Success is Relative

As kids we’re told not to count our chickens before they hatch, but I have the problem of not counting my chickens at all.

Has anyone else noticed the crazy amount of “I’m honored to announce…” or “I’ve been offered…” posts on social media lately? It seem like it’s that time of year again. I’m ecstatic for all my friends that have gotten internships, jobs, and executive positions this spring, as well as all the others that have been acing tough courses like Neuro Bio or O-Chem. Reading about all the exciting, huge, big, wonderful adult things my friends are doing with their lives is great, but it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough or pushing myself in the direction I should be going in. Why don’t I have a job? How does one go about getting an internship somewhere prestigious? Why can’t I be vice president of a honors society? Seeing all the things I could be doing, rather than look at what I am doing, has definitely brought me down these past few weeks.

Everyone gets the same twenty four hours in a day and we all use them differently. It’s okay if you study for an hour, read for an hour, watch tv for six hours, and then take a nap. We all have those days. I, for one, need to get better at telling myself that’s okay. For someone who’s very competitive by nature, it’s hard to let myself relax and stop worrying about what the rest of the world is doing with itself. There are over seven billion people on this planet and hopefully, someday, I will learn that I can’t compete with or compare myself to them all. There will always be someone smarter, or more creative, or what have you. Learning to understand and accept that is harder for me than I think it should be, but the key phrase there is “I think.” I’m always thinking that I need to do better, need to be more like so-and-so, or need to study more so I can achieve the grades I think I need. Success is so relative because someone could be looking at me saying to themselves all those things when I’m the one thinking I’m not doing well enough in life. So while it’s great to push yourself to achieve, it’s also important to take a step back and look at how far you’ve come. Again, this is something I need to work on.

So here’s some advice my boyfriend gave me Wednesday: You focus on the past too much. Don’t worry about what you should’ve changed or could’ve changed then. That doesn’t matter anymore.

And here’s some advice from my dad: These are variables out of your control. If you want something, apply. If you’re just jealous, let it go. What you hold onto holds onto you.

Here’s more advice from my mom: You are smart. Make a plan. Push yourself.

Finally, here’s advice from me to me (and you, if you need it): Count your chickens. Be excited about what you have. Success is relative. If you’re doing your best, why does it matter than you’re not vice president of some club you’re not even a part of?

P.S. Good luck on finals everyone! Try your best; forget the rest.