Don’t “B” Defeated: Be in Competition with Yourself and Not Others

It has happened to all of us at some point…I can say this because it just happened to me:

You work diligently on a paper or project for three, maybe four weeks and proudly turn in your work. You feel really great about it and tell yourself that no matter what grade you get, you know you did your best…although you hope it’s an A, right? After you have turned in your paper/project you are told by the person next to you that they didn’t even finish yet, instead waiting until the very last minute to submit their work. Their casual demeanor kind of makes you smirk and you feel better for not having waited until the last minute.

Fast forward to the day you get your paper/project back (as does your neighbor): You rush to the back page to discover a B+, not too shabby since the professor just told everyone that there was only one A-, making B+ the next best grade….which is FINE until you find out that the guy next to you, the one who waited until the last minute, also got a B+! What?!?! How can this be? It can be somewhat unnerving and annoying to find out that someone who had so little concern for their academics would get the exact grade that you did when you worked so hard.

But I am here to say: It doesn’t matter. It may seem “unjust” but it isn’t going to change anything in your grade, and your GPA. It is for this matter that I urge you all to not be in competition with your classmates, but with yourself.

If you must compete, be in competition with yourself. 

But how can I be in competition with myself? Simple. You got that B+ and that is awesome, but now you know there is somewhere you can improve. So, instead of trying to find  a way to “defeat” the procrastinating enemy, you can work to “outdo” yourself. In doing so you can find the courage to improve your work instead of mulling over the fact that your adversary is somehow equal to you. There is always room to improve, and I think that can even be said for the “A” papers. If you only receive A’s (as mentioned on a previous post), you are never being challenged and therefore you are never truly learning anything. So, if you must be in competition with someone, let it be you!

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