Comparison is the Thief of Joy

We’ve all heard this saying before – “Comparison is the thief of joy” – and I have definitely found it to be true. It’s something that I continue to remind myself almost every day at school. As college students we are constantly tempted by people, their actions and their material possessions. As a female, these temptations can be especially excessive!

“I wish I could be like her…”

Welcome to college, where you are constantly bombarded with messages about weight loss, weight gain, junk food, crash diets, fashion trends, good grades, bad grades and just about anything else you can think of that leads you to reconsider your own eating, dressing, studying and exercise habits.

I’ll admit, I’ve fallen victim to these messages at times. I begin to question if I’m eating the “right” things, wearing the “right” clothes, going to the gym “enough,” making the “right” grades or doing the “right” activities with my friends – to be socially accepted.

News flash: we’re not born onto this planet to prove our self worth to anyone. And furthermore – what is “right” anyway? Why live a life trying to please someone else, meanwhile sacrificing your own happiness? We were all born with different bodies, different brains full of endless talents and abilities, and we all have different interests in life. Your happiness is not dependent on anyone else, but yourself!

Enjoy life – just do you!

Just because you make a C- on a test does not mean you should drop out of college tomorrow – because surely everyone wants to know what grade you made in that one math class after you graduate, right? Wrong.

After coming to college I have witnessed so many girls trapped in this cycle of comparison – trying to be like someone else, living up to unreasonable expectations, conforming to some societal norm that has unfortunately evolved across America. But what’s even sadder: we’re keeping this “norm” alive. It’s a perpetual cycle, and the end begins with you.

And I’m not even going to beat around the bush with this one – just because you see a girl in the cafeteria eating a salad does not mean you should feel bad about your pizza, wishing you could be a more “disciplined dieter.” It doesn’t mean you should go to the gym every day next week just to make up for your “mistakes!”

I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there – I’ve cried over grades, worried about my appearance, stressed over food – but today I realize how completely absurd these actions were. Do not waste precious time in your life trying to fit a mold that you will never successfully fit into. Trust me. Don’t regret your past for one second, but move forward learning from your mistakes and learning to accept yourself for you. I have no regrets – if anything I am thankful that I was able to learn such valuable lessons at a young age. And I hope to inspire at least one struggling girl today, with this message.

Be-YOU-ti-ful

I’ve battled with my mind these past few years to accept the fact that I am me, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. Today I can honestly say that I am happy and proud to live inside my body, to think my own thoughts and to speak when I feel something needs to be said. I will no longer let comparison rule over me, and I will not try to live the life of someone else. Why bother? Be you!