It’s OK not to be The Best

A Carolina student’s POV
Note: This post was written just before the events of 8/28/2023

 There’s a strong belief circulating among us students at UNC that we have to be the best. The best in our classes, the best in our field of study, the best in speaking a new language, the best in participating in any events that we do, the best in grades and sports and everything else we have our hands in. Many times we feel that if we’re not the best, that we’re not worthy of our achievements. We find second place hard to accept because it means that we weren’t the absolute best. We find that not being first string in the game or first chair in orchestra means our talents are lesser.

Imposter syndrome is a very real thing at our school. I know I feel it every day when I’m on campus. It’s difficult to deal with and to recognize within ourselves. We may think that imposter syndrome isn’t true for us, as our achievements and talents are true at all, and that the reality is that we have not accomplished anything in comparison to our friends or classmates. 

The real reality is that every single one of us has accomplished amazing things in our lives. It’s true the amazing thing may not have been something large and easy for others to see like a reward for your research or an article about you in the Tar Heels paper, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of celebration. The paper that you worked hard on and got a B on is a beautiful win, the drawing you made that told the story of your soul is irreplaceable, the work you put in to be able to call yourself an UNC student and the degree you get at the end of the road can never be taken from you. You are not an imposter. There is no imposter among us; no one needs to be voted out, especially you. You belong here. You are as precious to this earth as a bee is to the flower, as the water is to the fish. You deserve to celebrate yourself and everything you have done. 

I firmly believe that, as cupcake.logic’s dog says in the picture, “No need be best, only good and kind.” At the end of the day, metals will rust and certificates will be lost, but what will never be lost are kind words to a stranger, a good action done to help others. While we should strive to do our best, we don’t have to beat ourselves up for not being the best. We are all born with inherent worth as humans; whether or not you ace that test, graduate in the top 10% your class, or earn the number one spot in your class or sports team, you are still worthy of that boba treat, of that time with your friends, with a life that makes you happy and smile. You are more than your many, amazing accomplishments. You are your favorite music, your beautiful laughter, your smile that brightens someone’s day, and so, so much more.   

Cupcake.logic has given permission for people to print out this piece and hang it wherever they need to. I encourage whoever is reading this to do so as well.

 At the end of the day, no matter how you feel about all of the wonderful things that you have accomplished or how you feel about yourself, remember that as long as you were good and kind, you were the best.

From your fellow UNC student and dog enthusiast,
Victoria Pickle

Art by cupcake.logic on Instagram

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