Racing to the finish line isn’t fun if you break the tape on a vacant track. Competitive sports are exciting for a reason: they engage, challenge, and allow you to see the payoff of your hard work. There may be some hesitation when considering a competitive environment for a student’s academics. The doubt is understandable; competition can easily fall into the trap of demoralization, but this can be avoided with a clear perspective.
An example of gaining perspective and incentive from your peers can be found no further than our summer camp program here at Zinkerz! Among college tours and SAT preparation, students connect in an environment dedicated to their testing and college goals. The in-person elements of this camp allow students to see the hard work of others and gain a sense of comradery within the competitive application process.
Similarly, our marathons involve mock exams that students take to improve test scores and familiarize themselves with a test-taking environment. Healthy competition can make for an engaging and immersive test-taking environment. When everyone around you is focused and trying their best, you’ll want to succeed along with them!
Healthy competition can be a great thing for academic success, but only with a focus on academic progress. Healthy competition is the kind that spurs you to crack open a book and get to work. Seeing other students strive for greatness can positively affect your momentum. The outcome, while important, should not be the place to engage your competitive streak. It isn’t a matter of being better than others; it is the motivation to aim just as high as your peers and let that common goal unite you.
Everyone has different areas of strength, so it can be discouraging to compare successes and losses. Instead, we should engage in competition to enrich our studies— not in envious contempt for those who succeed in our stead. Casting others in a negative light amid your successes turns healthy competition into unhealthy comparison.
Comparing yourself to others in a healthy measure requires knowing that failure does not diminish your worth. The most critical part is the effort you put in toward your success. Competition should catalyze inspiration. Striving to reach new heights among your peers is a great way to motivate yourself and the surrounding students, as long as you maintain good sportsmanship. Additionally, this will prepare students for the fiercely competitive world of higher education. It is this kind of healthy competition that champions for you to be the best version of yourself.