Merriam Webster Dictionary.
What do these four things have in common?
You can find definitions in each of them. Definitions for theories, concepts, words, and so on, they can be found in at least one of the three sources I mentioned.
So where are you defined and who or, what, defines you?
For a generous part of my life, my academics defined me. My 3.8 GPA in high school. The grades I got in college courses. The leadership roles I took on inside and outside of my school.
If I told you about myself, my school would be the first thing I said and if I could find a place to appropriately mention it, my leadership roles as well.
Truthfully, not too much has changed. I've only just realized that I placed so much emphasis on my academics that I've forgotten to tell people about who I am outside of my grades. It's something I have to work on.
Make no mistake, you should do your absolute best in your academic career. Fight for good grades, do all extra credit, meet with your teachers/professors, and study hard. But that shouldn't be all that you are, you know?
I see the aftereffects of allowing my academics to take up so much of the plate that is my self esteem. This morning (11/29) I found out I have a B in one of my fairly difficult courses, which means I can't get an A in the course.
And you know?
I felt crushed. I went to my next class feeling dejected and stupid. I wondered if I even deserved to be an engineer if I can't even get good grades and maintain a good GPA.
But...a B isn't bad. And I have a good GPA.
When you eat a meal, you don't have just bread rolls or just string beans or just meat on your plate. You have some bread, some string beans, some rolls, and mayberoom for dessert.
If your self esteem is a plate, you can't only have academics or only the opinions of others or only your financial status or only your physique. Your plate must have a little bit of everything. It's okay if it fluctuates, but be careful to not let one thing take up your entire plate. Learn to balance it.
In case you're wondering, by the end of the day, I picked myself up. My self esteem is back in check and I'm fiercely competing to still make my goals. Some days you have to pick yourself up and keep fighting.
And I will. We will.
Because our first name is Resilient. Our middle name is Excellent. And our last name is People. And we REPresent ourselves exactly as our name is. Because that is who we are.