every once in a while. You deserve a break to replenish your mental and physical energy. If you have been working on your school assignments all day long, know when to stop studying and go out to have some fun.  

4. Know your limitations

You don’t need to be perfect because nobody is. Give your best efforts but don’t blame yourself for things you cannot control. Instead, focus on what you control in your life. Lord Buddha said that trying to control the uncontrollable is suffering. Live in the moment. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

5. Observe your ego

Our ego is often the reason for our guilt. To deal with this feeling, try stepping out of your ego and observe yourself as a second person. From this objective perspective of yourself, you can see where you are going wrong. A mentor or a good friend can help you understand yourself better.

It’s best not to burn your emotional energy by feeling guilty about your studying. You don’t need to get everything done right now. Like Yin and Yang, nothing is absolute. All you need in your life is the right balance. It may take a while to find the equilibrium, but the journey is worth it. Do what you can, but don’t beat yourself up for things that you cannot control. Life is beautiful when you keep it simple.