College students are taught literally from day one of orientation that they are in competition with other students. Yep, you just made a ton of new friends and you’re all super excited to be here, BUT the person sitting next to you in some of your classes might some day be interviewing for the same position that you are. Is that kind of a sucky realization or is it just me?
Come to college they say, it will be fun they say. They tell you that the higher the GPA and the better you are at impressing recruiters at the career fair the more likely you are to find a job. Get an internship at the best company you can and maybe, just maybe someday you will make enough for you to live comfortably. In my opinion, this is all kind of garbage. Sure, you can do all of these things to advance your chances of making it big right out of college, but if you’re not in tune to yourself then you might be damaging your future self. The more you focus on getting ahead of your peers, the less happiness you’re going to achieve.
These days there is a ton of pressure on students to out-perform one another, when really college should be a growing experience. Students quickly forget that we are all here to get and education and blossom into adulthood. In fact, there are many things to learn that a classroom or an internship just cannot teach you. This includes learning how to build lasting relationships with other people, how to make memories that you will be glad to look back on, and finding out what exactly you are passionate about.
So take a step back. For just a moment try not to worry about what moves you need to be making in order to get that internship this summer. Think about what you’re doing as a human being. Do what you need to do in order to accomplish what you want to achieve but do not; I repeat do not get caught up in the competition. Look to your peers for guidance and support. Look on your experiences as opportunities to learn and accomplish. Look at your education as a stepping stone to get where you want to be. Focus on what you can do to become the best person you can be. As much as it seems this way, life is not a competition. We all die in the end with no one ahead or with a higher GPA than anyone else.