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Blabby Abby: Everyone encounters self comparison

As the end of the school year approaches, you may watch as fellow students and peers achieve awards, positions and grades and you can’t help but wonder, “How is everyone else so ahead? How do they juggle everything they do and still excel?”

I’ve been wondering the same things all year. There are days I feel like everyone else is on the brink of solving the cure to cancer and has their schedule in order and still shows up to class looking ready to go on a date right after. 

I’ve always had trouble with self-comparison. We’ve been told by countless people in our lives to not compare ourselves to other people. We’re our own people with our own strengths. It’s the same speech every time, and it’s so much easier said than done.

A study done last year on Generation Z and comparing themselves on social media found that 89% of the respondents engage in online comparisons while 93% found they feel pressured to compare themselves to others. 

Another study done by the National Library of Medicine found students, particularly female and female-presenting students, compared themselves more harshly than their male counterparts. 

Parents can blame these results on social media. Unfortunately, they’re probably right. The issue is that social media is here to stay and we have to live with those consequences. The truth is that self-comparison is inevitable; the sooner we accept that the sooner we can overcome it. 

The fact is a tough pill to swallow, and I’m still struggling with accepting it myself. We can become so obsessed with other people’s lives and what they’re doing and what we aren’t. It takes away from our achievements, even small ones that we tend to overlook like getting out of bed after a night without much sleep or turning in an assignment even if it isn’t your best work.

There are times when life feels like a race, and I’m particularly competitive. There are specific times that make me feel as though I’m in last place, and everyone else is so far ahead that I can never catch up. You start to feel behind in life. 

Instead of the typical “stop comparing yourself” lecture, open your mind to the fact that some people just thrive doing more things at once. If you know your pace, stick to it. Don’t purposefully tire yourself out if you can’t juggle more than one thing. 

Another idea I like to think about when I’m feeling behind is that sometimes doing fewer things is better for me. I might not be getting straight A's, an award or a job, but I can really hone in on the things I enjoy doing and spend more time doing them. 

There is a fine line between inspiration and comparison. We need to define that line before we cross it unexpectedly. Following someone on social media doesn’t mean you need to follow their entire life; you need to be you, not an amalgamation of things you see on the internet. 

Abby Jenkins is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Let Abby know by tweeting her @abbyjenks18 or emailing her at

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