It Is Your Timeline, It Won't Look Like Anybody Else's

It Is Your Timeline, It Won't Look Like Anybody Else's

Stop comparing yourself to others and work on you.
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In life, we have a habit of comparing things. This restaurant is better than that one. This movie is funnier than that one. Whatever the two things are, we are quick to form opinions on which one is superior. This is a normal thing that can become dangerous when you start comparing your life to the lives of people around you. No matter what stage you are in life, graduated from college, preparing to graduate, just starting... you can often find that there is someone in the same stage you're in that seems to be superior to you. They look like they have their lives together or that they have all the answers. Maybe they are on the same career path as you but they get more opportunities than you've had. They get more recognition than you do or life just simply appears easier for them. You work hard and you try and you fail, again and again, and again. You second guess yourself and start to wonder if the path you're on is even for you. What's worse is family and friends...

As if you didn't beat yourself up enough about not being where you want to be here come the people you love making you feel worse. At family functions, everyone wants to know your business. "What are you doing this summer?" "What are you going to do with that major?" "Do you have a job yet?" "I think you should do XYZ" Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they are trying to help... or maybe they are literally just being noisy. But answering the same questions over and over and not having a better answer every time can make you feel stuck and like a failure. Then your friends. "You sure that's what you want to do?" "I think you should do this not that" "I can't even imagine you doing that" Or they are quick to tell you their accomplishments and though you are happy for them, you want to be able to tell them what you've done too. Me personally, I have a sense of humor and a certain quickness that helps move the conversation along but not everyone has that. Some of you are fed up.

Well, I just want to tell you right now... Stop being mad at them for asking. They are not going to stop until they see something happening. Stop being mad at yourself for being where you are. IT. IS. YOUR. TIMELINE. It's not anyone else's. This is the path YOU were supposed to take. And it's not going to look like your sibling's or your peer's or anyone else's but yours. So, give yourself a break. There is a good chance that even though you are not where you want to be, there is someone who sees you and is thinking "I wish I had what they had." Stop comparing yourself. It just leads to you not appreciating what you've done and acknowledging what you can do. It's not easy, but anything worth it in life isn't.

You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Keep working. Keep believing in you. And one day, they won't have to ask what you're doing... They can read all about it.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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