As I mentioned in my first post, one of my internship projects this summer is developing and writing alumni impact stories at SEAS. To properly create impact stories that capture the essence and spirit of our alumni and the work they do, part of my writing process focused on talking directly to alumni about their experiences and work.
These conversations, while originally focused on talking about their experiences and work, started to move into conversations on life as a whole. The experiences and memories these alumni shared with me started to coalesce into the bigger picture that is life.
One key portion of our conversations focused on advice from alumni for current students and the future generation of environmentalists. In these discussions, one idea kept coming up again and again.
“Be kind to yourself”. This exact phrase was repeated to me several times, by multiple alumni. At first, I didn’t really register the frequency of this idea or its importance. Things only clicked after talking to a specific alumna, who followed up with the following:
“After all, if you aren’t kind to yourself and supporting of yourself, who else will be?”
This phrase hit a bit close to home for me, as I am not that kind to myself (like most college students) and hold myself to high standards, giving myself little slack when things go amiss and these standards are not reached (also like most college students).
This advice, in my eyes, is invaluable for people of my age and college students to hear. In a world that is constantly globalizing and becoming increasingly complex, it is far too easy for one to be swept up in the chaos that is life and to be overwhelmed/overburdened by tasks that emerge in the path of life. In a lifestyle like this, focusing on negatives becomes too easy and common, and the tendency to beat oneself up for any mistake, regardless of magnitude, is too prevalent.
These alumni opened my eyes to an invaluable piece of advice, and gave me some amazing insight on my personal development and what really matters in life.
To truly achieve success, one must be kind to themselves. After all, if I’m not kind to myself, who will be?