Ever since kindergarten, children are often compared amongst themselves by the grown-ups in their lives: the teachers and the parents. Even if the teacher does not outright say that Jeremy is a better speller than Rosie, the system of grades does it for him. School and then college can be a stressful environment for everyone who cannot handle the competitive atmosphere well. Sometimes you might feel jealous of your classmate, whether you are friends with him or not, for his excellent grades and academic achievements, even though you have used the same effort, while not gaining the expected praise or result. You have handed in a non-plagiarized essay that you have spent a lot of time to research, and the teacher can still give you a bad grade, and praise the work of someone else. How to cope with being overwhelmed with jealousy?
What Incites Jealousy
Let us explore the different reasons why this ugly feeling has started unfurling in your chest and is preventing you from enjoying the learning process and feeling successful. They can be numerous, and the varied situations can all require a different approach on how to handle them.
The most common reason to feel jealous is when you have spent all night on a project, and your friend has only downloaded a few awful pictures from the internet, and he still got a better grade than you. This feeling is understandable to many. We often feel like we have been criticized unjustly, or that someone does not recognize our immense efforts. However, you should remember that your teacher and the classmates that saw your project have no idea how much time you have spent doing it, and the presentation of your work in the right light matters a lot too.
Different Ways of Showing Skills
Sometimes, we feel jealous even though the situation has certainly nothing to do with us. Let us suppose that your friend Timmy is a great basketball player. When you watch him play, and see him score point after point, you cannot help but feel down. However, you have never put any special efforts into sports, and are not even interested in basketball that much. In such case, remember that when you watch Timmy being a pro, there is a lot of failed attempts and training sessions and perfecting of skills that stand behind his excellence now. If you have no desire to work so hard to become a basketball player, it means that you just want to bask in the light of success. Remember, that only by applying yourself to a cause and truly enjoying it will give you real satisfaction.
Very few teachers know how to handle the information about the progress of their students in a tactful way, and how to stop comparing students among each other. Instead of focusing on the differences between the students, an ideal teacher should only focus on the progress that an individual student has made, and this advice is valuable for all your life experiences as well. Look back on how little you knew on the beginning of the semester and how much you have learned. However, if your teacher praises your classmate and does not say anything about your excellent work, it is bound to make you feel uneasy. Praise is a much needed feeling and everyone needs it as motivation to do even better, especially at such a young age.
Ways to Cope
Now that we have analyzed some of the most common situations that can arise in the school environment, it is time to show some practical ways to deal with the jealousy and resentment that you may feel.
Focus on Yourself
Sometimes, we care too much about the successes of others and forget about ourselves. If you feel like your classmate has better grades, instead of feeling down, you could focus and apply more during classes or take some extra time to revise the previous material. If you feel like your teacher praised your friend for a presentation that was way worse than yours, there is nothing you can do about it if you gave it your best self. Here are some great ways to improve yourself and become your number one priority.
Remember Your Priorities
In some cases, we are jealous of skills that would not make us happy even if we had them. Remember that your path in life is unique and only you can decide what truly matters to yourself. If your mother is really disappointed that you have not chosen to study law like a neighbor’s daughter, prove to her that you can be happy even without becoming a lawyer, furthermore, that you can become a specialist in your own field and achieve the heights that matter to you.
Consider Changing an Approach
If you are still so angry and jealous each time that your teacher praises your friend in math class, instead of saying a few kind words to you, look at the problem from a different perspective. Maybe, your friend is the one who needs the encouragement the most. Maybe, your teacher is just forgetful. Maybe, he is sure that you do not need that verbal support because you appear to be tougher than your classmates. In any case, be sure to give your best self and prioritize your progress.