Sign up, show up, shut up, don't compare, and train.
While there are times to do each, I'd say the most important ones are show up and train.
I can't imagine why one should shut up or not compare, generally speaking. Certainly there are times when shutting up quite appropriate, but without various forms of comparing, progress will be minimal and what will be learned may not be what one wants to learn.
If you hadn't guessed, I'm not a proponent of politically correct "that's not better or worse, it's just different." Sometimes it is just different, sometimes it is better, sometimes it is worse.
Jess, good luck finding what you need. There are certainly a lot of aikido organizations going on in your area, but if you have a specific and important connection to your teacher, preserve it.