Humblebragging: you may not know what it is, but you’ve heard of it, you’ve seen it. Maybe it was some subbie complaining about their 93 on a Latin exam. Perhaps one of your friends was downbeat because of their 89 in Biology. Humblebragging, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is an action meant “to make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities or achievements.” It’s a problem in high schools across the nation, and that includes our very own.
The nature of humblebragging certainly is prevalent at Uni— many students find no doubts with that. It may even be detrimental to others. “There’s so many people who do it… for example, at Uni there’s a lot of humblebragging with academics. People, have like 4.0s, and they’re really good, they get like straight As… And then, there’s a test they get back and they get a 95. And they panic, even though they’re clearly like… good. And there’s people who are actually struggling with like subjects or assignments.” says sophomore Faizah Rauther.
“Sometimes it’s intentional, but most of the time, it’s just unintentionally making other people feel worse than they already do,” opines sophomore Neha Aluru.
“It just kind of adds to the competitive atmosphere because when other people hear oh this person got a 92 and are very disappointed in themselves, it makes that an expectation, that you have to score higher, and that you should also feel that way about yourself,” says Sarah Grubisich.
“When we were younger, it was a bigger thing, especially when I was a freshman. Since I was a transfer, when I came to Uni, I remember specific classmates would literally be like ‘oh I did so badly on that test, I got a 95, and I didn’t study at all’ I would just be very very frustrated with that. It definitely creates a culture where people who don’t humblebrag feel stupid, and people who do it, it’s not often even true,” says senior Angie Shaw.
Senior Anupam Sharma talks about why he thinks humblebragging is prevalent here at Uni. “I think Uni tries to portray itself as a very much cool school… Uni kids? We take it chill, easy. But on the inside, kids are still quite competitive, and they still have these self-esteem issues where they have to justify themselves… I think the bragging will always be there, just because we’re in a school which prides itself on academics and looks for kids who are good at academics. But the humble part of the humble bragging comes from this idea that we want to preserve this culture or this air of nonchalance.”
However, junior Annette Lee feels differently, stating that “I feel like more often I see people not wanting to bring up or talk a lot about something that might spark competitiveness. It was actually sometimes frustrating to me that stuff that maybe would be talked about at other schools would be less openly talked about here because we’re afraid of it becoming competitive… like for example colleges? You have to talk about them so carefully here. I understand why, but on the other hand, I think it does some harm.”
The act of humblebragging has a constant presence here at Uni, and clearly, many students have many thoughts on it. Regardless of your thoughts, though, one thing’s for sure: humblebragging’s here to stay.