What a Wonderful Life: 8 Ways to Appreciate Your Worth

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The idea that each of us can change the world for the better makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It should come as no surprise that my favorite movie is What a Wonderful Life. On good days, I wonder if maybe Jimmy Stewart was on to something–and because we don’t all have our own Clarence as a guardian angel, here are a few ways to consider your own worth.

1. Recognize You You Did (Most) of Your Work

You reviewed your notes, took those tests and wrote those papers. Yup. You may have failed some of those tests but you did take them. And the notes? That’s what gets me. That’s a lot of writing, and that means you spent a lot of hours in those ridiculous squeaky chairs in class. Even if you skipped that one day (or most days) you were present for all the other ones.

2. Speak to A Friend to Realize How Awesome You Are

Talk to friend or loved one. Maybe someone you met this semester, or maybe someone you’ve known since pre-K–they made your life better, sure, but don’t forget that you made their lives better. They should be thanking you for your time, too. So give yourself some points for that.

3. Celebrate Those Accomplishments

Did you complete any goals? Did you go to the gym–once? Twice?? Every day?! Ok, that’s enough out of you. How about joining Greek Life or a club or an E-board even if, you know, you “had to” quit within a semester? Did you go abroad? Maybe you took the cake and volunteered. Maybe you’re one of those selfless souls who helped the world become a better place just for the sake of doing it (and maybe for a little bit of resume fluff–that’s just the frosting on the cake). Whatever you might have done, celebrate that sh*t.

4. Call Your Parents

Yeah, I said it. It’s easy to forget in our independent, young adult lives that just our existence makes our parents happy, but it does. Those people who raised you may be a bunch of weirdos–but they’re your weirdos. Finally escaping them feels good at college. Just don’t forget they appreciate some good wishes over the holidays. As long as you’re over that last argument about who made the dent in the car, don’t be afraid to bask in the glow of some parental appreciation.

5. Think About How You And Your Roommate Didn’t Kill Each Other

The notion of sharing a bedroom with a total stranger and exposing them to all of your strangeness only increases the base level of college anxiety. If you guys became friends, I give you credit. Even if you didn’t survive all the way without some screams or passive aggressive notes, I give you credit anyway. You’re both alive. Bravo.

6. Pat Yourself on the Back for Being a Real Adult

Have you gotten an internship? Or *gasp* a job? Well, you deserve some major props. Besides the obvious fact that you’ve discovered your inner adult, you helped that company and you helped the people that the company helps. Or, if you glided through that internship without doing anything productive, good on you for foolin’ them.

7. Remember Your Creations

Have you created something? A painting, or a robot or a scarf? A story, or (ahem) an article? Think about it: You created something that never has existed before and never could without you. Anything handmade is one-of-a-kind–no matter how much it seems like a Christmas cop-out when you throw it under the tree. Good job on making something real.

8. Most Importantly: Never Lose Your Positive Spark

OK this is hard one, but I think you can do it: Have you made someone smile this year? Maybe made them outright laugh? Maybe said “you’re welcome” for something? Positivity only works when you open yourself up to it each and every day. With those smiles, laughs and thank you’s–and I think Jimmy Stewart would agree with me here–you made the world a brighter place. And in world as dark as ours, a little light goes a long way.

A senior at Boston College and an English major with an addiction to fantasy novels and chocolate.

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