OPINION: The Benefits and Drawbacks to Competition between Classmates

Story by Christina Amato
Feature Photo via Unsplash

We all love the feeling of having someone you know in a class with you. The first day you have someone to sit with, you have someone to talk to, and someone to study with. You study together in the library, share notes, and walk into the first exam with your heads held high.

The only problem is, they got and 84 percent, while you got a 75 percent.

There is a twinge of a feeling you can’t explain shooting through you. “But we studied together!” You exclaim in your mind, as you endlessly try to wrap your head around how the could have scored better than you.

Competition between classmates is something that is seen far too often within the confinements of the classroom. Though everyone should want to compete for the better grades and internships, it’s all too often it turns into a competition between friends.

I remember once I had a class with a really good friend of mine, and we thought that it would be amazing. We wrote our five-page papers in the library together, proof read them and checked each other’s to make sure they matched up with the rubric. So, we turned them in, and when we received them back, I got a 94 percent, while they got a 70 percent. It really made no sense. Yet, because of that, every time one of us got a higher grade than the other one, it would make us mad. Like, really mad.

Who Will Get the Top Spot

It’s a feeling that happens in every class when someone asked what you received, or you see your grade pop up on Blackboard and just wonder what everyone else got. It feels like your stomach is momentarily dropping, and it won’t stop until you figure out what is happening. Grades are the one thing that you should be competing for. This can make you work harder, and reach your goals.

This also applies to scholarships and internships. When in the same major as a friend, both of you want to come out on top, and yet you want the best for each other. Internships and Scholarships, being very limited can be hard to receive. Just remember that you should always support one another, and there is always another internship or scholarship.

The moment competition is involved, put your grades into perspective. If you really want to “beat” the person you are in the “competition” with, put that to your advantage. Then, hopefully, you will both be competing for who has the highest tier of the class.

Healthy Competition
Healthy competition can be a good thing, for reasons of encouraging growth and creativity.

Competition between people promotes growth, which enhanced a person’s personal goals. When competing with another person, we try to be the best form of ourselves that we can be. Through this, it can be applied to your the everyday life of accelerating yourself.

It also forces us to be more creative. Creativity is unleashed when the mind has more to think about. In cases like this, it is how to be better, unique, and intuitive to what you are working on. You can read more of this reasoning here.

Unhealthy Competition
Be careful, because competition can become unhealthy once you cross boundaries and strive for total perfections. All humans have flaws, so don’t try to be something you’re not.

It’s always good to be the best version of yourself but do not get so into it that you forget why you were trying in the first place.

No matter what, always stay connected to your classmates. It doesn’t matter who “wins” as long as you maintain a relationship with them and work together to reach the top.