By Anna Tabet |
Picture this: you’re checking out at your local grocery store and are surrounded by magazine covers plastered with pictures of celebrities living their lives. You look down and see yet another Forbes issue titled something along the lines of “30 most successful people under 30”.
Ultimately, we don’t have to search very hard to be exposed to lists of successful people being ranked by their ages. It’s an interesting observation, and to be fair, a commonality in our culture to see how much people have accomplished at certain stages in their lives. But constantly being bombarded by the achievements of those near your age can be a real blow to your self-esteem.
It would be naïve of me to claim that this issue is solely perpetuated by the media. As a college student, I understand the pressure of needing to gather enough experience to secure a job after graduation. This process is stressful enough on its own, let alone when you feel as though you’re always competing against your peers.
This competitive environment coupled with the glamorization of younger and younger successful moguls in the media creates an unavoidable reminder to constantly compare yourself and your accomplishments to others your age.
But honestly, I’m over it.
I’m tired of being proud of something I’ve achieved only to catch myself gauging whether or not it measures up to the successes of my peers. I’m tired of hearing family members say “wow that’s pretty impressive for her age”. But most of all, I’m tired of buying into a damaging mindset that allows myself and many others to believe that success at a young age is more meaningful.
Now, my frustration towards this concept is not meant to degrade those who have reached incredible goals in their youth. It’s merely meant to urge people who always compare their achievements to those around them to maybe change their outlook on success.
I don’t mean to sound like a motivational speaker, but life is too short to not take pride in what you’ve worked hard to achieve. So don’t pay any mind to Bethany from your Poli Sci class who has two internships while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and radiant skin. You woke up this morning, you (probably) went to class, and are now doing whatever you need to do to survive the week. If that’s not strength, perseverance, and ultimately a successful day, then I don’t know what is.
Through taking a step back from the never-ending competitive cycle that is early adulthood, I was able to recognize how counterproductive my feelings towards my achievements were. I came to the realization that we all deserve to be more supportive of ourselves. Everyone is on their own path with their own experiences that push them closer or further away from what they aim to achieve.
So who cares if Kylie Jenner’s 22 years old and has a makeup company valued at $900 million. I’m only 3 years younger than her and currently celebrating the A I got on a French test about pronouns that I was sure I was gonna bomb, and I couldn’t be more proud.