Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?

One of the questions I get all the time at work is, Is it competitive? When people are looking for study abroad programs or looking into programs like the State Department internship, they tend to ask this question, which never fails to surprise me.

It never occurs to me to ask if something is competitive. Why do they want to know? Will they refrain from applying if they don't think they can get in, or do they just want to know what they're up against? Why do they need to know that?

I just apply to things and figure I'll get them if I do and won't if I don't. I think about my own qualifications, rather than looking at the other applicants and wondering whether they're more qualified than I am.

I wonder if this is a really good approach to life, or if I'm just extremely self-centered. The latter is very true, but I'm not sure if it's the answer here.

srah - Saturday, 8 November 2003 - 12:23 PM
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Comments (4)

gravatar Matthew the Young - November 10, 2003 - 1:15 AM -

Um, well, i guess it depends on if you get satisfactory results when picking things depending on your qualifications. Some people really want to push themselves, see what they can get into, when they think they may have a small chance (this 'small chance' may be real or envisioned, based on a low self-confidence, or ridiculously high personal expectation, both of which many perfectionists have).

To me, 'competitive' means things like 'challenging' and 'career-progressing', not necessarily 'comparison to others'. This is very important to some people, but others may look for other things (interest, enjoyment, comfort) to improve other aspects of their life, with maybe career taking a less priority. i don't think this is bad, as long as you're satisfied with where your life is going (which is very much a day to day thing, even tho people try to make plans). I heard today: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans" :-)

gravatar katie - November 10, 2003 - 8:34 AM -

I'm the same way. I don't worry too much about it. Like you, I'll either get it or I won't. And if I don't, I will throw a huge tantrum and break things.

Hee hee, just kidding.

gravatar srah - November 10, 2003 - 10:19 AM -

No, what these people usually mean is "Is it hard to get into?". Boo on them.

gravatar katie - November 10, 2003 - 10:37 AM -

Yes, and poo also.

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