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

Something tells us you didn't ask how safe the campus was on your college tour. Maybe you should.

The world around us is changing and even walking down the street is not as safe as it once was--or we would like it to be.

And while we may feel like college is an isolated little bubble, college campuses are not always immune to crime. Nowadays most colleges have specified police departments to help protect students and faculty. Many also even offer an escort program to walk you from building to building.

Want to go muddin' between classes?

For a lot of students, moving to the big city is part of their college dream.

But not everyone shares that same aspiration.

What if you’re from an urban area and looking for a change of scenery? Or what if you’ve always lived in a rural area and want to stay out in the sticks? Many colleges are located in highly populated areas, but not all of them.

It’s Football Tailgating Season.

Game day can be a huge part of the college experience.

Many university parking lots will be filled with thousands of fans every Saturday for the next few months. And while every school takes pride in its quirky approach to the game-day experience, nothing encompasses the uniqueness of a college-town atmosphere better than its tailgating scene.  It’s something that can’t exactly be described, but only felt first hand.

Check out these tips for commuters, but not while driving!

While you may be envious of your friends that are living on campus, making the decision to commute to school can save you a ton of money on room and board. And while you might not be at school 24/7, you can still make efficient use of your time commuting to and from classes.

Typical broke college kid? You don’t have to be.

College can be expensive. Very expensive. But for many students, the cost is somewhat justifiable as a college education provides maximized earning potential in the future. So since your spending all that money, to make money, why not kick those old, silly habits that are killing your bank account, now?

Your network of professionals can never be too big.

No matter what type of person you are, networking is an important skill to possess and develop.

Every connection you make can potentially be the key to your next job. Learning to present yourself well and being a genuine individual will take you far in your post-collegiate life.

The relationship between student and smartphone continues to be a huge part of the college experience.

Smartphones are the real deal these days. Gone are the "bricks" and "flip phones" that were only able to make calls and play "Snake." Cellphones are no longer just used for exclusively verbal communication--they are our connection to the real world around us, right now. Integrated into our everyday routines, they are task managers of our actual and virtual lives.

College life is no exception.

Looking to get active in college? Hustle to one of these schools.

Competitive college sports aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that students should miss out on the fun of social team sports. Most teams don’t typically require tryouts and in some cases, if the program is large enough, players will be assigned a team based on their skill level. Even better, with your busy academic schedule, teams don’t require practices and games are played just for fun. 

You were definitely doing cool, before it was cool. Find a university that reflects what you're all about.

Defined by mason jars, skinny jeans, flat brims, and organic fair trade espresso--the Hipster has taken center stage. Thick-rimmed glasses with deep cultural insights are finding a revival community that becomes a lifestyle.

Get out your walking shoes, because we have some serious ground to cover. 

Not many colleges can boast owning land as far as the eye can see. 

But with more acres comes more space in the great outdoors. 

If an expansive campus is your thing, Collegexpress.com has compiled a list of the top 100 colleges with the most acres for your exploration.

Here are the Top Five:

Be the best frosh you can be.

Freshman year can be one of the most exciting years of your life.

You might be moving to a new city, state or country all together. Either way you will be making new friends and learning a lot about yourself. Here are some tips on how to handle some of the biggest question marks you might run into during your freshman year:

If you're not sure there's a Greek community out there for you, think again.

There is certainly a stigma associated with sororities and fraternities, which are often thought of as the stomping grounds for mean girls and fratastic bros. But in most cases, that perception is far from the truth, especially with these groups.

The LGBT sororities, fraternities--and even frarorities--listed below are all about support and acceptance and can make a huge impact on making your college experience something special.

You'll never want to leave your room if you're heading to one of these schools.

When you're first heading to college, you're probably somewhere between the excitement of moving away from home and the realization of that you’re most likely going to be residing in a cold, boring cinder-block dorm room—with a twin-sized cot. Perfect. 

Sure your dream school has a website, but does it have an app?

If you're freshman, the last thing you want to do is skulk around campus with a printed-out map. Yes, you can probably find it on the website, but if your school's site is not mobile friendly, you could feel like you're trying to navigate through a school for ants.

Professors can make or break your courses - save yourself some stress and tears by selecting professors that fit your learning style best.

They can inspire you to love a subject. They can be cruelly monotone. They can empower you to reflect their passions. They can be so off-topic that you aren't unsure what the title of the course is anymore. They can be the reason you decide to change your major.

Professors are a defining part of a course experience that can not be overlooked.

Pages