Episode 11, Competition in Higher Education

In this episode, Youth Advisory Board member Chevaughn Wellington joins fellow members Jay and Dannie to discuss the drawbacks of hypercompetitive environments. They also come up with ways to navigate these spaces successfully and with a healthy mind.


More on this topic from our Youth Advisory Board members:

Competition in Higher Education
By Dannie Bell
We’ve heard it all before.  Law school, medical school, the pressure cooker effect.  The gasps in the room when someone announces they’ve decided to trek down one of these highly demanding paths.  The amount of respect endowed on someone who has managed to conquer the beast of a doctorate degree.  Why is it so difficult, and is there any way to mitigate the struggle?  Hear it from two med students with interests spilling over into the mental health field.
 
What happens when things get too competitive?
 
The way that some students deal with competition is by regurgitating information, as opposed to really learning and being able to properly apply it.” – Jay
 
“Education, in a lot of ways, feels like it’s become more about impressing rather than learning.” – Chevaughn
 
Forgetting Our Humanity
 
There were some student testimonies on social media where some professors were not–they just weren’t very empathetic considering the current situation.  They were essentially saying, “We still expect you to perform up to par [regardless of your circumstances]” – Jay
 
Knowing Who Your Team Is
 
“[A friend] needs to be a competitor, but also a cheerleader.” – Jay
 
“When the game kind of turns sour is when the rivalry takes over, the competition aspect takes over, and there can only be one winner. But I think we want multiple winners.  We need multiple doctors.  We need people in these different areas.” – Dannie
 
“One way to try to combat competitiveness is appreciating what someone has that you don’t have, and being around people who appreciate what you have that they don’t.” – Chevaughn
 
Being Your Own Team
 
“You have to be your own cheerleader sometimes.” – Chevaughn
 
One way that Chevaughn suggests doing this is through affirmations.  She writes positive messages to herself and has them in front of her while she’s studying.  She mentally and emotionally builds herself up, preparing herself to take on the tasks of the day.