Confessions from Ms. Competitive

We’re human, and let’s face it: we’re competitive. Whether it’s in sports, academics, or in our social lives, our competitive sides can come out, sometimes bringing out the best of us... and sometimes bringing out the absolute worst in us. A little bit of competitiveness is healthy for our personal growth, but here’s why I don’t think that’s the case for me.

I am the most competitive person I know, and honestly, I’m really ashamed of it. I highly believe that I’m clinically competitive (if it were actually a thing). It makes me feel like such a bad person when I have these competitive thoughts, but I don’t know how to get out of that mind once it happens.

So here it is: Competitive Confessions from Ms. Competitive herself.

1. Academics

This one is borderline problematic.

I came from a not-very-prestigious high school, meaning that everyone was pretty average with the exception of a couple geniuses sprinkled here and there. It wasn’t that difficult to be “better” than others in your class as long as you actually studied and tried your best in classes. I don’t intend to brag, but with my workaholic habits, I was able to get the things I wanted (i.e. good grades, cabinet positions, etc.)

However, attending a UC meant that all the students are relatively similar to me, meaning that everyone’s pretty competitive when it comes to grades and getting internships. So how does this tie into my competitiveness? There are some people on this planet who are just academically blessed. Sometimes, even if I studied for an entire week leading up to the exam, the person who started studying the night before will get a higher score than me. It’s normal to be a little frustrated over it, right? But what if the person is your friend?

Both me and my friend were in the same class (a rather difficult one, might I add). I’m the type of person to start studying weeks in advance, while she’s the last-minute type. She ended up getting a better score than me on both the tests and all the essays. But my competitiveness takes a sour turn when I started comparing my good attributes with her not-so-good ones. “why did she get the higher grade? I studied harder!” Is it okay to have these thoughts when she’s my friend?

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2. Sports

I’ll preface this one by saying that I’m bad at sports. Absolutely terrible. I think they’re fun to play, but it’s definitely not something I’d say I’m good at. This quarter, I joined an intramural soccer team with my friends (when I have absolutely no experience in playing soccer whatsoever). I was okay with it because I know other friends who also joined with little to no experience. I thought we would all work together, and I felt better knowing I wasn’t the “worst one” on the team.

But those friends started getting better at the sport very quickly, and I just wasn’t catching up to their pace, even when I was trying my best. It got to a point where I dreaded practice because I felt like I was letting down the entire team. It spiraled into self-sabotage, and I was constantly putting myself down. My competitive side wanted to catch up to them, an in an unhealthy way, I wanted to be better than them. But I let that take away from the joy that I used to feel at practice.

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3. Socially

I know it’s okay to be single. I know that I’m a “strong independent woman who don’t need no man.” But why does it suddenly feel like everyone around me is getting into relationships? Some people that I didn’t think would get “cuffed” so quickly after the start of college are happily in relationships, and to be honest, I’m pretty jealous. Sometimes, that jealously prevents me from being happy for my friends because I’m so down in the dumps.

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