Congratulations Class of 2023!

By: Megan Jones

Congratulations class of 2023! Whether you are completing the end of a year or graduating from a school/university, graduation is a major accomplishment. I hope you are proud of yourselves and get the opportunity to celebrate! Each year PsiNapse writes an article dedicated to the graduates, and last year’s article was based on lessons learned from a 2020 college graduate. This year’s graduation article is going to focus on two specific emotions and feelings that you may begin to feel or are currently feeling—imposter syndrome and peer comparison insecurities. The negative connotations that these emotions bring may blind the celebrations that graduation brings. If you are feeling either one, you are not alone. Let’s walk through them together and discuss how to navigate these competing feelings.

What is Imposter Syndrome and Peer Comparison?

Peer comparison is a feeling we may be more familiar with. It is as the name suggests, individuals comparing themselves to their peers. We may be unconsciously doing this when we scroll through on social media and see how others are portraying their lives. We begin to compare and judge our lives value and accomplishments to those of others. In doing this, it can create self-doubt and be a detriment to our mental health.

On the other hand, there is imposter syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is an anxious feeling and not feeling like a successful despite being a high performer.

Although, imposter syndrome may seem as those it is a polar opposite to peer comparison, they both stem from the same thing—insecurity.  These emotions may come with graduation high school or college. It is the first time that there is not one direct path to take. Everyone begins to go off in different directions and it can be difficult for graduates to navigate their next step. Remember you are not along these can be common and normal feelings. However, it is best to learn how to navigate them to promote positive growth and self-confidence.

Peer Comparison

Unfortunately, many of us may compare ourselves to others every day. It can be easy to do, and it may feel like a default response. Moreover, as much as we all try to remind ourselves that people only showcase what they want us to see, you can begin to compare yourself and feel self-doubt.

After high school and college, everyone really begins to take different paths. Some may get married, some may go right into additional schooling, others may travel, and some may go straight into the work field. With the all variance it can be difficult to know what your path should be, or if you are taking the right one. We may even look to social media, to see how and what our peers are doing. This can be detrimental to your self-confidence when you compare yourself to others.

How to Navigate Peer Comparison

It has been said before however, you should remind yourself that social media is truly about one percent of what is actually going on in someone’s life. Moreover, that one percent is usually the best and most successful attributes of their life. Second, and is a simple idea that is difficult to practice. Remind yourself, that there is not a correct path to take upon graduating. You have to make the right decision for you. Additionally, you should take the time to reflect what you want your next chapter to be. Moreover, what are the motivations you feel to take on your next adventure? Is the motivation for you or because you feel like you have to? Focus on yourself and blur the rest out. You don’t ever need to, nor should you compare yourself to others. This is your life and your story, don’t let the others dictate how and what you should be doing.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling when you start a new job or new school and are surrounded by talented individuals. You may begin to again compare yourself and feel like you don’t belong.

How to Navigate

First and foremost, you need to remember that you are your own harshest critic. Give yourself some levity and remind yourself that you deserve to be where you are. Whether it’s a new job, school, class, or trade. There were others who believed in you, saw your potential and skillset and thought it was of great value. Now you have to see that within yourself. And just like peer comparison, do not compare yourself to the others in your field. It usually does not extend you any confidence. When starting something new stay curious, ask questions, and learn from the other talented individuals around you. Additionally, studies indicate a positive correlation with your growth and improvement when you are surrounded by high-performers and hard workers. Take on the challenge and remind yourself how capable you are and be open to the idea of continuous growth and learning.

Remember to be kind to yourself, recognize these emotions when you feel them and remind yourself that they are normal to feel. However, despite them being normal remember to not compare yourself and navigate these situations the best you can. Graduation is such an exciting time and don’t let the anxiety of your future affect your present celebrations. You have gotten this far, and you will continue to do great things. Congratulations class of 2023, you did it, and PsiNapse cannot wait to see where your future takes you next!

Get in touch with us.

Prefer human contact? We do too. (925) 225-0400