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

Toga! Toga! Toga!

"They kicked us out of school? That makes sense." -Tim Matheson as 'Otter' in Animal House

No parties to go to this weekend? Fear not friends! Put on your Snuggie and fire up Netflix with Young Money Finance's list of the top college comedies.

1. Animal House

2. Old School

Do you have your war paint and pom-poms ready?!

Huge crowds, small towns, tailgating, cheerleaders, marching bands and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is part of the overall college experience. Campuses nationwide come to life at the end of every week as the teams battle it out on the field. Fans come dressed in their fighting colors and voices are lost in the roar of the stands.

 Don't get stuck in centuries past - write your paper with the help of these new apps!

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To make the load a little lighter, USA Today has put together a list of sites and apps to get yourself out of the panic zone when it comes to the little things. 

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Get your groove on - brought to you by your own classmates!

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Get in and get out if you head to one of these top colleges.

A high graduation rate is an important figure to note in your college search.

"Why?" you ask. Because it tells you that the school has the resources and support you need to graduate in four years. Graduating in four years not only allows you to keep your education on schedule, but it also saves you a ton of money on tuition and helps you get into the workforce sooner.

So you want to be a lawyer? *Dun, Dun*

Put down the gavel and stop memorizing statutes. Being a lawyer requires much more than the skill of persuasion or the ability to argue. There's a lot to learn and way before you even start to think about applying to law school or registering to take the LSAT exam, the first step is your undergrad major.

Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

These institutions brag the courses and connections to make any engineer’s dreams programed for success. 

Engineering is not a field for the faint hearted when it comes to academics, but it is a path that can lead to big names and a great career path right out of college.

Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are just a handful of the many companies that are looking at these colleges to give them the best engineers out there.

So you want to be a doctor?

It seems like every little kid wants to be a policeman, a fireman, a lawyer, or (of course) a doctor.

Now you're a senior in high school and that's still what you want to do in life. Great! But it might not be exactly what you'd expect. Often times, the idea of becoming a doctor is romanticized and underestimated. If you're serious about adding that M.D. designation to the end of your name, here's a few things that you should learn sooner rather than later:

Find the college majors that pay off -- BIG!

On average, college graduates will earn more on average over a lifetime than non-graduates. Payout even after years of schooling, can vary. It is important to consider, especially when knowing more than you'd like to even comprehend will be going toward paying back the education you just recieved. 

Classes AND Work?! It’s worth it. We promise.

While college can be the most fun of your life, it’s critical to remember one of the most important reasons why you're even there—giving yourself the opportunity to get your dream job. Between studying, classes, clubs and socializing, you already have a lot on your plate, why would you want to add a job in the mix?

Here's why as told by University Primetime:

Most people don't immediately think "pop culture" when they see or hear a marching band. But those people have got it all wrong. 

These select universities were highlighted by Rolling Stone as having the most killer covers of songs that are currently topping the charts. You probably need to rethink your stance on marching bands and you most definitely need to check out these awesome covers.

Down, Set, Hike! Does your school have the best football fans?

Whether every generation of your family attended the same university or if you're just a fan of the sport, college football can be a big deal. School parking lots filled with tailgaters, bars packed with fans and stadiums full of cheering alumni and students--everyone has their unique way of supporting the team.

You should choose a college that believes clean energy is as important to the Earth as it is to you.

Clean energy and green technology lingo have become a standard of our generation.

We are very well acquainted with dangers of our carbon footprint and climate change. We also know that everybody and their mom should be all about renewable energy sources and recycled products.

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