• By Christina Karras
  • Posted August 5, 2018
  • Image Credit: Mikail Duran

Sick of comparing yourself to others? Me too.

Why does being in your early 20's feel so much like only having 5 years of your life left? 5 years in which you need to achieve as much as possible. Why do I feel like I have a constantly approaching deadline for success?

The harsh reality is that our society is riddled with expectations. Gender based expectations. Appearance. Age. You get my drift. The list is endless. But sadly it's not only society passing judgement. Sometimes it comes from those we love the most, like family or friends.

Scrolling through Instragram is something I find myself doing mindlessly. And far too often. But of course, it's not just me. I think at least 90% of my friends will admit to the same. Social media plays such a big part in our day-to-day routines.

Multiple platforms. 24/7 access to one another's carefully curated narratives. The need to be, or feel, validated. Comparing yourself to others feels unavoidable.

Considering this, it feels silly when people continue to perpetuate the “just do you” mindset.

“Don't worry about what they're doing, just focus on you” is a turn of phrase I've heard said to people. Especially by those older than me, as if imparting some kind of ancient wisdom.

But, these things are always easier said than done. I'm constantly comparing myself, and my successes - financial or otherwise - to those around me. Be it to my parents, idols, or my peers.

Many of us are constantly making sacrifices in pursuit of whatever our next goal is. A year of travel, a car, a festival, or maybe even - for those of us who are brave enough to cut out all the smashed avos - a house.

But as I watched some of my friends rake in five figures back in their recent tax return, while I barely made three figures, it's a thought we sometimes forget.

And conversely, while I still have the “pleasure” of living at home, others I know haven't been able to do the same. They are sacrificing pursuing their higher education for the real world of paying bills.

I didn't get a gap year and am always jealous watching people live it up overseas on a long term holiday. But I try to remind myself how I've been fortunate enough to manage an overseas holiday since I left high school. For some people that isn't an achievable goal in their distant future.

There's definitely a fine line we have to tip toe when it comes to comparison, especially when it comes to money. So don't risk devaluing your own experiences, achievements or goals because of other people's expectations. It's your life. Go live it.

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About the Author: Christina Karras is a 20-year-old journalism student at RMIT. She also runs a online magazine a-zine.net. When she's not busy working or at uni, Christina loves making art, online shopping and binge watching reality TV.