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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSD chapter.

Comparison is the thief of joy. These words have been swirling around my head a lot lately. As someone who is set to graduate in the upcoming months, I feel lost. I don’t really know what I am doing and the only thing I am sure of is that I am taking a gap year. Throughout college, I have been a part of organizations, maintained a great gpa and managed to make new friendships. I am proud of all of these things. Despite my pride and sense of accomplishment, there are still moments where I feel inadequate or behind others  my age. My anxieties surrounding my achievements were heightened a few nights ago. 

A guest speaker in my pre-law class was pitching a local internship. After finishing their spiel, the speaker asked those who had already completed an internship to raise their hand. Immediately, more than half of the class shot their hands up. When asked who  had done multiple internships, a lot of those same hands remained raised proudly in the air. Students began sharing their experience working for judges, politicians, and private firms.  I felt like  I was being put in a spotlight as one of the students who had not accomplished enough during their time in undergrad. My  stomach dropped and I felt discouraged to talk for the remainder of class. 

This was not the first time that I felt this way. But now, with my graduation approaching, it felt more serious. My thought process went a little something like this: How can I ever manage to get a job? Am I going to get into a single law school? How do I make up for this “lost time” during my gap year? What if I am not good enough? This spiral has become more and more frequent in the past few months– but it only happens when I start to compare my journey with others. I know that I tried my best and did what I wanted to in my short three years of college. Yet, somehow this is not enough comfort. Nearly everyday I worry about how I will add up compared to those with similar aspirations. 

I know this feeling is widespread for many of us who are shortly moving on to the next chapter of our lives and  I have not come up with any solutions to combat the dreaded comparison. But I try to remind myself of something that my dad told me. When I explained to him that I do not have any idea of what I am doing after leaving school, he reminded me that no one does. No matter how old we are, there is uncertainty and fear in our life plans because we are all just figuring it out as we go. To me, this is equally as scary as it is exciting. It reassures me that no matter what comparison I am making with  others, they too are also unsure or have moments when they feel like the ones being spotlighted in a crowd of raised hands. As I embrace this new beginning, all I am striving to be is the best version of myself without need of constant comparison.

Anna Claire is a third year at UCSD, majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics. She loves to read, write, go on hikes and is passionate about social justice. After undergrad, she plans on attending law school. Her favorite places to be are the beach or in the desert surrounded by Joshua Trees and a starry sky.