I know they (whoever they are) say to never compare yourself to others (they also say never say never). Comparison is bad! It's a killer of self-esteem and self-confidence! Don't do it!!
That, my friends, is much easier said than done. Much easier.
One of my biggest faults is comparing myself to others. I constantly notice the differences between me and other people. It's not helpful. Not at all. I've tried not to notice, but it's kind of like trying to omit the word "like" as a modifier of every word. As soon as I notice I'm saying "like" all the time and I try to remove it from my conversations, I say it more. It's a similar thing with comparing myself to others. As soon as I realize I'm making comparisons and try to stop, I do it more often.
This is particularly difficult in the writing center (as opposed to where it isn't difficult??). Every time I see another intern do a tutorial, I'm amazed. They have such confidence, and they notice so many things about students' papers. They're excited about what they're doing, and they easily guide discussions with the students about the papers. Their sessions last 30 to 40 minutes each. They're great at tutoring! It comes naturally to them.
Then there's me. When I tutor, I'm completely on edge. I get tongue-tied and lose my train of thought, especially if I notice that the tutor observing me has written something on my evaluation sheet (which I'm always painfully aware of). Finding anything to discuss with the student is an ordeal each time, and I feel as though I'm grasping at straws to find at least one issue to help the student with. There are a few times where I make it up, just to find something. Getting a discussion going is so hard, too -- I feel that I never have anything important or helpful to say, and I constantly auto correct my speech to form questions, rather than "you could" statements. My tutorials barely last 25 minutes, and I frequently fight back tears.
So there's them, the other interns, super excited about their job and engaging students in detailed, information packed tutorials. And then there's me, trying not to cry while praying that the student will go away.
Try as I might, I can't help but notice these differences between myself and the other interns. I jokingly voiced these concerns at the tutor table a few minutes ago, as I've been watching one of the girls tutor. Brad and Tom told me not to worry about it, and that I'm doing just fine. "Everyone has something to contribute, be it with enthusiastic discussion or quiet feedback," Brad told me.
Perhaps he's right. Still...it's hard not to compare.