Student Voices: More than a number | Work of Arts
Student Voices: More than a number | Work of Arts

Student Voices: More than a number

Poli sci student and Arts Leadership Cohort member reflects on what's really important in life

Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors. 

 

I’ve really grown tired of numbers.

As we near the end of this term, I can tell that some of us are feeling frustrated. Whether it’s on an academic or a social level, we wonder if we’re really living up to the expectations of others. We want to fit in and all we want is to be approved of, but we’re scared that all the numbers that “define” us aren’t where they should be. And then we lie awake at night wondering what we could possibly do to change those numbers.

We really need to be more than — and rise above — the numbers that apparently determine our worth.

First, the numbers on the scale. Sometimes I feel as if the quest for “perfect” physical health has caused poor mental health. Sure, it’s important to watch our weight and stay fit, but we live in an age of social media fixation and pop culture infatuation where the lines between self-improvement and self-loathing have been blurred.

We really need to be more than — and rise above — the numbers that apparently determine our worth.

Rather than trying to be that person with the “cut” or “hourglass” figure and hating ourselves for our weight, why don’t we try and be that person who feels great in their body? Let’s all try and be that person who can say that they love how they look and who they are, and that they don’t want to change a thing. Remember, it’s only you who’s going to notice the fact that you’re a few pounds heavier or lighter today.

Second, the numbers on our social media profiles. The value of our experiences shouldn’t be determined by how many likes we got on a post. It should be determined by the new places we went and the amazing people we met. It should be determined by the late-night laughs and the subtly satisfying songs. The value is in each and every little thing we felt in all those moments.

I think that many of us believe that the number of likes or followers we have on social media determines our value as a person in the eyes of others. Determine your own value yourself. If you really do want to be valued and remembered, act in such a way that you know will be valued and remembered. People will forget your tweets, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Be a good memory for someone, rather than just another person they followed on Instagram.

Your quality of life is far more important than two numbers and a decimal.

And finally, our grades. I’d like to express how important it is that we understand that our grades will not make or break our future. As a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression, I can say that it is not worth dwelling over what you didn’t or couldn’t do. Keep in mind that education will always be there waiting for you to give it another shot; you’ve only got one shot at staying healthy.

Your quality of life is far more important than two numbers and a decimal.

Remember, you can either make the worst or the best of things for yourself. I hope you have the persistence, patience and perseverance required to learn from failure. And I hope you’ll have the strength to pick yourself up and try again.

However, if you ever feel that you’re struggling to do these things and are no longer living up to your own expectations, I want you to understand that it is all right to take the time to seek the help you deserve. It’s okay to admit that everything is not okay.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.


Filed under: Students

About Jeremiah Ellis

Jeremiah Ellis

Jeremiah Ellis is a first year political science student with an English minor. Originally from Canmore, Alberta, he currently lives on the Arts Leadership Cohort floor in Lister Hall. He is a loyal Toronto Maple Leafs fan who enjoys reading, writing, films and hockey. He has a keen interest in literature and human rights and hopes to work in a field where he can be involved in social justice.