If you’re reading this, you have value.
Yes! You have been accepted to college! And not just any college, but THE University of Virginia! Friends and family congratulate you, sharing how the next four years will be the best years of your life.
What they don’t tell you is that these next four years may be some of the most difficult.
I am currently a first year and while I have yet to finish my time here at UVa, I have already experienced some deep lows. I have been rejected from organizations, received one of the worst grades in the class and honestly, I have felt worthless.
While attending college, it is easy to make comparisons (I mean, look at class averages). I often think everyone at this school is either more beautiful, more involved, or more intelligent than me. A quick glance on any Facebook timeline would show a gorgeous girl at a party. A guy who just got his research funded. A friend who just got accepted into a prestigious organization.
While it is easy to make comparisons to others, I have come to realize we all have struggles. That being the case, we all need to help bring one another out from these dark places. The girl at the party? Maybe she struggles with her confidence. The research guy? Maybe he has a hard time connecting with others. The friend? Maybe she feels a constant pressure from her parents to succeed.
You were put on this Earth for a reason and you are a person of value. While that comment may seem insincere, you are living and breathing and that has value in itself. Know that you are such an incredible person with so many gifts to bring to this world. Please do not let those gifts be clouded by the comparisons of others. Whatever gifts you bring to this world, whether it be a groundbreaking discovery or simply a radiant smile, I cannot wait to see it.
Maria P., University of Virginia