Almost everyone feels this way to some extent. Most people have developed this issue over many years. I ran into the issue head-on in the jump from middle to high school. In primary and middle school, I was literally first in my class. Then I went to a better district with more rigorous studies, and I started almost failing my classes while my peers received the equivalent of a 5.0. So I had to consciously figure out how to deal with the feeling of inferiority.
The best way to handle this issue is to keep a few things in mind:
1 – Everyone has a different skill set. Unfortunately, society trains us to focus on our failings. Everyone has standard levels they must reach, but we're not so encouraged to advanced quickly in what we are good at. It's a major flaw of society to force everyone to an inflated level in things they aren't good at.
2 – Instead, you should focus on becoming excellent in what you are good at. Then, whenever you feel inadequate in one field, just remember how good you are in another. If you focus both on improving your strengths and flaunting them, it makes you a productive and satisfied member of society, not to mention very appealing to recruiters and those in charge of promotion.
3 – Some people say life isn't a competition. Others say you need to work hard and play catch up. You have to find your own balance between the two. If you're too far on the competitive end, people think you're a jerk when you're above them in a subject or you feel depressed when you're below others. If you're too far on the peaceful end, you lose the desire to work hard and learn more, regardless of whether or not you need it.
4 – Find out what you like to do, find out what you're good at, and find out where the two cross.
Focus on fixing the bad – The underdog movies "Turbo" and "Rudy" come to mind. Rudy, the shrimp of a kid who can't run fast, wants to play college football. He spends all his time training, and gets one play in the season. He feels like a hero until the movie ends and he realizes that play doesn't get him off the bench for next season. Turbo the snail wants to win the Indy500. It takes a freak chemical spill to turn him into a snail version of a superhero. These are some of the people we look at for inspiration.
Focus on your strengths – "Monsters Inc." and "Monsters University." When Mike tries to scare kids, he fails. He's simply not scary. But he knows everything about being a scarer. Sully's scary, but is horrible at memorization and logic. In the end, Mike doesn't become a scarer; he coaches Sully and plans everything. Mike does what he's good at and gets to be in the same environment he would be in if he were good at scaring. Mike and Sully each use their unique, innate skills to their advantage and come out on top.
Let's say you're good at composition, history, and time management, but you dislike history and time management. Become excellent at composition, keep history relatively neutral, and accept the fact that time management is a requirement for everyone.
By the way, how many people in your field are good at math? Probably a lot. How many are good at what you specialize in? If you do it right, not very many. You can't speak Mandarin, even though it's the most popular language on the planet. What do you do? Forget about it, unless you're planning on traveling to China. Why do you need it? Instead, learn a language that impresses people and is often used in your chosen field. For example, France has a lot of customers for robotic tech companies.
Here's a huge misnomer. "Hard Work" is not actually what people want. Employers don't want employees to stay two hours late every day just to get their tasks done, then come to work tired because of another three hours of unpaid labor at home. Teachers don't want students to be stressed out and think of the school experience as a bunch of bad memories. "Don't work hard; work smart." Use what you have at your disposal. They use the term "Hard Work" to indicate that you can't slack off and not do what's expected of you.
Also, if students come from higher-class high schools, it's basically like they went to college early on financial aid. They've already gone through all these classes. Yes, you're going to have to go through the classes they've already been through.
By the way, I'm in my first year of community college now. There were high school Juniors in my Calc II class with better grades than mine. There are also people into their third year of college failing their third bout of intermediate algebra. We have peers who can barely speak English, and we have foreigners who speak my language better than I do.
In the end, everything is subjective and relative. Don't beat yourself up. Try to focus on your strengths. It's not a necklace, and you are much stronger than your weakest link. If you're not good at a subject, figure out what's the highest level you need to have to be good at what you do.