Dear Pulp is a weekly series where we’ll solve your questions, dilemmas and disasters! If you have something looming in your life or a juicy secret you just can’t help but share (anonymously, duh), let us know via this form.
I’m envious because everyone around me seems more successful than me. How do I deal with it?
During university years it is easy to fall into a rut of self-doubt, low self-esteem and envious tendencies. When you’re struggling at uni, seeing people seemingly effortlessly getting better grades or internships can be hard. It’s easy to fall into the mentality of “why not me?”
Envy is an odd emotion. Being one of the seven deadly sins, feeling envious is usually frowned upon, but envy is a regular occurrence that happens in our brain because it is tied to self-esteem. So it’s okay to feel envious because it is part of what makes us human. Just don’t let it consume you — too much of anything is bad for you. Here are 5 strategies to help with that:
1. Ask how he or she got there
That person who seems to get the opportunities and grades without making an effort? Reality is that they are probably working just as hard as you but have a different method of approach that happens to be fruitful faster. Speak to that individual and ask for advice or help. You’d be surprised how helpful humans can be when approached positively.
2. Ask yourself if their success is something you want
There’s lots of different types of success and not everyone is suited to all of them. Being famous looks glamorous, but means you get a lot of unwanted attention. Having a prestigious job can be great, but comes with a lot of pressure. Ask yourself what you really want.
3. Remind yourself that you don’t always see the whole story
People’s lives can look great from the outside, but you often don’t see their struggles. Be aware that the people you envy could be a lot more complicated than you expect. That’s especially true for social media. Images that appear on your feed are carefully curated. Be honest with yourself, what sort of pictures do you post of yourself on social media? The ones that show you in a good light. Making sure your expectations of yourself are realistic can make you feel better.
4. Take a break and do something nice for yourself
Envy is tied to self-esteem, and so is FOMO. Take a break from social media and take yourself out on a date. This could be going to see a movie, going to a new cafe, painting your nails, reading a book, or finishing a video game.
5. Remind yourself of your own successes
It is easy to forget about our achievements, big or small. Take a minute and write down your personal accomplishments. From cooking a new recipe, receiving a good mark, understanding a dense paper you had to read for class, finishing that paper. Success is arbitrary and its definition is different to every person, so find your own definition of success even if it is as small as getting out of bed and surviving another day.
Life is already stressful as it is. Trying to maintain our self-esteem can be difficult when we are regularly exposed to what seems to be greener grass. Don’t feel discouraged when you feel envious: remember that it is part of human nature, but you can’t let it define you.
I want to move out of home, but I have no idea where to start. What should I be thinking about?
Moving out is a big process, and can be hard, so it’s worth thinking carefully before you do it. You should focus on understanding what will be involved, making a plan and ensuring you can manage it.
The first step is to work out your budget. This information is obviously pretty essential to guide your choices. Write down how much money you’ll have and subtract living approximate costs (remember: when you move out, you’ll encounter new ones, like utilities). This will help you see how much money you’ll have available for rent — it can be easy to overestimate if you don’t think through your expenses. You should make sure you can save some money for emergencies. There are also some costs of moving in, including paying a bond and buying furniture, that might apply.
Once you have a budget, start to think about what you want in a place. How far from uni and/or work do you want to be? How many people would you want to share with? Do you need to be near public transport? Having a clear understanding of your essentials and preferences makes house-hunting a lot easier.
Finding housemates is important. Ideally, you’ll have some friends that you know and trust who also want to move out. However, obviously that’s not always the case! Think about your expectations for housemates and make them clear so you don’t have any weird or unpleasant surprises.
Finally, understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Knowing what’s expected of you and how the renting process works will make everything smoother. Here are some resources to start with: