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    I am 16 and currently studying for my highers. I am doing English, Music, Art, Physics and History. I play the piano, violin and cello and at the moment intend Study Art or Music at at degree level. I take external music lessons and exams, I have been doing ballet for 11 years and for the past 5 years I have taken art lessons at Glasgow School of Art at weekends and in the summer. These classes are very competitive to get into.

    My older brother is studying for a Math degree at Cambridge, my father has a Phd in Solar Physics is an academic and is very musical, my mother is Russian and has an MA in Fine Art she works as an illustrator and yoga teacher. I come from the family where everyone is well read, well travelled, open minded, artistic and intellgent and of course I know how lucky I am but I feel under such a lot of pressure to live up to what is expected of me.

    My mum is a feminist and a bit of a hippy but she has always impressed upon me the importance of looking good (very important in Russian Culture) and being really fit. I was raised vegetarian and have done yoga since I was a toddler. Now if I put on a single pound my mother notices and I feel driven to never go over my ideal weight of 110lbs. As a result I am very careful about my diet and eat only very pure food and do at least an hour or exercise a day not counting my daily yoga practice.

    Good marks come easily to me but I can never really relax I always feel the need to be doing more to improve myself. When I was 13 I set myself the task to read one fiction and one non fiction book a week (based on a book of around 200 words or so) and I have more or less kept to this even though I have a heavy study and music practice schedule.

    I do have some friends and we do hang out at weekends sometimes but I will usually only go if they are doing something that seems worthwhile such as visiting book shops, going to meetings or lectures, art house films and art galleries. I spend my free time doing my hobbies of writing (mostly poetry), photography, astronomy, chess, art and music. I also set myself projects such as studying the work of a particular film maker (Godard, Tarkovsky etc) or writer (Kundera, Angela Carter etc) so over the course of a month I will read some of their books or watch a selection of their films and also read books about them at the same time (I have access to the univeristy library via my Dad for this). For example over the summer I used David Harvey's lecture series to read Marx and have since been reading a lot of books on Marxism from Lenin to the Baader Meinhof gang.

    If I am not doing something "improving" at all times I feel awful and in a sort of panic. I don't take any credit for it but I inherited a pretty face and decent figure from my Mother and I know some boys do like me but dating just seems like a terrible waste of time, even though deep down I would like to just let my hair down sometimes see friends and maybe go on a date but I worry that I might really like a boy and that it would distract me from my goals. However my goals are mainly just to be perfect all the time, which is a bit meaningless.

    I know I have the focus and drive to do whatever I want to do but I am always afraid of easing off the pedal even a little in case I lose control completely. I am 16 now and I worry that my youth is passing me by and that by the time I let go I will have missed out on so much. I also know that I have really alienated a lot of people my own age as i feel I have nothing to talk to most of them about, I get on better with older people but of course they don't want to be socialising with a 16 year old. I also accept that in some ways I am behind my peers in social development.

    Anyone have any advice?
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    (Original post by Igraine)
    I am 16 and currently studying for my highers. I am doing English, Music, Art, Physics and History. I play the piano, violin and cello and at the moment intend Study Art or Music at at degree level. I take external music lessons and exams, I have been doing ballet for 11 years and for the past 5 years I have taken art lessons at Glasgow School of Art at weekends and in the summer. These classes are very competitive to get into.

    My older brother is studying for a Math degree at Cambridge, my father has a Phd in Solar Physics is an academic and is very musical, my mother is Russian and has an MA in Fine Art she works as an illustrator and yoga teacher. I come from the family where everyone is well read, well travelled, open minded, artistic and intellgent and of course I know how lucky I am but I feel under such a lot of pressure to live up to what is expected of me.

    My mum is a feminist and a bit of a hippy but she has always impressed upon me the importance of looking good (very important in Russian Culture) and being really fit. I was raised vegetarian and have done yoga since I was a toddler. Now if I put on a single pound my mother notices and I feel driven to never go over my ideal weight of 110lbs. As a result I am very careful about my diet and eat only very pure food and do at least an hour or exercise a day not counting my daily yoga practice.

    Good marks come easily to me but I can never really relax I always feel the need to be doing more to improve myself. When I was 13 I set myself the task to read one fiction and one non fiction book a week (based on a book of around 200 words or so) and I have more or less kept to this even though I have a heavy study and music practice schedule.

    I do have some friends and we do hang out at weekends sometimes but I will usually only go if they are doing something that seems worthwhile such as visiting book shops, going to meetings or lectures, art house films and art galleries. I spend my free time doing my hobbies of writing (mostly poetry), photography, astronomy, chess, art and music. I also set myself projects such as studying the work of a particular film maker (Godard, Tarkovsky etc) or writer (Kundera, Angela Carter etc) so over the course of a month I will read some of their books or watch a selection of their films and also read books about them at the same time (I have access to the univeristy library via my Dad for this). For example over the summer I used David Harvey's lecture series to read Marx and have since been reading a lot of books on Marxism from Lenin to the Baader Meinhof gang.

    If I am not doing something "improving" at all times I feel awful and in a sort of panic. I don't take any credit for it but I inherited a pretty face and decent figure from my Mother and I know some boys do like me but dating just seems like a terrible waste of time, even though deep down I would like to just let my hair down sometimes see friends and maybe go on a date but I worry that I might really like a boy and that it would distract me from my goals. However my goals are mainly just to be perfect all the time, which is a bit meaningless.

    I know I have the focus and drive to do whatever I want to do but I am always afraid of easing off the pedal even a little in case I lose control completely. I am 16 now and I worry that my youth is passing me by and that by the time I let go I will have missed out on so much. I also know that I have really alienated a lot of people my own age as i feel I have nothing to talk to most of them about, I get on better with older people but of course they don't want to be socialising with a 16 year old. I also accept that in some ways I am behind my peers in social development.

    Anyone have any advice?
    Personally I thnk you sound pretty cool but it seems you are over doing it a bit. At the rate you are going at you will be bored by most of what you learn when you get to university. Just try and take even half an hour or so a day and hopefully you will be able to relax a bit more. Also just do something fun with your mates once a month go to the fair or a stupid movie or out dancing.
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    You sound like a really interesting person and it's great that you have the drive to do all these things rather than sitting around watching tv or something. You've achieved a lot more academically and on the musical front than the vast majority of other 16 year olds, so you can relax! Just maybe try to spend some time with friends doing something you'd normally consider a waste of time; I guess it might make you uncomfortable at first but I really think socialising and relaxing can be as important as learning! If you get good grades easily and with extra curriculars like yours, you shouldn't have to worry about getting into a good university - I know that shouldn't be the primary reason for playing an instrument or doing but by the sounds of it you do want to get into a good university.

    Your mum's obsession with your weight sounds a bit worrying but it's probably hard for you to change it; obviously there is nothing wrong with being healthy and exercising but if you feel it's too much you can try cutting down a little? That would free up some time to spend with your friends or maybe go on a date as well.
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    MAN do I feel lazy and boring after reading that or WHAT O,O
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    You sound like an amazing person.
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    (Original post by Igraine)
    (based on a book of around 200 words or so)
    Not sure that qualifies as a book. Think that's more of a paragraph....
 
 
 
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