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Stomping the Yard: Managing Peer Envy

So you’re headed off to college soon. Anxiety, sadness and enthusiasm are just a few of the mixed emotions you’re feeling. On the horizon is the big moment you’ve been waiting for, but there’s one drawback. Well, sorta! You’re leaving all of your friends behind.

Many people told you, but somehow you didn’t believe them. “It’ll go by really fast,” they said and boy did high school ever. Not only are those four years behind you, but now enters a new chapter that just might mirror the expedience of your high school years.

College for you was the sole option in attempting to realize your dreams. This is quite possibly your biggest accomplishment to date and you see yourself as a major force in a world in need of intelligent leadership. Pursuing multiple degrees is your greatest aspiration and you can’t wait to get to campus to prove your academic aptitude. As you approach your big date for departure, you’re promising to stay in touch with your family and high school buddies who are headed to other campuses. But what about those that are choosing to stay behind? How do they view your ambition and passion for success? Are they supportive of you? Do they appreciate your desire to learn and grow?

These are very important questions for you to consider as you depart. Not everyone will prove to remain your friend. Not every family member will understand your newer focus and growth. Now, this doesn’t mean that simply because you’re going away you now have to get away from them. What this does mean, however, is that distance and development may matter.

Correction: Distance and development will matter!

Not everyone is meant for college. Success looks different and can come in a multitude of ways. But sometimes, people who choose to stay back fail to unlock their potential to do great things. There are those who will settle in life despite wanting more; they’ll prove to be crippled by their own fears. Your strength to want and do more may expose their weakness in doing and accepting less. As a result, you may soon hear these words:

“SO, NOW YOU THINK YOU’RE BETTER THAN ME?”

Fret not when this happens, as this is normal to many college students who leave home in search of fulfilling their dreams. The most important thing you can do when this happens is to make sure you’re not becoming big-headed or blowing up who you are. Please do not make the mistake of writing your own press release. Don’t continuously brag about your latest accomplishments. You do not have to hide your greatest virtues by playing small, but remember there’s a very fine line between confidence and arrogance. You really aren’t better than anyone as we’re all God’s children.

BUT once you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not you but them, then the most perfect response you can give to those who say, “So, now you think you’re better than me,” is…

“NO, I JUST THINK (AND KNOW) THAT I AM BETTER THAN WHAT YOU’RE CHOOSING TO REFLECT.”

Make no mistake about it. College will grow you and if you make great decisions, it’ll bless your entire life. Don’t be afraid to be better than what you were and please don’t allow people to block you from being all of what you’re created to be. Being better isn’t a bad thing. Being lesser is.

Dr. Gill is the CEO of Blackademically Speaking, a cutting edge educational consulting firm. She’s an award-winning Motivational Speaker and Author of “Champions Break Chains and Black Genes-Black Genius: A Motivational Handbook to Empower Black Youth.” She’s on a mission to motivate and educate youth worldwide. See her inspire and empower youth here.