To me, there are two less-than-admirable characteristics that some people possess: success-shaming and non-stop complaining. I’m sure that everyone knows someone who is constantly complaining about anything from school, grades to family matters. I’m also positive that everyone has had to deal with someone who speaks ill of successful people, typically due to envy, jealousy or insecurity.
Chin up, my success-seeking, non-complaining friends. Your accomplishments are well deserved and no one can dispute that.
Let me put this concept of success-shaming in perspective. I, for example, am lucky enough to be a member of the University Honors Program along with some other curious, bright and friendly students. I had to apply to get in, and I now have to fill several different additional requirements in order to graduate. I love being part of the Honors Program, because the opportunities I get to experience and the classes I get to take are invaluable. However, sometimes when it comes to explaining the Honors Program to people who are not a part of it, I usually get a response in the vein of: “Oh. My. God. That must SUCK for you,” or, “This is why I didn’t join the Honors Program, I couldn’t handle all that much extra work,” or, “You must have no time to do ANYTHING.”
To those who react this way, kindly do yourself a favor and stop talking immediately. The difference between you and I, along with the rest of my Honors folk and everyone else who doesn’t shame others for their success, is that we’re going to graduate with honors and/or academic achievement and you will likely to be unable to drop this success-shaming habit of yours.
While listening to these comments from people, I can only think to myself, “That seems like a you problem,” as my good friend Mercedes puts it.
Now let’s talk about complainers. Again, I’m sure every single person has had to deal with someone complaining about avoidable things. Here’s an example dialogue:
Complainer: “I can’t believe that I straight-up failed that test. My professor is so unfair and I don’t deserve any of this.”
Person: “Well, did you study?”
Complainer: “No, I was catching up on ‘Once Upon a Time’!”
At which point, our “Person” character is about to blow a gasket because he or she never thought anyone in his or her right mind could think this illogically.
In all seriousness though, there are few things I understand less than individuals who complain about not doing well in something when he or she puts in little to no effort. It’s no secret that if you study for something, you’ll likely do well, or if you practice for a sport, your skills will likely get better. The examples are endless.
It’s not rocket science or brain surgery. It seems like a “you” problem. The good news is that it’s a solvable problem. If you put the effort into something that matters or something that you genuinely care about, the results will be satisfying.
At the end of the day, you are the only person in charge of 100 percent of your reputation, your education, everything else that makes you a great person. You did not come to college to shame people with great success or complain about your avoidable consequences. Gather your “you” problems and find the best way to eliminate them. You are the only one who has the power to change yourself. It’s a long road, but it’s possible and ultimately liberating.