Both yearbook and newspaper have come a long way since each publication began. If it weren’t for the staffs and editors who came before us, we wouldn’t have the countless plaques, certificates and trophies on display by C122. However, as an Editor-in-Chief, I have big shoes to fill, and I’m not 100 percent confident that I’ll be able to live up to the high standards expected of me.

Last year’s EICs, Althea Gevero and Alexis Drevetzki, always had me in awe. Brilliant writers and masters of time management, they were well deserving of their titles as JEA’s Nevada Journalist of the Year and Youth Journalism International’s Journalist of the Year. Not to mention, there are EICs before them who are now attending law school, transitioning into medical school or have just finished interning at Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Thinking about how successful they are makes me feel unworthy of this position. Maybe somebody else deserves this title more than I do. I constantly try to find ways to justify why I’m good enough–taking on a boat load of AP classes, agreeing to participate in numerous extracurriculars and pressuring myself to write articles worthy of recognition, but somehow I still don’t feel like enough.

Even outside of leadership roles, teens often feel pressured to live up to a certain caliber. Whether that means following their parents’ dream for them or looking as beautiful as models on a magazine, we tend to compare ourselves to others and forcibly adjust our actions to fit the mold we’ve constructed in our head. Afraid of being looked down upon, we tend to degrade ourselves and lower our own self-esteem when we feel like we’re not meeting those standards.

However, many forget to step back from this idealization and consider reality. Consumed by all these glorified versions of others, people condition themselves to construct an unrealistic standard for themselves to mimic. There’s no point in comparing yourself to someone else’s successes when you’re a completely different person with a completely different skill set and list of goals.

The idea of “being enough” is merely subjective. Standards are only as significant as one makes them out to be. If you base your goals off of other people, you only lead yourself down a road of disappointment when you realize that maybe you’re not capable of these challenges or maybe you would rather challenge yourself in a different way.

With that being said, I’m still learning to come to terms with the fact that it’s okay if I don’t have the same awards as those before me. I realize that I have to follow my own passions and evolve from there. Instead of feeling obligated to achieve a certain milestone, I’ll spend more time setting goals that are realistic to my capabilities.

Do you try to mimic the accomplishments of those who you look up to?