Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, ive recently been struggling with materialism and its making me miserable. at school everyone i see seems to be either smarter, prettier, richer, or more pious than me and thats been distracting me a lot. i havent read salah or quran as often recently and i keep thinking about changing myself or buying more things even though i know that wont fill the inner void. do you have any advice on how to stop feeling this way? thank you, Jazakallah
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
It is natural to feel tempted to become materialistic when you are surrounded by such things. If you want to avoid it, you will need to do constant, daily work designed to help you maintain your balance. The best way is to spend half an hour to an hour of every day reading the Quran. This is the best way I have found for avoiding all kinds of character flaws. Performing tahajjud and sitting for a while after every prayer to do supplication are also helpful.
Also see my essay: God has not abandoned you: Regaining your sense of purpose when life feels spiritually empty, lonely and meaningless