Commentary: Stop comparing yourself to those around you


  Have you ever lied about your grade just to not ‘ruin’ your reputation? But then you tell the truth to the person who got a grade lower than yours, your reasoning being that they can empathize or make you feel better about your grade.

We constantly say, “Don’t compare yourselves to others,” but it’s particularly hard in a high school setting where the competition to getting into college and future careers is more vicious than ever before.

  Especially at Granite Bay high school, the constant focus seems to be getting into selective schools, like the UCs, and if you don’t, student perceive their efforts in doing everything as a waste.

  The start of junior year was particularly hard for me. Having varsity sports, clubs and AP classes mixed with my already busy schedule, I felt like I was falling in a pit of turmoil, not knowing what to prioritize anymore.

  For example, colleges want to see consistency throughout your four years of high school so I stuck to the extracurriculars that I’ve been involved in since day one but they were the reason of my faltering  grades.

  Not only was the schedule challenging but I constantly felt like I was slacking behind compared to all my friends. You hear one person already working on a research project and you hear another getting accepted into college for sports before even finishing high school.

  I’ve exchanged a lot of sleep for the worry of my academic and athletic status. This accumulated stress resulted in an unhealthy mind with periods of frustration and sadness throughout the day.

  This isn’t an awareness for depression or those speeches telling you to always stay positive. It’s about the importance of knowing what’s happening to you mentally and the cause of that.

  You may compare yourself to other people, and ask as often as I did, “How are they handling it so well? Why are they getting better scores than me?”. Part of it may be their work ethics and habits are more efficient but the other side of the story could be that they’re facing the same problems as you are; they’re just not showing it.

  People always project what they’re proud of and not what they’re struggling at. Someone who’s super smart might’ve studied hours on end to get the score they want, you just never hear of it except for the end result.

  Leveling and setting pressure on yourself to the status others have achieved without understanding how they got there, or the extra circumstances they’re put in, only causes harm to your mental health by constant unsubstantial blaming.

  I learned this the hard way and decided that I can still look to other people for ways to better improve myself instead of chastising myself.