{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Anyone else go to a really competitive high school / college? I get constant Facebook / LinkedIn updates from folks that went to my alma mater and everyone is doing super well (now doctors, lawyers, FAANG engineers) , and makes me wonder where I went wrong. I recognize that I'm doing better than 90% of the country working at KPMG, but sometimes I wonder what could've been had I worked a bit harder back in college. I know we're all on our own path, but do any of you deal - con’t", "post_id": "5f27448c20d0c7002099bf12", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "5a898b0457e95c001826dcad", "bowl_name": "Asians in Consulting" }

Anyone else go to a really competitive high school / college? I get constant Facebook / LinkedIn updates from folks that went to my alma mater and everyone is doing super well (now doctors, lawyers, FAANG engineers) , and makes me wonder where I went wrong. I recognize that I'm doing better than 90% of the country working at KPMG, but sometimes I wonder what could've been had I worked a bit harder back in college. I know we're all on our own path, but do any of you deal - con’t

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Run your own race 😊 I think seeing people “doing well” is a mental construct - the real Q to ask is whether you’re happy now, and if not, why and how to get to a place where you are. If you’re content with where you are, then it’s much easier to not care about what others are doing

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Also, not sure if this helps, but I also think of it as: I don’t care who from my HS is an engineer or doctor or whatever because I never wanted to be one of those 😅 Even if Kobe could have been a brilliant mathematician, he had to make a choice at one point and stick to it (not a perfect analogy but you get the drift). Maybe I lucked out in the sense that there are only three of us from my HS who ended up consultants, but...maybe that way of thinking is a start, OP? But to my earlier point, the bigger thing to tackle is to look within and figure out what’s keeping you from being happy in the first place (as cheesy as that sounds).

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Comparison is death of joy. With that said, I know what you mean, easier said than done. What Bain1 said.

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When you say “everyone” you see, there’s also confirmation bias at play. By seeing them on LinkedIn or hearing through friends, you’re going to self select all of those who were impressive enough or confident enough to tell others or communicate their success. You’ll never hear about the college dropout, or the low level clerk because they’re likely not going to advertise it. Even in my friend group, we were “notorious” for being the try hard asians: at two years out, we have one in IB > PE, one in VC, a few big tech engineers, and a Harvard PhD. But we also have a college dropout, and a few living at home, working simple sales. Similar to Instagram, people only want to show off the successful/glamorous parts of their lives. If you compare your perception of yourself against the inflated visage of your peers, you’re gonna have a bad time.

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echo what everyone else said about run your own race. also, another thing to keep in mind if you still end up comparing is: don't compare your insides to other people's outsides. which means, you are comparing your life (including all your insider knowledge) to other people's carefully curated narratives.

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some additional color, you tend not to value what you already have, and you never know what others are envious about. for example, my best friend is wildly successful in academia - great publication record, became a prof early, runs a lab at a top R1. I left academia for consulting, but am sometimes envious of his success. Meanwhile, he tells me he envies 1) my compensation 😂 and 2) my family life, which is something I prioritized and frankly why I took a job in consulting (for geographic reasons, not WLB!)

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Keeping up with the Joneses will only lead to mental anguish.

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It almost sounds like you’re possibly suffering from that Asian guilt your family instilled in your head....

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Haha for Taiwanese parents, they actually gave me a lot of space. They probably felt that the competitive pressure of my high school was enough to keep me motivated (they were right about high school, but i ran with a less studious crowd in college haha)

With the same challenges—if so, any tips for addressing the cognitive dissonance?

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