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How Can I Stop Comparing My Accomplishments to My Classmates? It makes me feel terrible.

Daydreamer01Daydreamer01 8 replies10 threads Junior Member
As I go through college things become more and more competitive. I've had some wins and some losses this semester. I even secured a paid summer internship. However, no matter what I achieve I always compare what I have to another classmates accomplishments. I end up doubting myself and feeling stupid. I could've done better this semester academically, but everyone still tells me I did pretty well. Yet, I have classmates that got 4.0 gpa's and Dean's List. It's like I can never be happy. How can I stop comparing my accomplishments against my classmates and feeling stupid?
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Replies to: How Can I Stop Comparing My Accomplishments to My Classmates? It makes me feel terrible.

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6291 replies10 threads Senior Member
    It sounds like a cliche, but you do you better than anyone else. Look --. At everything you do, someone somewhere will do better. Try not to think of everything as a hierarchy. Instead, celebrate what makes you feel good.

    Think about keeping a journal. Record in it 3 things each day that gave you joy. Not necessarily an accomplishment. Maybe you did something for someone. Maybe you were up early and saw the sun rise. Maybe you really enjoyed working on a paper.

    I give you credit for recognizing this in yourself. You deserve to be happy and this will get in your way. If you have access to counseling at school, go. Someone there may help you work through why you feel you need to be "better" than others in order to love yourself. It doesn't have to be this way.

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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5988 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "I even secured a paid summer internship."

    This is a BIG DEAL. At first glance it might seem like a paid summer internship is great because you will get paid. This of course is true, but is only the beginning of the story. A paid summer internship will help prepare you to get a good job after graduation in at least three ways: You will have working experience which will help you understand what you might want to do or at least what you might not want to do. You will have a source of references from someone who has seen you at work. The company that hires you for the internship might want to hire you after you graduate. Even if the third of these doesn't work out, the first two are big.

    You cannot hope to be the one smartest person in the world. If you were the one smartest person in the world then you would have a world of problems to be unhappy about (a difficult one would be finding an appropriate date for Saturday night). For the rest of us, there is always someone else out there who is smarter, or has more money, or has better health, or something. Gilda Radner (a great comedian) used to play a character who would point out problems in some situation and end with "its always something". Of course like most good comedy this is entirely correct.

    In life we each are the most successful when we figure out what is right for us. We find a college major that we like. We do relatively well in our courses. We get a good job that we like. We do not become happy by always trying to be better than everyone else. We become happy when we are good with what we have. It also helps a lot to be able to work with and learn from people who are better than us at least at something, and almost everyone is very good at something.

    The most successful people that I know got that way at least partly by listening to and learning from others. If you are exposed to people who are very strong at something that you are also trying to do, then learn from them. Do not try to be them.
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 2066 replies73 threads Senior Member
    You are you; learn to be yourself and not how you compare with others. One of my favorite sayings comes from a poem by T.S. Eliot: "For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business." Create the yardstick for yourself and for yourself alone, not the yardstick that others have created. Even if all your trying comes to hardly anything, it's still yours. Even nothing can be special if it's yours. You give your best, and whatever the yield that your best gives, that's special because it's yours. The rest is not your business nor anyone else's.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5840 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

    The courage to change the things I can.

    And the wisdom to know the difference.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1983 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Everyone has given you great advice. At the crux of what you have realized is that you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Throughout life there will always be someone who is better than us is every way imaginable. Being ok with that and not comparing comes with maturity. Keep working on it an you will get there. Kudos for you for recognizing this in yourself at a young age! Some people never stop comparing themselves and it truly gets in the way of their success and happiness. You'll be able to stop doing so because you recognize it and you want to change. It sounds to me like you are doing great! Good for you. Enjoy your accomplishments.
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  • Daydreamer01Daydreamer01 8 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for all your responses! Very much appreciated :smile:
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  • MWolfMWolf 2050 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Good for them. Also, good for you! That internship is a top-notch accomplishment, and likely the accomplishment that helps the most in getting a job after college.

    Therefore, overall, you have, so far, been highly successful in college. That's what matters, not what other students have done.

    Good luck, and keep on doing what you are already doing!
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