How to cope when everyone has their life together but you

A survival guide for everyone who’s just trying to get by

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018

Photo by Alyssa Anderson

Anderson decides to focus on herself by studying and working towards her goals rather than obsessing over the accomplishments of her peers.

Every time I log on to Facebook or decide to scroll through my Instagram feed, I more often than not find myself anxiously contemplating my life choices. Whenever I make the fateful decision to open any social media app, I am bombarded by my friends’ successes.

Every day it seems as though one of my friends is getting engaged, taking a life-changing road trip or building a school in Africa.

And what am I doing?

Consistently staying up until 4 a.m. binge watching “Gilmore Girls” and taking Buzzfeed quizzes to find out which Hogwarts house I would be sorted into (I’m a Slytherin, in case you were wondering).

Usually, I am able to accept the fact I am kind of a hot mess. OK, I lied. I’m definitely a hot mess.

Yet, whenever I come across photos of my high school friends climbing Mount Everest or something else equally amazing, I generally succumb to my woes and repeatedly ask myself what I’m doing with my life.

For example, the other day I was casually listening to my roommate describe a friend of hers who recently got a scholarship to study at some ritzy art school in New York City when, all of a sudden, my heart sank.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon moping around my room, listening to angsty music and wondering what in the world I was still doing in the Midwest. I could be traveling the world, getting internships and running half-marathons. But alas, here I am, just trying to get by in this little Wisconsin city.

It took quite a while for me to snap out of my funk. I wasted a good portion of my day either feeling sorry for myself or scoffing at the exciting lives of my Facebook friends who seemed to have it all figured out.

Eventually I did snap out of it. I came to realize I can’t compare myself to others. So what if I’m still stuck in the Midwest? I’m at a good school, working my way up to bigger and better things.

I realized that it’s perfectly okay to not have it all together 100 percent of the time. Even my seemingly perfect Facebook friends are probably just as frazzled as I am sometimes.

What matters is I am working at my goals. I may not be exactly where I want to be right now, but I’ll get there. Even though I spend most of my time these days trying to do the best I can to survive, I’ve finally come to realize life won’t always be this way.

If I continue to work at my goals, I know I will achieve them. Who cares what anyone else is doing? I’m doing exactly what I need to do to achieve my dream. I’ve decided to ignore all the people on social media who used to fill me with jealousy and instead focus on myself. I urge you all to do the same.

You may not have it all together right now, but you’re getting there. Go easy on yourself.