A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms. – Zen Shin
College can be a time of celebration and fun; it also can be a period of anxiety. To be honest, I feel like I’m currently in the anxiety stage. It’s come to the moment where I’ve experienced more college than I have to go. Currently, I’m less than 50 days away from graduating from Morehouse. This journey at Morehouse has been transformative to say the least. College is the one time in a person’s life where everything changes. You meet different people, learn new things which ultimately makes you a different person. As the end of my collegiate journey draws nigh, everywhere I turn everyone keeps asking me what I’m doing after graduation.
Post-Grad plans are a major source of anxiety for me. There are so many factors to consider.
Where do I want to live?
Who do I want to work for?
Who do I want to be?
These questions are ones that I meditate on daily. Unfortunately, the answers keep changing. One day I want to go to graduate school, other days work in corporate, some days I want to be an entrepreneur, I just don’t know.
To my surprise every time I scroll my social media timelines I’m seeing my peers who seem so sure of what they want to do. They are accepting full-time roles with companies, committing to graduate programs and soaring. With the continual images of everyone else’s post graduate moves coming to life, I’ve begun to ponder:
Am I somehow behind?
Am I a failure?
I’m sure I am not the only person who feels this way. I’ve conversed with other students, and there’s a large group of students who sometimes feel as I do. I know that if me and some of my colleagues feel this way, that there are others who can probably relate. After much reflection, I have one thing that I tell myself that I’d like to share with you.Run Your Race.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It is important that we as individuals, focus on ourselves and give life our best shot. Life has blessed each one of us with a unique run. For each of us to do our best, we each have to run the race that we have been dealt. In reality, You can control one life—yours. When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste vital time and energy focusing on other people’s’ lives rather than our own.
The idea of running your race can be achieved through three principles.
1.Embrace Your Successes
When people post positive announcements on social media, they usually leave out the bad parts. Many of our Facebook friends neglect the areas of the journey that weren’t so bright. on their posts. This whole idea of framing our reality into these perfect, Utopian lives in unrealistic. The truth is, we all have struggled. Nothing good comes from nothing. Next time you see someone shining bright, understand that they have probably sacrificed a lot to get there. Nobody’s perfect.
3. Compete With Yourself
To all my college seniors feeling inadequate about your postgraduate plans, remember to run your race. No one is “you-er” than you, and that is your power. Continue to move through life with your best efforts. Focusing on yourself and running your race will serve you better than comparing yourself to others.