When I was in school and in college, it was unthinkable to take a gap year, even when the situation demanded it. Taking some time off from education was equivalent to being left behind, which was again as bad as failing. To see your peers moving ahead in their lives, doing well, while you get late into the race can be disheartening.
And a 25-year-old woman has been experiencing the same feeling. She went to Reddit under the subreddit r/India to share her story – she took some time off from college, graduated in 2022 when she was supposed to graduate back in 2019, and watched her friends do better in life as compared to her.
“I am a 25-year-old female, a recent engineering graduate. I am 3 years late for graduation. I was supposed to graduate in the summer of 2019, but I made it only in the summer of 2022. Due to certain reasons, I had to take a sabbatical from my studies during my college term,” she wrote.
After seeking external help, she did get back on track and is now employed by one of the big tech companies.
“But then Covid happened and I stayed back home. I started talking to therapists and tried bringing my life back on track, as much as possible that is. I did manage to graduate with an average GPA. I somehow cracked one of the placement interviews and got placed in one of the Big 4.”
However, as she was scrolling through social media, she saw that her ex-batchmates were doing better than her professionally, causing her to feel insecure about her path.
“Today as I sat and scrolled through my social media I felt so left behind. My ex-batchmates have completed multiple years of employment, some are travelling outside India for studies and jobs, some are doing MBA from top universities and here I am, barely starting out.”
She expressed how she feels “worthless” at times and that it’s too late for her.
“It had been a hard battle for me rebuilding my sense of self-worth and confidence but, today I just realised that I am too late and mistakes in the past can’t be fixed. I am envious, scared and anxious. The sense of failure that engulfed me in those 3 years is like the hidden dangers in my heart. No matter how much I heal, they still exist murmuring about my worthlessness inside my head.”
But people online thought differently and a few called her story a “success story”. Some even shared their experiences of going through the same and reassured her that it’s never too late for things to work out.
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Comparing yourself with others, especially a version of them that you see on social media can be damaging and may take a hit on your self-worth. Blur everything out and focus on yourself!
cover image source: left.