Let’s start first with a definition of what unhealthy pride is in relation to the context of this post. Unhealthy pride here refers to being too proud to seek out the help of others or being too proud to accept constructive criticism or feedback. This is in contrast to healthy pride, which is about taking pride in your work and being confident in (and realistic about) your skills and strengths. By the definition of unhealthy pride alone, one can surmise that having an unhealthy sense of pride can be detrimental in college. Here are 3 big reasons why:
1) It will keep you from seeking out academic support
While they know that they need help in those areas, the unhealthy pride keeps them in the mindset of, “I should be able to do this on my own”.
Help and support can mean many different things. With my students this semester, I have noticed a reluctance to seeking out academic assistance in the form of tutoring or academic coaching. While they know that they need help in those areas, the unhealthy pride keeps them in the mindset of, “I should be able to do this on my own”. If that were the case, then why would colleges offer those assistance services? Assistance services which your tuition already pays for, by the way. It is okay to ask for clarification or an alternate explanation, necessary even. You do not have to do this on your own. Truly, no one expects you to!
2) It will prevent you from receiving necessary accommodations and/or emotional support
In fact, the quality of those support services should be a factor in your decision making when it comes to which college you choose to apply to.
This is so important because the mental health crisis on college campuses is a widely known issue – whether you’re coming to college with pre-existing struggles or they appear after you step foot on campus. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it is important that you seek out counseling or help with stress management when you begin to notice it. In fact, the quality of those support services should be a factor in your decision making when it comes to which college you choose to apply to. I used to work for an Accessibility Services office as a grad student and too often I met with seniors who struggled with ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, depression or other conditions that impacted their academic success. Not only that but they had been struggling since their first semester! What kept them from seeking out necessary accommodations or support? Unhealthy pride. It was the same mindset as above of “I should be able to do this on my own”. And just like above, accommodations exist for a reason: to level the playing field and ensure that regardless of your learning style or your challenges, you can be successful in college.
3) It will only aid you in isolating yourself from others
We live in communities for a reason: because no human can succeed entirely on their own.
When we give too much credence to unhealthy pride, we often tend to isolate ourselves from our peers. Instead of talking about our challenges and connecting with others who are struggling with the same things, we keep to ourselves and think, “I’m the only one struggling with this. Thus, I have to figure it out on my own”. We live in communities for a reason: because no human can succeed entirely on their own. We need each other for safety, support and connection.
Has an unhealthy sense of pride impacted your academic success? If so, how? On the flipside, what are some healthy habits you have established to combat unhealthy pride? Share your thoughts in the comments below.