"Just don't do it."
It's not that easy.
Being surrounded by people your own age at all times is fun, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's intimidating.
I recently presented my final project for a class and the topic was "how you will use your major to change the world." Naturally, there were some presentations that were downright brilliant.
One neuroscience student spoke about her plans to integrate psychology into her dreams of becoming a pediatrician and saving children's lives.
Another one of my classmates told us about her recent entrepreneurial project that she plans to pursue in order to protect our oceans and make them cleaner.
Me? I spoke about my goals of becoming a social media manager for a fashion and beauty magazine and using my platform to promote body diversity in the media.
Needless to say, I felt pretty inadequate after hearing the ones before me, and even a little...superficial? It's not the first time and it certainly won't be the last, but it seems that lately, more than usual, I've been comparing everything I do to that of my peers. How do I make it stop?
Well for starters, browsing LinkedIn and reading posts about everyone's amazing summer internship plans is NOT the way to go.
It's a mind game, like everything else in life.
It might be hard, but taking a step back from an overwhelming situation is the best thing to do. Take time to collect your thoughts, refocus your efforts, and make a plan to change the things you CAN control. Use your peers as a source of motivation and inspiration, not jealousy.
What are they doing that you want to do? How did they get there? Ask them for advice. After all, it's all about networking right? So why not start with your peers and make the connections right now.
Reconnect with passions that you may have lost or gotten too busy for, but will most definitely help build resumés and skill sets. Focusing on what everyone else is doing only moves you ten steps back when the goal is to get ten steps ahead.
I'm not sure you can just completely stop comparing yourself to others and quit "cold turkey." What you can do is become aware of when you have these thoughts and train yourself to turn the negative energy into positive energy.
The only person you should be competing with is yourself.