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#HonorsProblems: On You Doing You

The following post was written by peer advisor Julia, a junior in the Elliott School studying international affairs and sustainability.

As I Peer Advisor here in the Honors Program, I am in the midst of meeting with my freshman about the ~infamous~ Four Year Plan. As useful as it is, the project can also be daunting and overwhelming at times. What do you mean I’m suppose to plan out my next 4 years when I can’t even decide what to eat for breakfast? Meeting with my peer advisees has taken me back to when I was a freshman and has reminded me a thing or two about the value of not comparing yourself to others, a value I still need to apply even as a junior. 

In a meeting last week with one of my peer advisees, she raised concerns about not being involved in enough clubs, as it seemed like all of her friends had joined a million already. I assured her that freshman year can be a hard adjustment and that it is never too late to get involved with student orgs at any point in your college career. Furthermore, I added that it is not the number of activities or extracurriculars you are involved in, it is the depth in which you are involved in them. Are you passionate about its cause? Do you have a leadership role?  Does it make you happy? 

But as the meeting came to an end I realized that I have not been taking my own advice. As I struggle with figuring out my study abroad plans, whether or not to graduate early, internships and the like I find myself constantly comparing myself to others – and not just my peers at GW but also my friends from home at other universities. This can be a slippery slope and one that can lead to constant feelings of inadequacy. But as cheesy as the line is, there is real value in you doing you. College is 4 years and although it can feel like it goes by quickly, it is too long to keep on worrying what everyone else is doing. No one is going to follow the same path all 4 years and why would you want to? You and this experience are extraordinarily unique – take pride in that. Whether you are a freshman struggling with this for the first time or an upperclassman who just needs a reminder – don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others and do what is right for YOU! Although easier said than done, every decision you make independent of what others think will no doubt make you happier in the long run. 


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