competition between friends

<p>Recently, especially since junior year started and college apps are on the horizon, there has been this air of competition between me and my friends. We've all been friends since freshman year and it's only since junior year started that there's this kind of unfreindliness that's crept into our relationships with each other. Just to clarify, its not just directed towards me, but its between all of us. We're all in the same classes since the AP classes are smaller and pretty much in all the same clubs, so we're all kind of aiming for leadership positions simulateneously. It hasn't been explicitly acknowledged, but it's pretty obvious. </p>

<p>For example... I ran for Academic Team Captain and lost by a narrow margin to a friend... another friend told me, "well now you know how it feels." She was basically referring to this time when we both ran for Student Council VP and BOTH lost to another girl. </p>

<p>Before, we all used to share homework and test questions if someone had an exam during an earlier class (yes yes I know this is 'cheating' but whatever, we did it like everyone else) but now if someone needs to copy homework, she's met with cold stares. No one wants to let anyone copy homework anymore, even if its occasional. I still let anyone who needs to copy my homework, but its sad because everyone is basically hoping to end up with a higher grade than the other because they get the homework points. </p>

<p>I'm a a little confused about how to see the situation because I have the highest SAT/PSAT score among the group but am also the laziest and most procrastinater-ish. I do the least studying (if any) but end up with equivalent grades. (btw... we don't share grades like we did before) I also have the most leadership positions. I don't AT ALL see myself as superior to my friends, nor do I ever mention that stuff unless someone asks me about or try to rub it in their faces.</p>

<p>Is this kind of stuff normal around 'crunch time' aka junior year? Does this kind of competitiveness seep into friendships with you guys too? How did you deal with it?</p>

<p>Sounds like you're one of the few secure, mature students in your class. It's not uncommon, but people need to see things through a different lens. It's not all about beating your friend out of something. You should be proud of the accomplishments of your friends as well as those of your own, and be supportive. It's unfortunate you seem to be in the middle of this--just don't take anything personally. Kids are starting to become uncertain on their future plans and want to do all they can do to get into top schools. Somewhat understandable. Luckily I never felt this at my school, but we're a tight-knit bunch of about 260 kids.</p>

<p>Sounds stressful :/ Just try to play down your academic-ness. When people ask me what I got, I usually just say something around the lines of "Better than I expected. I thought I failed. haha" and then change the topic.</p>

<p>I'm glad all my close friends are athletic recruits. We almost never talk about academics.</p>

<p>thanks guys... I've been so miserable about this lately, honestly we just barely even talk anymore like we used to. </p>

<p>but even still, I'm even more confused because normally friends who are super smart and ambitious still stay friends through high school and encourage each other through the college process. I see other people cheering their friends through the SAT's and encouraging one another when they voice where they plan on applying, even if they're planning on applying to the same schools. </p>

<p>I know this one guy who applied to Princeton/Harvard and was salutatarion. He was rejected by both but accepted to MIT. His best friend, the valedectorian, got into Harvard and Princeton, but was rejected by MIT. They're still as close as ever and were SO happy for one another about the acceptances and consoled each other when the rejections came in. I feel with my group of friends, they'res this silent unspoken desire to see the other fail. I know no one would never think precisely that they don't want someone to succeed, but I have been suspecting for some while that extraordinary success or luck (in my case) breeds unhappiness within my circle. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm pretty sure not that's the case because the incidents I described, and many others, show that. </p>

<p>Anyone else ever felt that way? Or seen it happen between friends?</p>

<p>A person I know only makes friends that are a grade above her because she doesn't want to get close to her "competition" and have them "sabotage" her. A little extreme...</p>

<p>You're not alone. A lot of friends have very competitive friendships. I tend to avoid becoming close friends with the people who constantly ask for my grades and care about their own grades excessively. I find it stressful and unnecessary to constantly talk about these things with friends.</p>

<p>Maybe you can befriend some other people? Or you can just completely stop talking about academics and see how it plays out. It sounds as if they're not really supportive. Striving to achieve is one thing, but if their way of going about it is to step on other people and hope for your failure, then there's no way that you'll have a happy friendship.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I'm glad all my close friends are athletic recruits. We almost never talk about academics.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That's so true. I think that's why we're so close. We're extremely competitive in our individual sports though, but not the extent of the OP. </p>

<p>Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If they act like in high school, I don't want to imagine them at a university. Can you see them as close friends in college? I certainly wouldn't be able to.</p>

<p>I understand how you feel, I have this one friend who acts really nice, but I can sense that she just wants to outdo me all the time. My advice is that you find another couple of friends who aren't as intense or when you're with these group of friends, just don't talk about academics. Actually in my school, discussions about top schools is almost taboo. EVERYONE wants to go to an ivy, so talking about it would just create unnecessary tension. Maybe you'll realize that real friends aren't the people who like to see you fail but congratulate you when you succeed.</p>

<p>I completely understand the way you feel. Its weird because all of my friends are competing against eachother to graduate first or second in our class.</p>

<p>I hate when competition threatens to break up friendship. I love my friends; I would do so much to prevent that from happening. And, thankfully, it hasn't. I'm near (maybe 5/400) the top of my class without putting in a lot of effort - I try in what I love, and not much else - so some people resent me for that. Those people I try my best to ignore. My real friends love and respect me for who I am and what I love, and college apps don't change that. I would never think of "competing" with my friends; we help each other up all the way.</p>

<p>I feel the same way, its gotten worse in junior year. </p>

<p>Idk why, but everyone seems so hostile now. Last everyone everyone was pretty chill, now people are more *****y. But I guess its really only one or two people in my group of friends, but they seem to ruin everything and set the tone. </p>

<p>I don't really care what others get, I want them to succeed, but I won't put them down if they do really bad, or I do better than them. It really ****es me off when kids brag about how much better they do on tests, when I know the only reason they did better than me was because I have the class 2nd period and they have the class 10th and I know people helped them and told them questions they could look up and tipped them off about hard concepts, etc...</p>

<p>And ever since I went to private school for HS, aka leaving all of my old friends at public behind, I have a bigger quantity of friends, but the quality of my friends have definitely gone down. There are probably only 4-5 people I'd like to keep in touch with after high school. The others I just hang out with because they can be fun sometimes, but they aren't really true friends.</p>

<p>I have this one stupid friend who won't let me see his homework when I need it. Another friend refuses to help so the curve will be lower. (Although I would never set the curve, anyway.)</p>

<p>I'm going through this too. People whom I used to be very "tight" with earlier in high school irritate me nowadays whenever they score higher than me on tests in school. It isn't a good thing, but I think it'll heal itself after we're done applying this fall.</p>

<p>We don't outwardly express it, but deep inside me and my peers are having a competition of who is better in academics and other things. But we're kinda chill about it, it's not like we don't talk much anymore or anything like that. But we strive to be better than the other person.</p>

<p>I'm the mega-procrastinator and the moocher among us though, and it's all cool.</p>

<p>I hang out with humble people; there's a big GPA difference between us, and I'm the only one taking multiple AP classes, but they still don't see me as superior -- even I don't see them as being inferior to me. Heck, they know more about life than I do. We manage to cheer each other on.</p>

<p>
[Quote]
I feel with my group of friends, they'res this silent unspoken desire to see the other fail. I know no one would never think precisely that they don't want someone to succeed, but I have been suspecting for some while that extraordinary success or luck (in my case) breeds unhappiness within my circle. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm pretty sure not that's the case because the incidents I described, and many others, show that.

[/Quote]
</p>

<p>It's this way in my old circle of friends, too. There's this one guy who I used to be best friends with from like 6th grade to 9th grade, but ever since last year he's been super-competitive about things. This year, he emits this aura of superiority and condescension and acts like everyone is beneath him. I never used to feel like he thought I was lesser than him (and I certainly never considered anyone beneath me), but I found out this year that he's always considered himself to be intellectually superior to me.</p>

<p>My high school also has the IB program. I am not in it, as it hardly benefits the students in it (my school's program is weak), but many of the people I went to junior high with joined it. Me and these people always used to be equal. In fact, everyone at my school used to consider themselves equal. Most of us still do. But a good proportion of the IB kids have picked up this overwhelming sense of superiority that really strains things socially. I used to be friends with a good amount of these people, but now they all just discuss things amongst themselves. It's lame. I had 4 close friends join the IB program. Now, I'm only close to 1 of those friends, and he's the only one considering dropping out of the program.</p>

<p>Plus, people didn't used to be so competitive. We all used to be legitimately happy (or at least a few of us were and the rest were good at feigning happiness) for each other when we did well on things, and we would intentionally sacrifice our own grades (via the curve) by helping our friends in later periods do better on the test. We also used to let each other copy homework and risk punishment, because even though it was against the rules, why wouldn't we help out each other when we had the chance? Yet, nowadays, most people (at least in the honors and AP classes) want each other to do poorly. So now, in my honors chemistry class, there are about 10 of us who value one another more than we value our class rank, and strangely, we're not failing academically. The competitive kids are completely stressed out all the time and no longer have the ability to be happy for one another. While the 10 of us non-competitive kids have no problem sharing our grades and feeling genuinely happy for one another when we do well, the others all stress out and hide their grades and become paranoid when they get the idea that someone else out-performed them.</p>

<p>So many students in my classes have lost the ability to feel legitimately happy for one another and only value their own grades and their own class rank. It's a shame. I miss my old friends!</p>

<p>I ALWAYS tell people the questions to the test if I take it earlier and I ALWAYS tell them the homework if they forgot. but seriously, my BEST FRIEND who I totally love but is being so cold to me lately never ever tells me the questions if she has a test before me or if I ask her about the homework she doesn't tell me. It's not like she says she up front that she doesn't want to tell me... but she always ignores my texts or tells me she doesn't know. ARGH. </p>

<p>and I am pretty sure that its not going to get better even after college apps. even as rejections/acceptances roll in... when people find out what their scholarship offers are... and when decisions are finally made, I'm pretty sure it's just going to get worse. </p>

<p>and I forgot to mention this... everyone keeps secrets. No one tells each other what they do outside of school because they're afraid that other people will join too and be able to get the same benefit. The competition has really gotten twisted between us and honestly, its gotten so bad I've taken to hanging out with a lot more sophomores.</p>

<p>So don't do it anymore? If it's not mutual, then stop being a happy helper. No one at any college is going to award you for helping other kids be successful in school....unless it's a community service act where you donated money or helped kids in an impoverished area get proper funding or life's needs, or even tutored. What you seem to be doing is helping kids cheat, and if they don't give you something in return, then don't do anything. Common ****ing sense.</p>

<p>well i'm just trying not to be a selfish jerk and keep things normal between us. I don't want to be a competitive jerk like the rest of them.</p>

<p>LoL, nobody's going to reward you for being unselfish by helping people cheat, just FYI. Excuse me if I'm repeating myself.. rofl.</p>

<p>seriously no one even considers that cheating anymore since the whole world does it, okay?</p>