Deciding to be less competitive in college

Competitive people can’t help being competitive just like lazy people can’t help being lazy. It’s simply in the blood. But for obvious (and unfortunate) culturally American reasons, teachers, parents and honest friends will berate you for being lazy, but wont for being overly competitive. That’s because competitive people tend to excel: top percentile grades, multiple extracurricular activities and popularized class rank are among some of the achievements of those who win at school. But when you take down these signs of success, you’ll see that trying to be the best can be just as harmful as trying not to be above average.

You can lose friends (or potential friends) by being too competitive. You can stress yourself out, develop insecurities, and even inadvertently poison your own academic performance by being too competitive. Still, these things can fly under the radar while in high school, especially when you’ve got that 98% test grade that you were looking for. But while that 98% is super cool, bringing that level of One Student to Rule Them All attitude to a college campus is an infamously bad idea.

One of the first things you realize when you start classes is how many smart kids there are (and not just at your top schools and Ivy Leagues). Thinking that you need to outshine all these students, just like you outshined your high school classmates, might drive you a little mad. But it’s not just the competitive stress that’ll hurt ya—a big part of college is learning to be really good at working with people, not against them. Just take a look at the working world if you don’t believe me: Google works in teams, Bowing works in teams, the Government, of course, works in teams. And even if your type of career requires silouhed research or production, you’re still going to work under someone, with clients, and for a company.

But the key isn’t to just not care (not that you could). What it’s really about is learning to see your classmates as being beneficial, not a threat, to your own success.

Example one: Study groups. Study groups are much more popular (and necessary) in college, and you’d much rather work with another top student than an “I forgot my notes” student.

Example two: Group projects. A major part of your grades (for mostly every class) will be group work. And since in these situations you literally can’t get a better can’t than your teammates, you have no choice but to look to them for help.

Learning to switch off this desire to be the top student in a class will be tough. High school is boringly built around standardized tests and rankings—the irony here being that when you get into the working world, nothing can really be measured, and there are hundreds of ways to excel, hundreds of ways to fail and plenty of middle ground to fall into. If you can wrap this zen like understanding of “success” around your head, you’ll be able to stop thinking of being the best in college, and focus on just benefiting from college.

College Advice College Life Doing Well in School

There are countless distractions and obstacles during Finals week--luckily these apps just might help you overcome them!

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These apps compiled by edtech digest are here to provide some focus and help you block out those pesky distractions when you might not always have the strongest will power.

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We are past the era of folded maps and highlighted routes. GPS and smartphones have made them obsolete. The Spectrum has put together a list of apps that could continue to make your road trip as safe, efficient, and fun as possible.

When finals are around the corner, it is important to remember the simple items that can get you through.

Finals week is crazy. It is a known fact. Students are hopped-up on coffee, screaming, crying, and everything in between. In order to try and keep your sanity, here are the five things USAToday claims are essentials you should not over look during finals.

The official countdown until the end of the semester has begun and the holiday season is on the horizon.

 

Balancing the need for December cheer and the dread of finals can be truly overwhelming.  You need a game plan that keeps your countdown to the merriest holidays, as well as your final semester GPA, intact. Here are a few things to keep you feeling warm and fuzzy while stressing about the end of the semester.

Making your holiday gift list? Don't forget to add these tech items for college.

Let's face it, technology is a big part of what we do every day. It's no wonder that we are using it more and more as part of the way we get and consume information. While college might not be exclusively digital just yet, chances are all your gadgets will be put through the ringer helping you get the grade.

Here's our list of the Top 5 Gadgets you'll need in college.

With everyone talking about how much it costs to go to college these days it's hard to imagine that any university could be considered rich.

But last week Harvard launched a $6.5 billion capital campaign (yes, BILLION with a "B"). The campaign, if successful, would become the largest ever by a higher education institution if they reach their goal by 2018. 

When you find yourself with too much free time and could use a little more cash in your pocket (who doesn’t) a part-time job might be a good idea.

Do you find yourself dreading every class you have…every semester? There is a way out!

There are so many people caught up in a major that they don't even enjoy. You're spending all that time in class and enormous amounts of money to take those classes – it’s important that you do something that makes you happy.

HerCampus has put together some of the tell tale signs that you are pursuing the wrong major. 

Heading home for a much needed break from school? Don't forget to pack these essentials!

Whether it be Thanksgiving break, winter break,spring break - any break from college classes can be a moment to catch your breath and relax.

Consider a not-so-typical college experience. 

When you try to imagine what it will be like going to college, you probably picture an academic year structured into two semesters (Fall and Spring) filled with a number of different classes that you take on different days of the week (typically Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday). Toss in a couple of short breaks or so (Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring) and about two and half months off for the summer, and you’ve pretty much got the standard academic year.

Those two words that strike fear is countless upon countless individuals…

Public speaking.

Yes, we mean standing up in front of any size crowd and just talking – may it be something about yourself or about a particular subject matter

Glossophobia (fear of public speaking) plagues about 74% of the US population.

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