I am 19 years old and a freshman at college - physics. I have always enjoyed physics and also maths, but on high school never took part on a physics/maths competition, but despite that I was an A-er in maths and physics, and I have never had problems with these subjects (and I hope I wont have any at college). As I came to college I saw that many of my fellow students have diplomas from several physics competitions, have already worked on junior scientific rojects etc., which I havn't and makes me feel a bit inferior. Now my question is - how to become more "competitive"? I guess that undergraduate research would be fine - but the field I'd like to study - theoretical quantum optics - seems to be pretty difficult for an undergraduate student. What other opportunities of self-improvement are there?