The Phoenix

You are more than a number

Sometimes, we all just need a reminder of our worth. Worth that is not defined by numbers. 

Sometimes, numbers seem to define us the most. This is especially relevant to high schoolers. What defines you? Your body weight on a scale, the size of your clothing, your GPA, how many followers you have on social media, your ACT score? 

The list seems to go on and on. I know I, and many other teenagers, struggle with numbers and how prominent they are in our lives. It is extremely easy to get wrapped up in numbers and statistics. This results in us forgetting what is truly important, and what we stand for as individuals. It is not the numbers or ranking that make us who we are. Iis our unique talents and inner beauty that make us who we are. 

I wanted to write an article on self-worth to bring awareness to this issue – that we really are more than statistics. And that we, especially juniors and seniors who are being bombarded with ACT scores and the college admission process, are unique individuals that should be proud of who we are and what we’ve accomplished. 

You are more than your ACT score. 

We, especially juniors and some seniors, are constantly being bombarded by standardized testing. Whether it be the PSAT, the ACT, or the SAT, we all will most likely have to take a standardized test to be (hopefully) admitted to the college of our choosing. It seems to me that every corner I turn, I hear a comment or a conversation about the ACT taking place. Whether it be what the person got, or their best/worst section, what tutoring they’re doing, if any, or the score they need to get to get into their top colleges, the ACT seems to be engulfing us all. It is probably the easiest thing to compare yourself to others on. If you succumb to this mindset though, you will be conforming yourself into a mere number on the scale 0-36. It’s okay if you don’t get a 36. It doesn’t define you nor will be it ultimately define who you are and what you are going to do with your life. For someone with test anxiety, I see the ACT as more of a personal thing. It doesn’t matter what your best friend got or what the smartest person in your grade got. The only thing that matters is your own score and the personal growth you may have that could ultimately land you right where you want to be in your own college process. 

You are more than a bad grade. Your GPA does not define you. 

Students at Holy Family, including myself, may complain about the grading scale. And because it’s true that Holy Family does have quite an intense and rigorous grading scale, it is easy to be let down despite all the hard work put in. All in all, if you try your hardest at school and don’t end up with that 4.0 GPA or higher, it is okay. Life will go on. However, grades are important and staying on top of school work really is the key to succeeding in high school. Your grade point average though, isn’t something that defines you either. You are not superior nor inferior to someone with a higher or lower GPA than you. So the next time you’re up for hours studying for that big test, don’t worry if you don’t get the grade you hoped for. Yeah, it sucks. But will you really remember that grade 4 years from now? No. 

You are more than your clothing size. 

After this past week being the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and having a speaker from the Emily Project talk to the HF body about the reality of eating disorders, it is important to keep in mind that you truly are perfect the way you are. I hope that students who may not have known much about eating disorders, learned something from this past week. I also hope that the self-love theme that Health Club extended across the school stays in your mind. I know that body image is a hard topic. As a past Health Club pin has stated, “All Bodies Are Good Bodies”. It is easy to look at pictures of other girls (or guys, as this is something that pertains to all of us) and wish you had their body, but at the end of the day, you will still be in your own skin. Instead of being angry or displeased with your body, think about what it allows you to do. For me, I’ve come to the understanding with my body that my wide hips will help me when I choose to be a mother one day. My bony ribs help protect my lungs, and my thighs help me get from one place to the next. The most important thing to do is to take care of yourself. Try your best to take care of your body and give it what it needs. It is a long journey to accept yourself, your body, and all the flaws that may come with it, but that is what makes you, you. Your dress size or shorts size will not make you less of a person. 

Rather than obsessing about these numbers, it is important to simply live your life and enjoy the moment. If you’re constantly worried about what others are going to think of you, you will live a very unhappy life. High school is a time to find yourself. Find who you want to be. What you want to be involved in. Find friends that will be there for you. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and like nothing is going your way, take a deep breath and take things one step at a time. I promise you that doing this will be helpful. Remember that you are more than a number. Everything I wrote about in this article are things that I struggle with, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m happy and proud to say that I’m working on it each and every day, and I encourage you all to do the same.

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