Chasing unattainable goals sets self up for failure

We need to put ourselves first and societal norms second

A couple of days back, I was making my way to campus when one of my favourite songs started
playing on my headset, “The Chase” by Tinashe. The song narrates the sentiment of moving past an
undesired relationship while making it abundantly clear that chasing something unconquerable, in this
case someone, is pointless.
Though the song has a clear romantic theme, I thought about the countless other circumstances in
which we are constantly chasing after unachievable goals, particularly as students.
I remember my first year at the University of Manitoba. I was desperately trying to get as involved as
possible while having a full load of classes. Though online, I was determined not to allow a pandemic
to take my university experience away from me.
Unfortunately, in the midst of both trying to make a name for myself within the U of M student body
and trying to achieve my academic goals, I got lost in translation.
I ended up nearly failing two of the core courses for my program at the time, having an identity crisis
and abruptly changing my major. I am pretty sure I was going through a depressive period in my life.
In the effort to set myself up for success, I had done exactly the opposite.
Like many students I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, and in all honesty I wasn’t really
sure of who I was.
I went from being class president in high school and an active member of the student community to
being stuck on my computer for the vast majority of my days. I jumped from one Zoom meeting to
another without ever having a meaningful interaction other than with my close family, who were also
We often aim to be comets — leaving shiny paths wherever we go by. We work so hard and put so
much of our energy into satisfying the societal definition of success that we forget to please the most
important person, ourself.
Essentially we become meteors, entering into the atmosphere and crashing against the ground of a
reality that is hard to swallow but needs to be understood. We cannot do everything.
Though I am a fan of community involvement, discovering oneself in a new environment — in this
case being on-campus after two years of online learning — is pivotal to success.
Putting your physical, academic and mental health on the line for the sake of making a name is not a
wise choice, and one that can indeed destroy rather than build up.
As Tinashe says, “I ain’t gonna chase nobody,” or in this case anything unattainable at all.