Photo credit: Valerie Cheatham
People tend to become attached to others who share the same interests. They start off with a casual conversation, find something in common and form a connection that becomes a friendship or, sometimes, something even more.
In college, it’s easy to associate with like-minded individuals. Students studying within the same major share classes and study together. They already have a connection that they can talk about which makes it easier to become friends.
However, having friends and loved ones in the same major lends itself to having similar goals which can lead to competition. If two friends are going after the same internship it’s possible to be supportive, but at the end of the day the gain of one means the loss of the other.
The problem is hard to solve and it’s a problem that could persist for the rest of a person’s life. People want friends that share similar interests and they want to have co- workers that are relatable. But within
the same fields, there will always be an element of competition. There are some ways to navigate this tricky situation and avoid that feeling of competition among friends and loved ones.
1. Track personal progress
The only person’s achievements and failures a person should be spending time thinking about are her own. Theodore Roosevelt once said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s a sentiment that rings true. People shouldn’t be worrying about what others have, but rather what they—as individuals—have to give. Focus on the self and grow within those boundaries.
2. Don’t let jealousy win
Good friends are hard to come by. It’s good to keep as many as friendships as possible, especially the ones in within same field because networking is often half the battle. Jealousy is just wishing for what another person has or can accomplish, but it’s important
to remember personal capabilities. Instead of resenting the abilities of another person, ask for that person’s help and learn from her strengths. This will help nurture cooperation rather than competition.
3. Be reminded of personal strengths
Just like one would do in a job interview or a resume, it’s important to remind oneself of the strengths and skills that one already possesses.
Try to realize self-worth worth and recognize personal achievements. Individuals are important—they
have strength and wisdom made by personal experience. Rejoice in the variety of skills and find a place to best utilize them. It’s the little things make a person unique, and that’s what counts. So, remember them.
In the end, the important thing is to be confident and receive criticism gracefully, regardless of whether that was the intended goal or not. Every opportunity makes a person stronger and the stronger a person gets then the more opportunities will be available.