Don’t assume others have perfect lives

By Sriram Karumbunathan, Columnist

As we go through college, we meet a variety of new people who come from various different backgrounds and are studying many different things. When you meet these new people, you might assume some of them have perfect lives because of they way they present themselves. It is hard to see any issues in the lives of these people, especially as they explain how they are either studying something they are passionate about or how they have found a second home at college. However, it is important to remember that almost all of these people have an issue that does not initially meet the eye.

Let me be clear. People around you are almost always dealing with their own personal issues. These issues might not be medical issues like depression, but just small insecurities that people may become even more aware if you mention them or point them out.

A lot of these personal concerns individuals harbor may not seem apparent at first glance, but saying something around them to draw attention to their insecurities might affect them later on, even if you do not see an immediate reaction.  

Because everyone has their own struggles and imperfect lives, it isn’t healthy to compare yourself to others. When you compare yourself to someone else, you are only comparing yourself with that individual’s good side. People will never want to show off their bad side, especially when interaction nowadays is also through social media, where only the most perfect of pictures are posted. However, people you see while scrolling through social media have their own struggles that you may not see every time you speak with them or view a post or picture of theirs. This can result in you putting yourself down by comparison.

I want to talk about how these issues beneath the surface do eventually need to come out. You can’t always present the most perfect facade; real issues should be dealt with for the sake of your health. Thinking of a solution and talking it through with someone is key. This allows you to find a way to eventually overcome struggles. Some other people may have similar issues to you, or may even have already found a solution to something you are struggling with. By talking it out and recognizing your problems, it becomes easier to find a solution.

While we go through college, I think it is important to realize that everyone does have their own problems. Not only does this allow you to be more sensitive to other’s needs, it also allows you to not fall into the trap of thinking other people’s lives are perfect.

College helps to expose you to a diverse range of people, where you can grow and learn to be more sensitive to those needs. So the next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone you may not know so well, make sure you try to consider their background and be thoughtful of what you say, being aware of the fact that they are also dealing with problems just like you.

Sriram is a junior in Engineering. 

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