Not Fair to Compare

Comparing within activities will impact students negatively

Allie Crawford, Staff Writer

Students participate in certain clubs and activities to be involved with things that they enjoy. For example, students who love to be on stage are a part of the performing arts, and students who have a passion for sports dedicate their time to practice and be part of a successful team. 

This being said, why is it the case that students constantly compare themselves and compete with each other within activities? 

Students involved in sports may feel pressure to practice more on their own time in order to become more skilled than another teammate. They feel that the only way to be proud of themselves and gain recognition from their coach and peers is to be the best. 

This could also happen in academics such as foreign language, mathematics or even history. Students may compare their retainment of knowledge, speaking skills or note-taking strategies to classmates. They tell themselves that in order to have a better grade, or be the smartest in the class, they must become more talented at these skills.

The word competition is defined as a contest in which people are engaged where typically only one or a few participants will win and others will not. Based on this definition, it is understandable why students may feel stressed to compete with their peers and be “better” than them at various tasks. Though, in reality, most of this competition is pointless. 

Unless it’s a literal contest for a specific placement or title, no one is really “winning” or “losing.” Therefore, it is unnecessary to try to beat or be better at activities than your so-called “teammates.” This creates an unhealthy and toxic environment, which gives students negative associations with their loved activity. 

Being involved with choir since elementary school, I’ve compared myself to many other singers over the years. It wasn’t until this year that I realized how this is really affecting me. 

Instead of being jealous of my peers, I should be happy for them and look up to them as role models. 

If I convince myself that I will never be as good as the lead in the musical, or the girls who made the show choir over me, I have no room left to grow. It has also created a negative environment when I’m in choir class. 

I still love to sing, but I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to since the comparisons have grown more prominent. Once I can get these unhealthy habits to simmer down, I will finally be able to love choir like I once did. 

It is important for students to be cautious about who they are comparing themselves to and how often they are doing it. Healthy competition can be a beneficial thing, but the alternative will only impact us negatively. Rather than trying to one-up your peers, students should, instead, support them and be proud of their success.

It might be difficult to stop comparisons and competition, but it is important to focus on the real reason you participate in activities and things you love. If you can understand why you chose to be involved, you will then be able to enjoy things to the fullest and appreciate those who appear in your mind as simply more talented.