School is stressful. Between work, clubs, classes, and all the other activities a college student participates in, it feels like there’s never enough time. It’s a constant whirlwind, yet it feels like it’s never enough. It always seems as if everyone else is more involved and doing better. You start to compare yourself to your friends, classmates, coworkers, and even strangers. You think, “I should be more like them. I’m not doing enough.”
I feel this way almost every day. By doing this, not only am I dealing with the stress of my normal life, I’m dealing with the stress of trying to compete. I can’t take the time to appreciate my accomplishments or be happy for the work I’ve gotten done. It has led me to stress no matter what I’m doing, even when I should just be enjoying my winter break. It’s not healthy, and a lot of the time it isn’t true. Even if it is true, it doesn’t matter.
Happiness matters more than the fact that you got an 89 on a test and your friend got a 95. Happiness matters more than the fact you’re in one club and your classmate is in five. Happiness matters more than the fact that your coworker has 500 Instagram followers and you have 100. Happiness matters more than the fact that stranger is skinnier than you. Your happiness is bigger than it all.
Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, I try to focus on what I am doing. I set personal goals for myself. I try to be proud of myself for doing well on a big test, even if isn’t a perfect score. I remember that life is about doing what’s best for you and putting the most effort in that you can, and it isn’t relative to everyone else. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to keep practicing it. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m going to keep trying.
You may feel like you’re not enough, but I promise you someone is looking at you and thinking they wish they were doing as well as you. Recently, I told my friend how stressed I feel that everyone is doing better than me. After I said that she confided in me that she felt like I was doing so much better than her. I was stunned, as I thought she was doing better than me. The truth is you’re never going to feel “good enough” unless you tell yourself you are and stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
In today’s culture, social media is everywhere. It can be fun, but it’s important to remember that people choose what they put on it. That girl who just posted an Instagram picture of herself in front of the Disney castle could have just broke up with her boyfriend. As my mom always told me, it’s impossible to know what everyone else is going through. No one has a perfect life, and that means it’s ok for your life not to be perfect either.
You are enough the way you are. You don’t have to be in a competition anymore. Being happy for everyone else is more fun than being worried about what everyone else is doing anyway. Do things for yourself. Join that club because you want to; apply for that internship because you want to; stay at home because you want to. Every person is unique, and every life can be unique too.