Berrios was inspired by a UAT session entitled “Pale Blue Dot” on finding purpose and meaning in the great abyss. She said that when many people were questioning what the point of anything was, it led her to realize that we have just one chance to do anything we want to do and it should stem from our own journey, instead of anyone else’s. Berrios goes onto say that self worth is something that we end up incorporating in our every action, so if we redefine that word with our own definition it would be a life worth living.
Everyone has their own daily struggle, their own baggage that they need to carry with them. Personally, mine is to live up to my family’s expectations. Although my parents are not the type to constantly breathe down my neck, I still feel, as the only child, an immense weight to make them proud. I feel that the only way to show them a physical representation of my accomplishments are through my grades. For anyone who feels the same, would you still put up with academic pressure if it didn’t contribute to anything?
If my grades didn’t contribute to my future college, and if my college didn’t contribute to my future job, I wouldn’t do any of this. I would only do things purely for my own happiness, I would immerse myself in things that make me happier than ever. And I must say, I hate that I don’t do that for myself already. I know I don’t constantly beat myself over my academics because it brings me joy.
I constantly beat myself up over academics to just prove my worth.
I strive to excel in academics to prove my worth to someone else, to colleges, to employers. All to convince them that I am worth it because I have passed rigorous classes that they set up, and that I have passed the timed exams that they spent time making. To show them that I passed the exams that they feel are only passed by those worthy enough, and that I passed the classes that they have considered to be for only the most dedicated. Hell yeah, I wanna be considered the most intelligent, the most dedicated, the most rigorous. Why? To prove to them that I deserve a place in society. Our worth is purely built to impress other people. People who we give the power to dictate our actions.
Our thought processes most of the time looks like this:
Let’s do this AP class, we need these credits!
Let me take this course, this exam, and let me be part of nine clubs because colleges love that!
I can go to sleep at 2 a.m. Monday through Friday if it means I can bring home ‘A’s.
I can’t fail this exam, or I’ll have a ‘B’.
In doing this, we sometimes lose ourselves. We lose who we are because we are too busy of impressing someone else. We are all degrading ourselves to impress everyone and to prove to everyone how much we are worth.
Bottom line: it’s not worth it.
How many of us can say we are 100% happy? Why can’t we?
Let’s start doing things that we love to do and work towards things that would bring us happiness. Get a job in something you really wanna do and disregard everyone’s opinions! Come to terms with yourself and look past the many expectations of you becoming a doctor or a lawyer, only if this is where your joy will come from! Get that job that you know you will love, whether it’s being a stand-up comedian or a Disney cashier… Do something that will bring you the most happiness. Don’t pay much attention to your worth in the eyes of anyone else except yourself. And don’t base your worth on things that you have done to impress or prove anyone else but yourself. This is something that I need to work on as well, but it’s a realization that we all need to come to.
After all, how different would our choices be if we choose them purely for our happiness?
Stephanie Berrios is a junior at Somerset Academy and absolutely loves to read and experience new things. She is independent, smart, funny, outgoing, and an overall kind person. She enjoys meeting new people and is quite passionate about animal and environmental rights, as well as immigration issues in today's society.