My senior year has probably been one of the busiest of my life, but its way more than just school and clubs and friends. I’m busy growing up.

Until recently, I thought that I consisted of very distinct, concrete parts: how well I do in school, my clubs, my family, and my friends. My identity was tied to these 4 parts, and if any one of them wasn’t working out well, I would be worried and stressed. At first glance, it might seem as if that separation of identity makes sense, at least for most high schoolers. But, although my identity was appropriately tied to my family and friends, nowhere was it tied to me. Nowhere did I consciously recognize, “Ok, my thoughts and opinions and personality are part of my identity, too.” It might seem obvious, why wouldn’t you consider your thoughts and your personality part of your identity? But, unlike all the time we specifically dedicate to our school or clubs or family and friends, I don’t think many of us spend time specifically on ourselves. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all usually too exhausted to think anymore than we have to. But, when we don’t take real time for ourselves, we lose a lot.

We don’t take enough time to figure out what we believe is right and wrong, although we spend a lot of time talking about what other people think. We don’t take the time to realize who we are, and instead we think about who others think we should be. We don’t take the time to really think about how we’ve grown and what we have done because we’re too worried about everything we haven’t done.

We don’t take the time, in other words, to realize that we are far more than the sum of our parts.

We’re more than school, or clubs, or family, or friends. We’re all of them together, plus more. We’re all of them together, plus so much more.

~Priyanka

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