Your Accomplishments aren’t Mine

It was a pretty crazy weekend. For those of you who don’t know, my sister is in medical school. Match Day was this past weekend. Let me give you a brief explanation for what Match Day is for those who don’t know:

So fourth-year medical students go to different programs and interview for residency. (Residency is very specialized training in the specific field that the student wants to go into). After all of their interviews, the medical students rank the programs of ones they would want to get into. They say if you absolutely hated a program, then don’t put it on your list at all. This list is due in the middle or end of February. The programs also rank the students they interviewed. An algorithm then matches students with programs based on all lists.

The Monday of the week of Match Day, medical students receive an email saying whether or not they have matched, but it doesn’t say where they matched (if they don’t match, then it’s like phone interviews and scrambling to find programs that still have spots). On Thursday, the programs are told what students are going to be joining the residency. On Friday, all medical students across the country open their Match Day envelopes at the same time showing where they matched.

Now back to last Friday. Match Day was chaotic. There were probably 1,000 people in this one room and it was so crowded. Seeing the emotion from people as they were either ecstatic, surprised, or disappointed. My sister’s school is one of the biggest medical schools in the country. They said that 331 matched that year, with 31 different specialties, and going to 37 different states. That’s nuts! If you’re friends with my family on Facebook, you already know the outcome. But long story short, my sister made it into her top choice program!

I’m super happy for my sister, and it’s so exciting! Later that afternoon, I was looking through my email and came across one with the subject line of “Congratulations”. (This might have been a scam if it wasn’t my school email. I don’t give out that email very often). If you’re on my social media, then you already know about this. At the beginning of the semester, I applied for three department scholarships. All of them needed two recommendation letters from history faculty. One of them needed a recommendation letter from a supervisor for extracurricular work, and another required me to write a 500-word essay about early America (I wrote about the Boston Tea Party). Well, this “Congratulations” email was informing me that I had been selected to receive one of these scholarships!

My accomplishment with my scholarship is not my sister’s accomplishment with Match Day. Our accomplishments for the weekend are not comparable because they’re so different. I worked hard for my scholarship in the same way that my sister worked to get matched. One is not greater than the other.

Also over the weekend, I was working on my first lesson plan(!). My sister has never had to make a lesson plan. I had to explain some things that I did in my lesson plan to her. My sister is about to be a doctor, and I had to explain things to her. You wanna know why? It’s not because I am necessarily “smarter”, but it’s because my life and my accomplishments are mine.

My sister’s accomplishments are not something I can take credit for, and vice versa. One of my best friends just had a baby. I supported my friend both before and while she was pregnant, but I can’t take credit for it.

My life is mine and your life is yours. Your accomplishments are your own, in the same way that my accomplishments are my own. The only person I am in competition with is myself. I want to be better than who I used to be. I can’t claim anyone else’s accomplishments just like other people can’t claim mine. I’m working on and doing me. I’m learning and growing and claiming my own accomplishments. I finished my first lesson plan and got a scholarship. Those are my recent accomplishments.

This isn’t to say that you can’t help with accomplishments. I work with a student as a TA. She did better on the second test than on the first. I can’t take all the credit, but I believe that my efforts did help. I also helped one of my friends with her history test notes. She got a 98 on the test! That’s her accomplishment, but she even told me that I helped. My friends (and yours too) can help with accomplishments, but unless they actually do some of the work themselves, the accomplishment is all yours.

I have a busy week this week. There’s a lot that I need to get done, and I probably won’t have much time to relax. But I’m going to feel so proud of myself when it is all done. What I accomplish will be both great and mine. The path I’m on is mine to walk. Your accomplishments aren’t mine because you have your own accomplishments. Your accomplishments aren’t mine because we aren’t walking the same path. Your accomplishments aren’t mine because we all have our own greatness to find. If you’re constantly comparing what you do with other people, you will always find things to complain about. Instead, grow on your own and celebrate you as an individual.

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