Article | 2:57 min read

Finding Your Own Self-Worth in College

Life Events

College is a competitive environment. When you’re surrounded by so many smart, competent students, it’s easy to start feeling like there’s a race to the finish line and you’re in last place. It’s important that you learn to recognize your own positive attributes and put an end to those negative comparisons. Here are some tips to help you find your self-worth.

Find Your Thing
Think about the things you love; the type of things you wouldn't mind doing every day. It's where your passion lies. When you find your niche and work hard to grow and improve, you will have the same opportunities. Maybe you love playing guitar-ask the local music shop if you can design some flyers for them. Choose something your passionate about and get involved.

Put in the Work
A lot goes into achieving your dream, and it's not just going to happen overnight. Set realistic goals for yourself on a calendar or timeline. Watching your own progress will help you view yourself in a positive light. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, last week, last year.

Lace Up
If you're doubting your abilities, exercise is a simple way to see hard work pay off in real time. But just like everything else, be realistic when setting your goals. Trying to run a marathon tomorrow probably isn't the best idea, but training for a 5k next month is a feasible goal. When you finish exercising, you'll feel like you've accomplished something. And hey, the endorphins aren't bad either.

Give Social Media a Break
On Instagram, it can seem like everyone is living a cooler life than you. It makes sense that you're seeing all this glory-people only post the best things about their life on social media. According to a study by HTC, half of people admit to posting things on Facebook to make people jealous [1]. Sometimes the best way to stop looking at social media through rose-colored Instagram filters is to stop looking at it altogether. Do yourself a favor and log off.

Celebrate Every Accomplishment
When you get an A on the paper that you turned in last week, treat yourself to your favorite coffee. When you can run 3.1 miles, buy yourself those running shorts you've been eyeing. When you reach a savings goal, take a little out to use as fun money. When The Coolest Guitar Company Ever calls you to schedule an interview after you applied for their internship, take yourself out to breakfast as a reminder that you're working hard for these accomplishments. You deserve it.

Recognize Negativity
Success is all about failing and bouncing back. Pay attention to the advice others give you. Someone who has been in your position before can recognize an error that you might not see right away. But be aware of the difference between constructive criticism and hostile feedback. People who try to undermine your success are not the people you want to be around. Surround yourself with people who care about your happiness and growth, not people who critique your every move.

Notice When You're Happy
Kurt Vonnegut said, “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is [2].” Don't get too caught up in life that you forget to enjoy it. When you feel really great, take a moment to be in that moment. Acknowledge your self-worth here. You've made your own happiness, and it shouldn't be “to scale” to any of your classmates. This one was all you.

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[1] Survey Shows Many European Facebook and Instagram Users Embellish Their Posts, Digital Trends
[2] 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will, A.V. Club



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