With finals coming to an end and graduation looming just three short days away, I had time to sit down and gather my thoughts about this past semester. This semester wasn’t an easy one by any means, but I honestly believe it was my strongest yet because of one simple realization: I finally found worth in myself rather than seeking it from others.
Lately, a quote that they instilled in us freshman year at Assumption has been lingering in my thoughts: “I am a valuable person. I have dignity and worth and what I do makes a difference”. This quote seemed so obvious and even basic at the time, but it has stuck with me for this long and I’ve come to realize that it has completely shaped my entire final semester at Belmont.
“I am a valuable person”. It took me way longer than I’d like to admit to realize this and I don’t think I fully grasped this concept until this semester. For at least three years, I was constantly reaching to others to uplift me and tell me that I’m valuable as a human being. I went through a really dark period my second year and valuable was the exact opposite of what I felt. I never felt needed or even wanted in my relationships, let alone valuable. When I was in NYC, I realized this was largely due to the people I was surrounding myself with and that good friends (shoutout to my friends at home!) work their hardest to make you feel valuable. This semester, I found the family in my friends at school that I hadn’t even realized I’d been looking for. They are people who prove to me daily that I’m valuable and that I have a purpose in this world. They’re people who I don’t need to reassure me constantly that they like me; the way they treat me proves that they love me for me and that won’t change.
“I have dignity and worth”. This semester tried me as a person. I had people who seemingly spent every waking moment trying to make my life miserable and to turn everyone I loved (and even people I didn’t know) against me. I constantly had people asking what terrible things I had done to them while I was in New York to warrant these actions and lost a lot of people that I thought were my chosen few. I constantly learned of new rumors about myself that had spread throughout the campus that took even me by surprise and whispers followed me almost everywhere. A few years ago, I would have fought fire with fire. But, because I’ve grown up and am a good person, I found the true value in killing people with kindness. I had so many opportunities to be petty, and instead, fueled those emotions into positive things. I reached out to people and told them how much I appreciated them. I made new friends and became closer to old friends. And I found my real chosen few. Time and time again, I was the bigger person this semester and am so proud of myself for proving my dignity and believing that I’m worth something rather than letting the pettiness and hatred find its way into my soul.
“What I do makes a difference”. It’s easy to feel like a small fish in a big pond in college. It’s so easy to feel forgotten and overlooked. I made it a goal this semester to do my best to NOT let this happen. Instead, I reached out to my professors and created real relationships with them. I worked my butt off at my internship and connected with people that I know have completely changed my life in a short time. I was constantly validated for even the most menial tasks at Studio Tenn and knew that everything I did had a purpose, no matter what that purpose may serve. I knew that every single thing I did helped someone in some way in some shape or form, and that’s the best feeling in the world. In Alpha Gam and in the theatre department, I made a point to meet as many people as I could and, as the older and (sometimes) wiser senior, give advice and guidance when needed. I took people under my wing and watched them grow and it was so rewarding.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the type of person to brag on myself, but I’m so proud of how much I’ve grown up this semester and the person that I’ve become. I find reasons every single day to be happy and to love my life, something I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever say. This semester was trying and I had so many reasons to have the worst semester ever, but it ended up being one of the best. I’m leaving behind a lot of drama, but even more wonderful people who make life worth living 99% of the time. I’m so excited to start the next chapter of my life in Disney, but closing this one is very bittersweet.
Thank you to every single person who pushed me to be the best version of myself this semester and to everyone who’s changed my life in some way, shape, or form. I’m forever in their debt and will always think fondly on this semester because of these people. Between the women pictured in this post and so many more loving, supporting, genuine people, I have had it SO good here at Belmont this semester. Leaving is hard, but the future has so, so much in store, and I absolutely can’t wait.