Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The self-doubt arising from running in elite circles

I feel immense pressure and guilt once again to try and conform and fall back into the path that I think society expects of me. It's just so unreal some times when I think about the peer pressure that I feel, but that's really how it is. Coming from a series of the best schools in my country, I've been indoctrinated to believe that the creme de la creme went into a top feeder school like HPY and then get into a BB IB firm or one of the MBBs.

It's just fucking depressing comparing myself to these overoverachievers and realizing that I'm lagging so far behind. These kids have literally planned their whole lives out. I had dinner with this chick from my college the other day and she's at Bain right now. She said she's been working like a dog, and it all hit her when she was in the hospital for 2 weeks because she had meningitis and almost fell into a coma and died. Then, she decided to start planning for her future because like, yolo and shit, consulting has morbidly unsustainable hours, so guess what? She spent 100+ hours crafting a story out for herself for her MBA applications. She made sure she was presenting a multi-faceted view of herself and prepared and presented 2 separate slide decks for two of her recommenders to focus on different aspects of her strengths so none will overlap. So now, after her meningitis epiphany, she's headed for HBS.

She invited me out today to play beer pong, and I regret making small talk of asking "so where you working at? where did you go to school?" Everyone was from Wharton or Harvard and working at Bain or GS. All of them, were from my high school. None even really cared where I was working at, because if I didn't volunteer that information, or brandish my 'yo i'm working at jpm' cock in their faces, that means it must be not worth mentioning, which well, is true, because I'm an unemployed motherfucker.

I just absolutely terribly hate this kind of insidious ultra-competitive environment. Back in college I was always balanced out by my white friends who would be like um, some kind of English or History major or something related to music, which calmed me down a bit more because it wasn't exactly the drone-like Asians at college who are also now all wolfing it at Wall Street.

Honestly, I just feel that Asians are way too intense for me most of the time. I still remember how back in middle school one of my teachers commented to my parents that "your son is like a Wolverine using his claws to open sardine cans - he's really not taking things seriously enough to maximize his full potential."Other than how witty this comment was, it kind of stuck with me because in middle school I honestly thought I was cruising along fine and there wasn't any 'problem' with me.

I spoke to R about this, and he talked to me like I was crazy, because he said that I'm already successful in life. It's odd because I can give the advice to him that we are not merely a sum of our looks, bodies, and academic achievements, but I can't apply the same advice to myself. I'm not gonna lie but it's because I think society doesn't expect much of R, and so he should expect less of himself. On the other hand, I constantly feel like I have been underachieving the moment I got rejected by all the Ivies. Such a view is repulsive I know, especially to the quasi-commie/hippy touters of "all human beings are equal."

I don't really know. I'm sitting here and it's 2.45 am and I'm calming down from the buzz from the beer pong, but all I really want is N to be back here with me and I can put my head on his chest and somehow just feel better about everything. He was so excited that I got accepted into his school in London for the master's program, but I was not quite as excited as him, because it's not Oxbridge. In fact, I didn't even apply to Oxbridge because I've bitched out in fear of rejection. One of the main reasons why I'm also thinking of breaking into the consulting sector is because of the prestige associated with it, but I am sorely dreading the amount of intense competitive spirit that I would have to summon to systematically knock out my competition. For what reason really? All these smart fucks around me ain't doing shit to "save the world" - but if you were to pose that question back to me, an honest answer is that I could hardly care less about 'saving the world'...

I actually had another entry before this that I spoke about my GMAT and stuff but it was unfinished, but the tone of that entry was a lot more optimistic than this one. I know I should quit whining, and if I feel inferior to these overachievers then I should just strive by myself but I don't know if I actually crave to be like them, or abhor them. I just wish that I had something else that I could feel confident and hold my weight down in front of this ilk.

3 comments:

  1. First, is society really putting this pressure on you or are you doing this to yourself? Sure, maybe in your circle of friends, they represent "society" to you and for you to fall behind with them would subject you to ridicule -- but if that is the case, they don't seem like good friends to begin with. It seems like you want they approval -- why?

    Second, if this chase for image and prestige is causing you such anguish, maybe you should just stop and think about what it is you want. A happy life? A decent standard of living? A partner to accompany you? How does keeping up with the overachievers help you reach your life goals? If it doesn't, then maybe keeping up is not that important.

    You make it sound like others are "forcing" you to do things -- but in reality, you are just trying to conform, and in doing so just cause a lot of discomfort for yourself. Why don't YOU decide what is best for you, despite what others expect.

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  2. English isn´t my first language but I think you should not "become" like your friends, your friend got sick because of this competition world.

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  3. ok i think i was just slightly drunk and being pissy about everything...i'm feeling better now :)

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