It’s a Friend-Eat-Friend World

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Jordan Walker > Senior > Magazine Journalism and Spanish > Syracuse University

We all have that friend. The one who loves to one-up you each time you have exciting news or who comes to you each day boasting his academic accolades and impressive internship offers. That friend who responds to your passing grade with her appointment to the dean’s list, which naturally came right after she was offered a job for post-graduation, as a junior.  These over-zealous friends are at every school, and despite the fact that they are driven by their competitive natures, they are still our friends.

Julia Wolkoff, a senior at Syracuse University, has a friend like this. Recently, she and one of her best friends and sorority sisters went out for the same internship at Hill Holiday in Boston.

“We both applied and she was so happy when she found out.” Wolkoff said. “Meanwhile, I had applied and had not told her, so when the good news came to her, I was very upset. I had heard nothing from them and that’s how I knew I didn’t get the internship."

Amie Chase Radanovich, a senior at Fordham University, experienced competition between friends for not only internships, but also grades.

“All of college has been a constant competition as to who is doing what,” she said. “My roommate sophomore year would study anytime I was studying, even for different classes, just so she could get a better GPA.”

Radanovich has even heard of friends letting roommates sleep through midterms and finals. “How that helps your own personal grades,” she said, “I don’t know.”

“It’s impossible to avoid competition in college,” said Julie Anson, also a senior at Syracuse University. As a television radio and film major, Anson has competed for numerous internships with multiple close friends. “We are only handed so many internship opportunities,” she said, “if we don’t find one on our own we end up competing with our own classmates.”

These three seniors, and the rest of the class of 2011, will soon have to compete on a more cutthroat level to begin their actual careers.

“If it was this bad fighting for unpaid internships, Radanovich said, “I am terrified to speak to people as we try to get real jobs next spring.”

Wondering how to combat the competition between you and your friends? Study up on a few tried and true tips.
First, calmly confront the friends who are too competitive. Explain that you feel your friendship is more important than that extra .002 percent on a pop quiz grade. Agree to help each other out with things like studying and job searches – two heads are better than one. And always try to avoid being bitter and negative when friends succeed. Being competitive will get you nowhere, and will only perpetuate the cycle of competition.

Image courtesy of edea360.wordpress.com.

College Magazine Staff

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