Dear Wellesley Community,
Time goes by really quickly – this is my last President’s Column of the semester! I understand that it is a difficult period for many of us here at Wellesley, with final exams looming on the horizon. As much as I love this college, I readily admit that Wellesley can be a tough place to be. The expectations are high and feel overwhelming at times. It can also seem like an endless chase – one deadline after another, one late night after another, one more shot of caffeine.
For this column, I want to just offer a gentle reminder that we are so much more than what we do. Our worth is not measured in the grades on our midterm, nor in meeting the expectations of our professors – all of us have strengths that an examination is not going to be able to capture appropriately. Instead, take comfort in the baby steps of growth. For example, if you’ve always struggled with getting out of bed, celebrate the times you did. Celebrate the times you managed to turn in your assignment, even if it was overdue- I am personally doing this one this week! And most importantly, celebrate learning a new side of yourself, even if it is through struggle.
It is not easy when at Wellesley, our work is often what we measure our worth by. For instance, I first took on my position as College Government President, I really felt like I was failing at everything I did – my self-esteem took a huge hit. It took me a while to disentangle my self-worth from my work, and admit that I wasn’t doing great mentally and emotionally at the start of my term. It really was only through admitting that things were difficult that I was able to grow, lean into my friends and bounce back stronger.
I also hope that we will be able to say more boldly when we are not fine and be willing to lean on others for support. Our burdens are much lighter when shared, and when we can let ourselves be vulnerable. Wellesley does not have a culture of being vulnerable and speaking the truth about our struggles, but I want for us to grow in that as a student body – it is difficult and painful, but it really produces growth.
If you are struggling to keep your head above water this week, know that you are very much not alone. As dim as it may seem currently, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In this time, help your friends see themselves as the beautiful people that they are – hype them up, hold space for them and be by their side.
Kimberly Chia Yan Min
College Government President 2018-2019