Why are my classmates so competitive?????

  1. have anyone, or does anyone have to deal with the competitiveness, cattyness and unbearable melting pot of personalities of fellow nursing classmates?

    at times my teacher broadcasts the grades of those who scored the highest on exams and quizzes,and i wonder if this adds to the atmosphere of competition and inadequacy. though i get decent grades i know that at times when i've "fallen short" i have questioned my brainpower.

    we have enough stressors this competition thing really disgusts me.:angryfire
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    I had a teacher who did that once (broadcast grades), it drove me nuts. They're not supposed to do that, actually. I politely asked the teacher not to do that again and he didn't.

    As far as competitiveness and cattiness, I don't know what to tell you. It's been in every class I've ever attended. I just try to ignore it and keep studying. It's really their problem, not mine.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 27, '04
  4. by   johngalt
    Many of your classmates probably have their eyes on graduate school or a very competitive specialtiy. Grades matter in that case. Like it or not, we are competiting with one another. Of course, this doesn't excuse rude or "catty" behavior if that is what you are experiencing. The fact is, we are all in nursing school to pursue our own carreer goals. We are not there to create a supportive environment for our classmates.
  5. by   IMustBeCrazy
    In just about every profession I've been around that has been dominated by women, I've seen the cattiness part. Women are more devious I think than men by nature and rather than get in a physical confrontation (which goes against the 'good girl' mentality many are raised with) they'll fight with sly or behind-the-back tactics and mind games.

    Not all women are like this, but a good portion are. I see it for what it is though, and have no problem calling people on it.
  6. by   purplemania
    I think men are every bit as competitive and witching as women. Maybe the spitefullness is anxiety acting out. Remember, you are in the program for YOU, so don't let these people bring you down. Nursing does tend to attract some strong personalities. That may be a good thing when you want a nurse who can think quickly and act independently. They just need to discipline that energy into more positive actions.
  7. by   Gompers
    When I was in school, I was also surprised by how competitive people were. They never curved ANY of our grades in the nursing program, so I didn't understand why people were acting that way. Why not help each other instead of trying to be the top student? It's not like there was a limited number of A's to give out or anything! And if you work together and help each other out, chances are EVERYBODY would get better grades, so why not use each other as resources?

    I can't believe some of your instructors pointed out who got the highest grades! Definitely doesn't help! Our grades were either handed to us or posted in the department under our SS number.
  8. by   Carolanne
    Some people just have to have the front seat in everything.
  9. by   Jen2
    There is alot of this in my program. I personally get B's with the occasional C here and there on my tests. I am very proud of the grades that I get because I give it my all, and work while I am going to school. My problem is that I usually do really well in clinical, just because I was a MA and phleb for a number of years and my classmates could not believe that I could give an injection etc. without being scared or hesitant. They see my performance in clinical and then when we get out tests back it's like "What did you get", I hate that. I especially hate it when I say I got an 86% and then they are like "Oh I got a 88%". Then I hear "I can't believe I did better than you, because you really know what you are doing in clinical" drives me nuts. It's like they have to do better than me on exams to feel adequate. I have even tried to tell them that their skills will improve with experience, that they shouldn't be comparing themselves with me. Our instructors never broadcast individual grades, they just say we did good or bad as a whole.
  10. by   finchertwins
    In my school as it looks like is to competitive. Most of us guys(6 in entire class) have an ongoing challenge to eachother to see who does best, all in fun though. There are a few fellow students that just have to be the best with the highest grade, can't stand them. Personally I am to laid back to care and when it bothers those that it matters to I've done my job.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Our class is pretty competitive, but we have some people who seem to think that it's necessary to broadcast their grades, and it grates my nerves because of the mannerism that they do it. Student 1: "Hey i got a 93 on my test, alright!". Student 2: "Oh yeah? Well I got a ninety-FIVE. HA!".

    I get excellent grades. I only compete with myself to get these grades. Nobody askes what i get on tests, and i don't volunteer the info either. I received a letter 2 days ago that informed me that i'm graduating first in the whole nursing class. Yes, i'm thrilled, but no one in class knows who's actually graduating first. The people who received the letters that are graduating in the top have already told each other and everyone else where they are in the line, and are wondering who's graduating in the top 4 spots. To me, yes it's a big deal that i made it, but then again, if i would say that i'm one of those 4, would i be perceived as boastful?

    And before someone flames me for what i just said, this is my situation, my life, and no where have i said to anyone that this is the way it should be for everyone NOR did i say that better grades make a better nurse. (i remember a thread where someone tried to rip me a new by reading way too much into what i wrote).

    Something else that annoyed me in class where competition is concerned is when we would trade quizzes and grade them. I could hear whispers in the back of the class "Hey _____ , check out her paper, look how many ______ is missing! OMG!". And the student that they're refering to hears every word. That crap's just unneccessary. And, yeah, it ticked off a lot of people in class, but i did say something to the instructor that trades quizzes, and we don't trade anymore. It's kinda hard for things like that to be private business when the rumor mill lets everyone know what your grades are.

    I have/had no problem when anyone asked for help, or offering help. BUT it was to those that were obviously trying! One guy in class, who's notorious for dozing off during every movie in class, got a rude awakening once when the instructor told us that the movie would be a quiz the next day. So of course he wants someone's notes, and asked me after being shot down by the people that sat beside of him. I asked "what prevented you from taking notes?". "Well it was boring, i didn't want to pay attention!". I said "it wasn't a thrill to watch, but, no, i wouldn't feel right giving you this, when it was already presented, and you slept your way through it". He called me a "B", and now wonders why i ignore him. I hate it when people are looking for the easy way out of everything.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on May 27, '04
  12. by   Nemhain
    Encephala,

    Some of your classmates want to make others believe that getting the highest marks in the class makes them the better nurse. Yes, grades are important, but just because someone gets an "A" in a nursing class doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be a fantastic RN.

    I'm lucky; in my program almost everyone is really supportive with no competition. There is just one woman in my course that is an "A" student and needs to let everyone know how well she is doing and how much she knows. I need to add that no one likes her (even the other "A" students) 'cause she's so annoying and competitive. She'll ask students that she knows aren't doing well how they are doing and what they got on their last test. Those poor students are stressed as it is. We don't socialize with her outside of class. She wonders why people aren't hanging out in study groups after class or getting together for lunch. Well, we are getting together all the time, but she's never invited. Sometimes people just have a way of screwing themselves.
  13. by   sabrn2006
    I currently work in the human services field, which is every bit as catty. I have learned not to bring a lot of personal baggage to work with me. Hopefully, this approach will help me as I pursue my ADN.

    I have to say that this aspect of nursing school is one of the things I am most apprehensive about. In my previous career as a college student, I earned very high grades but was never boastful. I only told someone what I got on a test or paper if he/she asked me directly. I know for a fact that there will be a lot of backstabbing/grandstanding/showing off in the program I begin in Aug. This particular class will be very competitive because there were so many applicants this year and only about 20% made it into the program. The sheer logistics of it means that those who were accepted are going to be "high achievers".

    Then I have a legacy issue to contend with. My mother is an alumna of this program. I am already a perfectionist to an extent. Ugh.

    My plan is to try hard to focus on my own progress and not compare myself to others....easier said than done though. I want to do very well, so I can earn scholarships and someday go to grad school. It's scary!

    I am working on scheduling my plans for stress relief - namely time with my kids, time alone with the hubby, and time for exercise. I also plan to journal my experiences, which may help a little with venting. Good luck to all of you!
  14. by   Sheri257
    Quote from johngalt
    Like it or not, we are competiting with one another.
    Actually, when you think about it, that's not the case. It's not like there's a limited number of A's or limited number of B's, etc. that people have to fight for.

    People score what they're going to score. It's not like they have to beat another classmate's score to get a better grade ... unless there's a curve that higher scoring students blow, but that's not always the case since not all teachers curve.

    I guess people are naturally competitive, and like to compare their grades to others. Seems to be the only explanation.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on May 27, '04

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