Be happy without comparing yourself to others

Carole Hodorowicz, Opinions Editor

To ceremoniously celebrate this Wednesday, I have some wisdom to share with you that 2013 Carole posted on her Instagram when she used to aggressively participate in the #WisdomWednesday trend that 2017 Carole deleted along with many other posts as an attempt to spruce up her social media.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

It is the most wonderful time of the year for the people who applied for big-kid internships and jobs and got offered big-kid positions at the big-kid internships and jobs.

And if you are like me, you are scrolling through all of the social media posts and participating in conversations that these college kids turned official big kids are sharing about their next big steps toward their futures with a tight lipped smile to suppress your internal screams.

Or maybe it is just me.

As a human, I am naturally flawed. My fatal flaw is my natural inclination to instantly compare myself to others. Whether they are strangers, students I have class with or my best friends, my happiness for their successes develops into fear for the absence of my own victories and how they measure up in comparison.

This summer, I do not have an internship in a different state or in a fancy city like several of my peers.

Instead, I will be staying in Charleston until June working at the part time job I have had since my freshman year until the job I have had the past two summers in Chicago begins.

Working at a restaurant and a summer camp are two jobs and settings I love. I love my coworkers, I love the people I meet and interact with and I love how comfortable I feel in those environments.

And that is something I need to remind myself of: the love I have for the opportunities and experiences I have in my life right now.

Even more so, I need to remind myself of how grateful I am for the things I have learned from both of these jobs. Although my time at these jobs seems temporary because they do not tie directly in with my journalism major, the ways my experiences with both of them have shaped me are permanent.

Through both lunch rushes at the restaurant and maintaining some sense of control over my energetic campers, I have learned to handle stressful situations with poise. Through conversations with rude customers and instances where campers do not get along or misbehave, I have learned to communicate effectively and solve problems.

It is too easy to beat ourselves up over what we are not doing instead of patting ourselves on the back for everything we have done and are currently accomplishing.

It sounds cliché (well, because it is) but one day, all of the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. You will graduate, you will land an internship that will put all the lectures, notes and assignments you did for years to the test, and you will find a career you love.

But that does not all happen overnight, and until then, stop comparing and start appreciating everything you have in front of you. We spend so much time daydreaming about a future we will love that we tend to forget it is possible to love our present, too.

It may not seem like it now, but that part time job or 1000-level course will lead you in some direction, big or small, that you will be grateful for down the road.

Carole Hodorowicz is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]