The Unexpected Perks of Having Frenemy At Uni

Use that competitive streak to strive towards being a better you.

The half friend, half enemy. The Katy to your Taylor. The Selena to your Miley. The Paris to your Kim.

Known as an ambivalent friend, a frenemy is that person in your life whom you’re technically friends with but can set your head into a spin of pure rage. Sometimes the reason why is unknown – it might be because they simply grind your gears or maybe it’s just pure jealousy. But one thing’s for sure; your frenemy can actually make you a better student.

Having a frenemy can be a touchy situation. If you have the wrong attitude, the person’s success can quickly turn into an exercise of self-hatred. I always get subpar grades; I have to do everything for group assignments. But the best way to deal with your frenemy isn’t to compare yourself to them or tear them down; it’s about using your competitive streak to strive towards being a better and more prosperous version of yourself.

Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. And for some people, aiming for a distinction or simply applying for that internship just isn’t enough. This is the benefit of ye olde frenemy; competition is a form of motivation. A healthy form? Maybe or maybe not. But in the spirit of self-improvement, here are some reasons to embrace the frenemy and use their successes to motivate your own.

They Make You Work Harder 

Having someone nipping at your toes can be just what you need to put your actions into overdrive. You might work more ferociously on that assignment, take on that extracurricular activity and put your hand up for an internship if you know someone is right there ready to pounce when you let up.

They Set The Pace

Just like the Rouleur in the Tour De France – the team member who sits at the front of the pack and sets the pace for the whole team – having a successful frenemy who is smashing their goals left, right and centre can give you the confidence and drive to crush your own.

Be it different goals or the same; sometimes we need a little push to get things going. Seeing someone else out there getting high distinctions or having their work used as an example by the tutor is sometimes just what we need to see how proactive we can be.

Keeping A Close Eye

Because our frenemy is still primarily a friend, having them close means you’re under no illusion of how their life is and what makes them tick. No fake Instagram persona here. You know how much they study, how hard they work and the grades they get on exams. If you’re working towards something, you need to know your strengths and their weaknesses.

You Can See Yourself Better

Having a frenemy can give you the opportunity to self-reflect and realise what parts of yourself you’re proud of. It’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t have, even without putting a frenemy into the mix. Instead of using them to pick at the parts you don’t like about yourself, focus on the fact you always hand in your assignments on time, eat a healthy lunch and are an absolute delight at parties.

Kelly Walker is a creative writer and recovering bagel addict based in Melbourne. When she’s not writing or playing roller derby, she’s searching for the best smashed avo ever. She’s on Twitter at @kellywalker89 and promises to start tweeting, one day.

(Lead image: Gilmore Girls/Warner Bros)