All through our lives there is this expectation to be like one another. When we are in middle school we are supposed to dress like one another, in high school we’re supposed to act like one another, and in college we’re supposed to be hitting the same levels of achievement as one another.
It is such an extreme expectation to all be alike. In reality, none of us are the same. We all have unique thoughts and processes we go through when making decisions, we have different priorities, different emotions, why are we expected to be the same?
Through my experiences in university, one thing that I’ve learned is that you have to separate yourself from the norm. Your friend may be working on a big project and perhaps other than your classes you don’t have much going on. Does this mean your friend is better than you?
You may have a friend who is in a great relationship who seems to have his/her life together already at 20 years old, and you may be feeling like your life is slowly but surely falling apart. Does that mean your life is worth less than your friends? No, of course not.
However, it is so easy to fall into this dark hole of comparisons. We constantly compare ourselves to those around us. Whether it’s what we have, who we’re dating, what we look like, there is this constant voice in our heads that wants more because we think other people are more “successful” in parts of their lives than us.
Of course, it’s not easy to turn this voice off. It’s normal to have feelings of jealousy when someone has something you want. However, no human being has everything that they want and are 100% happy. Not the celebrities we see online, not that girl in your class with the seemingly perfect everything, not your older, more successful, smarter brother – no one.
Perhaps its human nature to feel this way growing up, and I can’t help but wonder if this feeling changes when we reach a certain point in our lives. Are we going to go the next 60 years comparing ourselves to those around us?
If there is one thing I have learned it is that although comparing ourselves to others may happen almost unconsciously, its important to take a step back and look at your life. What can you change to make you happier? What do you already love about your life that not everyone can say they do? What is not satisfying your want/need for happiness?
Although life can sometimes feel overwhelmingly stressful, at the end of the day you have to learn how to move past and accept what comes your way. Otherwise, you’ll spend your whole life in that black hole of comparisons, and trust me, that is not where you want to be.